Townsend Pamphlet (Modified)

Some of the language and phrasing in this document has been modified from the original.

Head Note: Francis E. Townsend, an unemployed doctor, introduced this plan in 1933 in a California newspaper. He and others soon started an organization called Old Age Revolving Pensions, Inc. to publicize and build support for the plan. By 1935, the organization had more than five million members and presented a petition for the plan to President Roosevelt with 20 million signatures, more than 10% of the entire American population.

The Townsend Plan

Have the National Government pass a law so that all citizens of the United States—man or woman—over the age of 60 years may retire on a pension of $200 per month on the following conditions:

  1. That they stop working.
  2. That they are not habitual criminals.
  3. That they spend their pension in the United States within 30 days after receiving it.

Have the National Government create the revolving fund by collecting a general sales tax. Make sure that the sales tax can only be used for the Old Age Revolving Pensions Fund.

148 American Avenue Long Beach, California

Source: Excerpt from a pamphlet published by Old Age Revolving Pensions, Inc., 1934, Long Beach, California.