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Social Security

Social Security: Its Past, Present and Future

Edward D. Berkowitz is a professor of history and public policy at George Washington University, and a leading authority on the history of the Social Security program.

In this interview with Inside E Street’s Dave Marash, he describes the harsh economic conditions that led Franklin Roosevelt to create Social Security in 1935, and what a boon it was to an economy still mired in the Great Depression. 

Berkowitz emphasizes that the program was never intended as a full retirement plan, but rather as a supplement to other resources for a comfortable retirement. He traces how the monthly retirement benefit has grown over the years, and says you may be surprised to learn which president besides FDR is most responsible for the relatively generous amount of your benefit in 2010.

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