Social Security has lifted many elderly people out of poverty. In 1959, the poverty rate among the elderly was 35 percent, whereas today it is 11 percent. Despite this success, the Social Security program is not as effective as it could be. Based on the program's payout, poverty among the elderly could be completely eliminated. Social Security reforms can improve the situation, but some self-proclaimed advocates for the poor seem to be resisting the changes now being debated.