During the debate on Social Security during FDR’s first term, FDR was buffeted by liberals who wanted a more generous, European-style dole system, and Republicans, who wanted no such program. Together, they threatened to derail what FDR considered a core component of the New Deal. The compromise — a self-financed program that vested at retirement, was deemed by many a compromise between the two factions. Yet today, Social Security is considered a right by all Americans, the fiery debate and incendiary rhetoric just so much dust-covered microfiche in the Congressional archives.
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