The Republican chairman of the House Budget Committee on Tuesday drew fire from Democrats for backing Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s description of Social Security as a “Ponzi scheme.”
Social Security fits the technical definition of a Ponzi scheme, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) told conservative Laura Ingraham on her radio show.
“It’s not a criminal enterprise, but it’s a pay-as-you-go system, where earlier investors — or say, taxpayers — get a positive rate of return, and the most recent investors — or taxpayers — get a negative rate of return,” he said. “That is how those schemes work.”
Ryan is wrong about one thing -- if you or I would set something like this up, it would be a criminal enterprise. But that's not the criticism we're hearing from our portside friends. We get this, instead:
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee pushed back against Ryan’s comments.If it weren't for the pain that would be involved, it would almost be worth it to see the Democrats win on this issue, because they so richly deserve the whirlwind they would reap when the dang thing collapses of its own weight. The key to that phrase is, "almost." We know the train wreck is coming. We can't really "fix" Social Security, either, because the underlying scheme requires that we keeping adding layers to the pyramid. We can start winding the program down, though. The hour grows short.
“Ryan’s belief that Social Security works like a Ponzi scheme proves — once and for all — that House Republicans have really declared a war on seniors,” DCCC spokesman Jesse Ferguson said in a statement. “A Ponzi scheme is Bernie Madoff ripping off Americans — not Social Security benefits that seniors earned and depend on during retirement.”