A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

FDR’s “Voluntary” Social Security

Q: Did FDR promise that Social Security would be voluntary? Did Democrats end tax deductions for Social Security withholding?
A: Social Security has never been voluntary and taxes paid to support it have never been deductible from federal income taxes. A widely e-mailed "history lesson" gets nearly all its facts wrong.

Biden, FDR and the Invention of Television

In a sit-down interview with CBS Evening News’ Katie Couric that aired Sept. 22, Sen. Joe Biden tried to make a historical comparison between political leadership during the trying economic times of today and yesterday. But he got some of his history wrong. Biden told Couric: “When the stock market crashed, Franklin D. Roosevelt got on the television and didn’t just talk about the, you know, the princes of greed.”

There are several things wrong with that statement.