While reading an Associated Press article today on Social Security that you can read HERE, the following two sentences really stood out. "Social Security was the primary source of income for 64 percent of retirees who got benefits in 2008, according to the Social Security Administration. A third relied on Social Security for at least 90 percent of their income."
These statistics explain a lot, I think, about why 'real' Social Security reform is so politically perilous.
This broadly-based dependency can't be what was originally intended, I thought. So I did a little online research just now about its history and stumbled upon the following factoid. "The first monthly payment was issued on January 31, 1940 to Ida May Fuller of Ludlow, Vermont. In 1937, 1938 and 1939 she paid a total of $24.75 into the Social Security System. Her first check was for $22.54. After her second check, Fuller already had received more than she contributed over the three-year period. She lived to be 100 and collected a total of $22,888.92." That's a photo of Ida May above.