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Resurrecting Another ‘Big Lie’: The Myth of Social Security as ‘Ponzi Scheme’


Resurrecting Another ‘Big Lie’: The Myth of Social Security as ‘Ponzi Scheme’

Bernard Weisberger

In these pestilent, perilous times, when the very idea of distinction between truth and falsehood is under siege, it’s more critical than ever to keep a sharp lookout for destructive false analogies. Without an anchor in provable fact it’s dangerously easy to get taken in by them. So I am particularly exasperated by a sample dished up by scaremongers, namely that the Social Security program, our rock of security and stability for an aging population for the last 80 years, is a Ponzi scheme — a swindle designed to cheat Americans out of their money with false promises.


Given the way that SS works because its funding is based on taxes, then anything that depends on taxes for funding can be considered a Ponzi scheme. After all, our military depends on people's taxes so it must be a Ponzi scheme as are the salaries that we pay our politicians.


Anyone who has ever worked and held a job that doesn't pay cash, knows that Social Security is not a Ponzi scheme, but rather, a tax that is collected throughout your work history, and payable to you in an 'Entitled Benefit' once you reach a certain age.

The Retardagains, and their Retard-in-chief are once again preying on the naivete of a part of their base that they lovingly refer to as, the 'poorly educated.'

However, even these folks are not stupid.

It's Bannon brain that's 'stupid.'


Although Trump is spot on in his criticism of "fake news", he fails to mention that he and the GOP have propagated more verifiable fake news than all the other sources of fake news during the past century COMBINED. The myths about Social Security have been one of the GOP's most widespread serial fake news stories of the past half century.


Why do Democrats not call out these lies, every time? And why do they keep letting Republicans try to take every last thing from us without DEMANDING loudly and repeatedly that the Republicans give up some things, since their constituents, big business and the elites, have taken so much and give back less and less? They get the big tax cuts and big subsidies, we paid for the bank and auto bailouts, they got the laws that made it possible to move their business and jobs offshore, and then put the money in offshore banks untaxed, they profit from the huge, wasteful and largely unnecessary military budget that results in so much harm to the world and makes enemies for us, while at the same time impoverishing the country for the sake of a few crony capitalists. Make them defend the indefensible and they won't have time to chop at the programs that benefit citizens in return for the taxes they pay.


"...(this) Deceptive Mythology of UNREGULATED CAPITALISM'S Billionaire Class,,,is both Vicious and Cruel, and to expose and denounce it...is the duty of any Rational and Fair Minded person."

Expand and Improve was Bernie's mantra and it is no surprise that the very forces that he angered took after him in every way possible, with both lies and suppression of facts, thereby taking after US, in the bargain.

Of course the Program, which is so Popular among US Citizens, who do all the "...Working and Paying and Living and Dying...(George Bailey) " in this Country is Invertedly Structured to Ding the Struggling with Mandatory Contributions, and Income Taxes on their Benefits, while releasing the Comfortable from as much Responsibility to their Fellow Citizens as possible.

The simple solution of Eliminating the Upper Cap on Responsibility for Contributions, and including Income Derived from Investment as an equivalent source of funding, easily enables Social Security to provide US Citizens with ACTUAL social security.

Also, if Wall St. paid SALES TAX, like we do when we purchase ANYTHING, and if the Military did not absorb our Tax Dollars at the rate of almost $2 Million per MINUTE, life for us 99% might finally begin to achieve Rectitude.


To the extent it relies solely on payroll taxes in plus interest on government debt, it is a Ponzi scheme - it promises more in benefits than it has in assets. The beauty of the system though is that just as the "lockbox" has been raided to fund other programs, other programs can be raided to fund Social Security. It really is just general revenues. There are no compartments. The government takes money from us in myriad forms of taxes, and deigns to give some back to people as various benefits. As long as people pay their taxes, and the government can con people into taking its paper (bonds) to cover the shortfall, the shell game can go on. When the house of cards collapses, Social Security will be the least of people's worries.


Social Security started as a retirement income supplement in 1935 and since then Congress has added in disability, survivors, spousal, offspring, and other benefits without adding revenue sources. While the retirement component of the program is fully funded, payouts beyond the retirement program are indeed irresponsible from a fiscal management standpoint.


Mr. Weisberger has written a very good article here, one that deserves to be widely disseminated, especially to everyone under 55, as they have been the ones who have been most deceived by the right-wing think tanks and their media sycophants ever since the Reagan era.

The Rich, Right-wing, Regressive, Republicans have always hated Social Security, and will never give up trying to destroy/privatize it. Do not let them convince you. They don't care about you!


Raise the cap? No: Eliminate the cap and end the bloated military budget and all wars. Then we will have the funds we need to address the ecological crisis, healthcare crisis, economic crisis, student loan crisis.