Why do hosts on Sunday talk shows never ask congressional Republicans if they know their cleverly designed bills to destroy Social Security mean that most Americans will have penniless, elderly parents or relatives underfoot day and night? Indeed, that was the case prior to August 14, 1935, when President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act into law.
Killing Social Security would force most recipients — currently more than 59 million — back to those terrible days of retirees trying to survive on minuscule savings, unreliable pensions and investments.
The culture and laws of previous centuries expected those families to take care of the elderly financially, physically and emotionally. Some 30 states still have “relative-responsibility” laws mandating total support. Indeed, many of those laws now permit eldercare facilities to sue families for unpaid bills.