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Social Security Act (1935)

In 1935, President Franklin Roosevelt presented this Act to Congress as part of the New Deal agenda. The Act called for a tax to be paid by employers and employees that would be used to pay benefits to workers when they retired at age 65. The Act also encouraged states to deal with social problems by rewarding states that provided job training and unemployment benefits, pensions to the elderly, and aid to the disabled.

Presented with questions of federalism, the Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the program in a series of 1947 cases, saying it was valid under the Tenth Amendment and linking it to the Spending Clause and taxation power in Article I, section 8 of the Constitution.