Is Social Security a Ponzi Scheme?

Author: Warren Beatty
Published: September 13, 2011 at 2:51 pm

Texas Govenor Rick Perry, in the Monday night CNN/Tea Party debate in Florida, stuck to his statement made at a presidential candidate debate in California last week. Perry said Social Security is a "Ponzi scheme to tell our kids that are 25 or 30 years old today, you're paying into a program that's going to be there. Anybody that's for the status quo with Social Security today is involved with a monstrous lie to our kids, and it's not right." Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney attacked that statement.

Perry, in a USAToday Editorial, defended his position. In it he says, "Social Security's unfunded liability is calculated in the trillions of dollars. Last year, annual Social Security outlays exceeded annual revenues for the first time since 1983. The Congressional Budget Office projects that outlays will be roughly 5% greater than revenues over the next five years, worsening as more and more Baby Boomers retire. By 2037, retirees will only get roughly 76 cents back for every dollar that is put into Social Security unless reforms are implemented. Imagine how long a traditional retirement or investment plan could survive if it projected investors would lose 24% of their money?"

So, what term is/was used by the MSM now and in the past? In 2007, both Chris Matthews and (the late) Tim Russert referred to Social Security as a Ponzi scheme. Said Russert, "Everyone knows Social Security, as it's constructed, is not going to be in the same place it's going to be for the next generation, Democrats, Republicans, liberals, conservatives." Matthews responded, "It's a bad Ponzi scheme, at this point. Yeah."

Chris Matthews made another statement on September 8, 2011, during a discussion about Texas govenor Rick Perry, who got a lot of flak from Democrats and from fellow presidential candidates. Matthews, former Tip O’Neill aide, said that Social Security is remarkably similar to a Ponzi scheme.

Continued on the next page

About this article

Profile image for beattywarren

Article Author: Warren Beatty

Ph.D. in Statistics from FSU, very conservative university professor, in Army 22 years, slow auto racer

Warren Beatty's author pageAuthor's Blog

Article Tags

Share: Bookmark and Share