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The Wisconsin author of the Social Security Act appears before Congress.

Testimony on the "Economic Security Act,"


Two Wisconsin natives designed the original Social Security Act. Arthur Altmeyer from DePere and Edwin Witte from rural Jefferson County were both economists from the UW-Madison who had also held important positions in state government. Altmeyer, then serving as U.S. assistant secretary of labor, drafted the executive order which established the Committee on Economic Security, helped select Witte to chair it, and was himself a key committee member. Witte brought his prize student, Wilbur Cohen of Milwaukee, with him to Washington as a research assistant. Under the leadership of Witte and Altmeyer the Committee on Economic Security drafted and shepherded through Congress the legislation that became the Social Security Act of 1935. The links below take you to the opening day of testimony on that bill before Congress. Witte explains how and why it was drafted, and what he expects the legislators to do next. The full text of his entire testimony is online at http://www.ssa.gov/history/35house.html

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Related Topics: Industrialization and Urbanization
Depression and Unemployment
Creator: Witte, Edwin E. (Edwin Emil), 1887-1960.
Pub Data: In: United States. Congress. House. Committee on Ways and Means. Economic security act. Hearings before the Committee on Ways and Means, House of representatives, Seventy-fourth Congress, first session, on H.R. 4120, a bill to alleviate the hazards of old age, unemployment, illness, and dependency, to establish a social insurance board in the Department of labor, to raise revenue, and for other purposes... (Washington, U.S. Govt. print. off., 1935): 1-9.
Citation: Witte, Edwin E. "Testimony on Economic Security Act." In: United States. Congress. House. Committee on Ways and Means. Economic security act. Hearings before the Committee on Ways and Means, House of representatives, Seventy-fourth Congress, first session, on H.R. 4120, a bill to alleviate the hazards of old age, unemployment, illness, and dependency, to establish a social insurance board in the Department of labor, to raise revenue, and for other purposes... (Washington, U.S. Govt. print. off., 1935): 1-9. Online facsimile at: http://www.wisconsinhistory.org/turningpoints/search.asp?id=1003 Online facsimile at:  http://www.wisconsinhistory.org/turningpoints/search.asp?id=1003; Visited on: 4/23/2014
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