In an “all reps” email message distributed to every member of the New Hampshire House, state Rep. Rick LeVasseur (R-Hudson) passed along a discredited Internet meme filled with myths and misinformation about the history of Social Security.
The message identified “promises” made by Pres. Franklin Roosevelt that have supposedly been broken by Democrats, betraying the original intent of the system.
For example, the message claims Roosevelt promised “money the participants elected to put into the program would be deductible from their income for tax purposes each year.”
"Which Political Party eliminated the income tax deduction for Social Security (FICA) withholding?" it asks. "The Democratic Party," it answers.
"Just in case some of you young whippersnappers (& some older ones) didn’t know this," says the message. "It’s easy to check out, if you don’t believe it." As it turns out, that may be the only actual fact in the message.
According to Snopes, this particular meme has been making the rounds since 2005. It was so pervasive, the Social Security Administration prepared a detailed response to debunk the myths it contained: Myths and Misinformation about Social Security (Parts One and Two).
Here’s the response to the item above:
Myth 3: President Roosevelt promised that the money the participants elected to put into the program would be deductible from their income for tax purposes each year
There was never any provision of law making the Social Security taxes paid by employees deductible for income tax purposes. In fact, the 1935 law expressly forbid this idea, in Section 803 of Title VIII. (The text of Title VIII. can be found elsewhere on our website.)
The message LeVasseur distributed concludes with unintended irony:
Then, after violating the original contract (FICA), the Democrats turn around and tell you that the Republicans want to take your Social Security away! And the worst part about it is uninformed citizens believe it!