|In this broadcast from December
1949, Secretary of Labor Maurice Tobin is defending and explaining
the recommendation of the recently concluded 1948-49
Social Security Advisory Council that retirement benefits need
to be substantially increased. The recommendations of this important
Council were soon to be implemented into law in the 1950 Social Security
Amendments. This debate is important because coming on the eve of
the 1950 legislation, it forshadowed some of the debate that would
ensue in Washington the following Spring as the Advisory Council's
recommendations were placed before the Congress. In the end, Secretary
Tobin's view--and that of the Advisory Council--would prevail as the
1950 Amendments increased average Social Security benefits by 90%
in the next two years.
Supporting Mr. Tobin's viewpoint is Robert Nathan, an economist and
attorney and former staffer to the 1934 Committee on Economic Security.
Opposing the idea of increased Social Security benefits is Mr. Albert
Linton, President of Provident Life Insurance Company and a member
of the 1948-49 Advisory Council; and Congressman Carl T. Curtis (R-NB).
(Following the 1952 elections, Congressman Curtis would assend to
the Chairmanship of the House Ways & Means Committee and during
1953 he would conduct a series of hearings in which he sought unsuccessfully
to enlist support for his idea of replacing the Social Security system
with a modifed Townsend-type plan.)