The First Monthly Beneficiary
On January 31, 1940 Ida May Fuller was the first to receive a monthly Social Security check of $22.00. Before that date, there were lump sum settlements that averaged under $60. Ida lived to 100 years old. By the time she died in 1975 she received over $22,000. (Source: SSA).
We don't have the figures on how much Ida paid in, but you better believe that it was not close to what she received.
Low Taxes & High Birthrates Keeps Us Happy
Ida May's situation is a good example of getting "something for nothing" or almost "nothing." Social Security was close to being a "free lunch."
Please don't think we are trying to point the finger at Ida May! Millions have benefited as well. Things were working out nicely. Social Security would pay out at a better rate than if you invested the taxes you were to pay. That kept most everyone happy for a while.
Why did this work so well? The working population (the tax base) expanded faster than benefits had to be paid.
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