The ‘Ponzi’ Sound Bite

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Many in the media and in politics have gone ballistic over the fact that Texas Governor Rick Perry called Social Security “a Ponzi scheme.”

Although many act shocked, shocked, as if Rick Perry had said something unthinkable, Governor Perry is not even among the first thousand people to call Social Security a Ponzi scheme. Not only conservatives, but even some liberals, have been calling Social Security a Ponzi scheme for decades.

Moreover, neither the media nor the politicians who are carrying on over the use of the words “Ponzi scheme” show the slightest interest in any hard facts that would tell us whether Social Security is or is not a Ponzi scheme. It is a “gotcha” moment, and that is apparently what some people live for.

What makes this nonsense become fraud is the insinuation that calling Social Security a Ponzi scheme means advocating that people who are depending on Social Security be abandoned and left with nothing to live on in their retirement years. That is the big scare — and the big lie.

People getting Social Security checks are going to keep on getting those checks. Nobody has advocated anything else, or would dare to cut off a financial lifeline for millions of people.

What is at issue is the particular mechanism through which people can be provided for in their retirement years. Some politicians loudly proclaim that they want to “save Social Security.” But programs exist for people — and it is the people who should be saved.

Whether or not the checks that retirees continue to get say “Social Security” is beside the point. The point is that they keep on getting the money they need to live on, whether that money comes from a different institution or from Social Security.

The fundamental problem of Social Security is that the irresponsible way its finances are set up, and the changing demographics of the country, mean that there is simply not going to be enough money in its trust fund to pay today’s young people what they are legally entitled to, when time comes for them to retire.

The money is just not there, some of it having been spent for unrelated purposes.

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  • HalleysFifth

    Thomas Sowell: One of America's greatest living intellectual treasures.

  • ObamaYoMoma

    Actually, I agreed with Rick Perry when he called Social Security a Ponzi scheme. However, what I don't like about Rick Perry is the fact that he is an Islamopanderer the same way that GWB and Obama both are as well, the fact that he is exceedingly weak on border security, the fact that under his governorship he provides illegal immigrants in state tuition discounts and financial assistance, and the fact that he supports pathways to amnesty which, of course, he doesn't call amnesty. Hence, Rick Perry will not get my vote under any circumstances whatsoever and even if he does win the Republican nomination, as I'm not a Republican, but instead a conservative independent and sorry but he doesn't pass my smell test.

    • mrbean

      You say: "Rick Perry will not get my vote under any circumstances whatsoever and even if he does win the Republican nomination" I guess that means that you will vote for Obama so he can finish the country off.

  • ObamaYoMoma

    It means exactly what it says. I won't vote for any candidates unless they are sufficiently conservative and sorry but Obama doesn't make the grade either. However, I will not encourage the left to continue hijacking the Republican Party by holding my nose and voting for the lesser of the two evils, because we end up with leftwing Presidents like GWB that were only slightly less leftwing than Obama.

    Now, if you don't have a problem with the left hijacking the Republican Party and turning it into the second coming of the Dhimmicrat Party the same way GWB did, then by all means vote for liberals like John McCain and Rick Perry, but please pardon me if I won't.

  • 2maxpower

    the left has controlled the language of debate for generations. the conservatives need to stop arguing the "mugs game" with them. change the narrative and attack the liberals.progressives for their lies.

    • SoCalMike

      2maxpower hit the nail on the head.
      I'm sick of Republicans allowing Dems to to choose the terms of the debate.
      Dems are dangerous but Repubes are indeed stupid precisely because they don't seem to grasp what liars and sell outs Dems are.
      They lie unconsciously and don't feel like their feet are on the ground if they aren't making common cause with people who want to murder or enslave us.
      Just look at BHO, Bill Chinagate Clinton, Saudi owned Jimmy "I hate Jews" Carter, Hanoi Jane, Spencer Ackerman, Michael Moore and the rest of the sordid dirt bags.

  • StephenD

    2max is right on! Why have the conservatives in America let the Left (they are NOT Liberal), define the debate? We end up fighting on their terms. Instead, we should bring the fight to them. Make them defend their claims; make them refute our claims. For instance, exposing the problems with Social Security has become verboten. It is not to be spoken of or you are labeled a hater of the elderly. Why not show the numbers and a viable plan to prevent an implosion? After the charge is made that you want to throw granny off the cliff you spend your time saying you don't want to do that instead of making them defend against the charge they want your grandchildren to pay until they die.

  • MKS

    First, vote the Democrats out of office in every election for the foreseeable future until they are of only historical interest. Then, vote conservative Republican, Libertarian, Constitutionalist, TEA, or whatever party will respect the functions and limitations of government envisioned and documented at the outset of the U.S. republic.

    But take the Democrats out of power first.

  • mrrbean

    $4.5 trillion of the debt is owed to the Social Security trust fund by the government as IOUs. It is worse than a PONZI scheme – it is a gaovernmen SCAM!