Has Social Security been a major step forward in U.S. policy?

Posted Aug. 16, 2010, at 3:26 p.m.

Seventy-five years ago this month, President Franklin Roosevelt signed into law the Social Security program, which provided a publicly run pension aimed at keeping the nation’s elderly from living in poverty in their old age.

The program has grown over the decades, but should its original intent and early results be deemed a success? Were those Republicans who wanted to eliminate or privatize Social Security wrong? Should Social Security retirement benefits be limited to those who need it (say, those who would earn

less $250,000 a year without it)? Or is everyone who paid into the system entitled to receive a check?