When enacted, the Social Security provision was intended to be a punishment; lawmakers didn’t think people trying to overthrow the government should be able to participate in that same government’s premier social program. In fact, the provision was prompted by press reports that jailed Communists were happily collecting Social Security checks while sitting in their cells.
But today, it’s hard not to wonder if young Communists might not actually welcome their banishment from Social Security. As tax lawyer Libin Zhang has pointed out: "What was a penalty in the 1950s might be a blessing today. Younger employees nowadays might prefer to forgo paying Social Security Tax and give up on the fragile likelihood of receiving Social Security checks in their retirement".