Writes Richard M. Salsman on Social Security is Much Worse Than a Ponzi Scheme – and Here’s How to End It:
In recent debates GOP presidential rivals have been sparring on Social Security, with some (Rick Perry) insisting it’s a “Ponzi scheme” that should be decentralized (run by fifty states), and others (Mitt Romney) conceding that it’s shaky and needs “reform” but isn’t fraudulent because “millions of people depend on it.” (Mitt Romney). Another (Herman Cain) says privatize it, as Chile did. They’re all wrong, because they don’t name the real problem with the system – and they forego an easy fix that might boost their election chances.
That we’ve only seen GOP rivals “spar” on this key issue is an apt description, for there’s no real fight going on. It’s mere shadow-boxing. Worse, the GOP contenders are mostly on the same side of the issue (the wrong one) and aren’t sufficiently distinct from the rival party. Yet Democrats don’t even try to be candid about Social Security, or try to present a real fix; they’re content to run ads with GOP suits tossing granny off a cliff, which means they’re content to be infantile – which means they’re unfit to lead this great nation.
The facts about Social Security are these. Yes, it’s a Ponzi scheme, thus criminally fraudulent (as I’ll explain), but even worse, because it coerces us to be a part of it. Since the scheme began in 1935 the full force of the U.S. government has compelled a growing portion of citizens to suffer by it, such that we all do so by now. A scheme of such widespread, compulsory fraud is unprecedented in U.S. history, and one of the most shameful (and popular) of FDR’s schemes.
Rationality and justice require that this atrocity be terminated – now. Yet neither virtue can be found in Perry’s proposal to pawn it off to fifty states and thus to decentralize the fraud – or in Romney’s plan to “reform” and “save” the scheme and thus to perpetuate the fraud – or in Cain’s notion that it be operated by quasi-profit-seeking (loss-imposing) “firms” like Bernard Madoff Investment Securities LLC, and thus to privatize the fraud. A fraud remains a fraud regardless of its size, scope, or duration, and it is simply evil to evade this plain fact and deliberately enact policies to decentralize the fraud, perpetuate it, or profit by it.