Under the 1935 law, what we now think of as Social Security only paid retirement benefits to the primary worker. A 1939 change in the law added survivors benefits and benefits for the retiree's spouse and children. In 1956 disability benefits were added. Keep in mind, however, that the Social Security Act itself was much broader than just the program which today we commonly describe as "Social Security." The original 1935 law contained the first national unemployment compensation program, aid to the states for various health and welfare programs, and the Aid to Dependent Children program. (Full text of the 1935 law.)
Social Security has to be reconfigured completely.
In 1940, there were just over 159 people who contributed to Social Security for every 1 person who received it. By 2009, there were 3 people who contributed to Social Security for every 1 person who received it. This has been known for many years by Congress' and President's, that this program is not sustainable but for the sake of getting votes, they were afraid to deal with the problem, continuously kicking it down the road to the next President and Congress.
Discontinue depositing money into the Federal Government. Instead, began depositing the money in to a type of government secure account that earns interest at a constant rate and is safe from losing money. This should be a type of 401K so at retirement, the recipient could began receiving a monthly income that should be possibly 3 or more times higher that the Social Security accounts pay out today because the new 401K's will be earning compound interest, whereby Social Security earns none.
Do away with Social Security completely to the upcoming generation. Determine a cut off age for the people now contributing, say for example 50, and let those from that age on continue to contribute and receive benefits when they become eligible. For the people under 50, return their money they have deposited and let them use it to invest in their own 401K. Also, there has to be some type of agreement signed that in order have this money returned, both spouses agree that they are never to be able to use in government resources in the future.