Brit Hume is Right (FDR was for personal accounts)
Re: "Roosevelt vs. Bush", (John Nichols, The Nation, 3/5/05)
[Update from March 7: Based on a comment from a reader of this blog which you can read in the comments below, I have to say that I may have misread FDRs speech the same way Brit Hume did. If that's true, I would like to scold FDR for being less than clear in his words....and to scold him more for instituting Social Security. I'd also say that it is very easy to read FDR's speech the way I did, and that calls for Brit Hume to resign are simply silly.]
In January 1935, before the 74th Congress of the United States, Franklin Roosevelt put forth an outline for the Social Security system.
Despite protestations from FDR's grandson, Roosevelt's own words seem to support Brit Hume's assertion that Roosevelt wanted and expected eventual privatization.
Here is the entire quote (from the Congressional Record) for the third principle: "Third, voluntary contributory annuities by which individual initiative can increase the annual amounts received in old age. It is proposed that the federal government assume one-half of the cost of the old-age pension plan, which ought ultimately to be supplanted by self-supporting annuity plans."
Not only did FDR expect voluntary personal accounts as part of Social Security, it appears he expected eventually them to replace a government-funded program.
James Roosevelt, Jr. should brush up on his family history and Mr. Nichols owes Brit Hume an apology.
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