The Rise of the Welfare State*

The Rise of the Welfare State*
During the 1930s, the size of the federal bureaucracy
mushroomed due to President Franklin Roosevelt's New
Deal agencies. Although many were short-lived, others
continue to play a role in the lives of Americans: the Social
Security Administration (SSA), the Securities and
Exchange Commission (SEC), the Tennessee Valley
Authority (TVA), the Federal Trade Commission (FTC),
and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).
Out of these agencies' programs grew the concept of the
welfare state, under which the federal government, rather
than individuals, municipalities, or the states, assumes the
major responsibility for the well-being of the people.
President Lyndon Johnson's Great Society during the 1960s
expanded the welfare state with such programs as
Medicare, Head Start, the Job Corps, and the Office of
Economic Opportunity (OEO). As with the New Deal,
many Great Society programs became a permanent part of
the federal bureaucracy.
The idea of the government seeing to the needs of its
citizens carried on into the 1970s: The Environmental
Protection Agency (EPA) was created by the Nixon
administration, the new Occupational Safety and Health
Administration (OSHA) in the Labor Department
transformed the workplace for most Americans, and new
cabinet departments were established.