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Madoff vs Social Security

See the numerous comments about this comparison. From: Sheila - This reminds me of the comparison we made of federal accounting and Enron accounting. We will re-post that comparison soon.



Takes money from investors with the promise that the money will be invested and made available to them later

Takes money from wage earners with the promise that the money will be invested in a "Trust Fund" and made available later.

Instead of investing the money Madoff spends it on nice homes in the Hamptons and yachts.

Instead of depositing money in a Trust Fund the politicians use it for general spending and vote buying.

When the time comes to pay the investors back Madoff simply uses some of the new funds from newer investors to pay back the older investors.

When benefits for older investors become due the politicians pay them with money taken from younger and newer wage earners to pay the geezers.

When Madoff's scheme is discovered all hell breaks loose. New investors won't give him any more cash.

When Social Security runs out of money they simply force the taxpayers to send them some more.

Bernie Madoff is in jail.

Politicians remain in Washington .

A Ponzi is a Ponzi is a Ponzi, no matter who runs it.

Posted by Dennis on 4/30/2010 9:59:00 AM
"This is obviously meant to be a joke but then again..." What's a joke - the post or the Social Security system?

Posted by alanstorm on 4/30/2010 9:59:25 AM
It's missing an entry: Opting out of Bernie Madoff: easy. Don't give him any money. Opting out of Social Security: all but impossible.

Posted by Seerak on 4/30/2010 9:59:48 AM
Seen this?

Posted by Millie on 4/30/2010 10:00:19 AM
Just what I'm been saying all along! Face it, we are being "ruled" by first rate criminals, plain and simple. As long we allow this to happen...we are shmucks!

Posted by Sparky222 on 4/30/2010 10:00:46 AM
I think you would be able to add the new health care bill to that list.

Posted by AverageJoe on 4/30/2010 10:01:03 AM
Spread it!

Posted by Dan K Gilbert on 4/30/2010 10:01:13 AM
It is our Republic for as long as we can keep it. We are complicite in this scam as long as we are not paying attention and voting these Politicians out.

Posted by Cindy on 4/30/2010 10:04:08 AM
Have an e-mail to a friend location on your page. This will get you more distribution.

Posted by J. H. Miller on 4/30/2010 10:04:20 AM
Why can't we devise a Social Security System that is sustainable? Politicians continually "kick the can down the road". If we are to keep the system, revise it to be self sustaining. Grandfather the older people and change the system to what you pay in is what you get.

Posted by Joe on 4/30/2010 10:04:41 AM
good artical

Posted by william leidal on 4/30/2010 10:04:53 AM
The main difference is that the money went to Madoff in the first scheme. The Social Security system is actually the victim of a larger Ponzi scheme to finance defense, welfare, tax cuts, and the debts created by those three areas. The government promises to pay back to Social Security the funds it borrows but always comes back to try to renege on its promise. The politicians, the liberals, and the warhawks are continuously trying to make the Social Security trust fund the bagholder.

Posted by Les on 4/30/2010 10:05:15 AM
I wish it were just a joke but it's not. I've bneen making the same comparison for years.

Posted by Tom on 4/30/2010 10:05:30 AM
So very, very true. Our Congress is a complete sham and a fraud. They preach transparency and accountability and yet provide neither. Can only wonder when the masses will figure this out. It won't be pretty.

Posted by Alpha Dog on 4/30/2010 10:05:46 AM
This is exactly what I said to folks the day Bernie Madoff was arrested! Also, why have I not heard people pun him like in 'Bernie Made off with the money?' your news Andy, keep it up

Posted by marcile angelucci on 4/30/2010 10:06:08 AM
I've been saying this for a long time. Money is the root of all evil, and this administration is doing this for one reason, complete internal takeover. Wake up and vote them out!! They were all involved in a Ponzi Scheme that made Madoff's look like the dime your mother gave you for mowing the lawn!!

Posted by Robert Buchwald on 4/30/2010 10:06:35 AM
The people hit the hardest from Madoff were old and who had given him all the keys to their financial future. I'm sure the same thing will happen again one day to the elderly of America when SSA/USA goes belly up. Some are going to be left out in the cold, and that kind of stuff leads to civil unrest. So they vote the day of reckoning to be bigger, but another year in the future.

Posted by stephenv on 4/30/2010 10:07:02 AM
I'm rapidly approaching retirement age. I would rather be able to waive drawing Social Security in exchange for exempting my daughter and future grandchildren from social security taxes. Most conservatives understand that the "Social" in Social Security aptly identifies it as a socialist program. Passage of Social Security is what tipped the balance towards there being more takers than givers in our country. We need to phase out this terrible ponzi scheme. Those that have not already worked and paid into Social Security should have the freedom to invest their earnings towards private retirement savings - or not and deal with the consequences.

Posted by MsDollie on 4/30/2010 10:07:37 AM
Bernie Madoff: investors voluntarily provide funds Social Security: individuals forced to provide funds

Posted by Captain Obvious on 4/30/2010 10:07:50 AM
I wish more people would make this connection. This was FDR's idea of jamming his social engineering down everybody's throat (he said as much if you research his thoughts on the matter). In actuality, there is absolutely no difference between what Madoff did and what the government does through FICA, except that Madoff's investors had free will to hand over the money and the rest of us have no free will with respect to this government ponzi scheme.

Posted by Tom T on 4/30/2010 10:08:13 AM
It's just like conterfitting,if YOU get caught doing it you go to jail.The feds don't like the competition.

Posted by Fred on 4/30/2010 10:08:30 AM
I started receiving SS last year. I never thought it would happen. At least I will get back some of what I paid in all of my life before the program goes extinct. I planned all of my life for my eventual retirement, so this just extends the date when I have to worry quite as much about running out of money.

Posted by Marcus Boyd on 4/30/2010 10:08:53 AM

Posted by john murray on 4/30/2010 10:09:08 AM
GOP- Listen up let;s make roll-back of Obamacare, bailouts, stimulus $ and pro choice (for our SS $ )our new contract with America.

Posted by R Mansfield on 4/30/2010 10:09:37 AM
Why can't everyone see this? I guess it is too much to ask from 99.999 percent of the clueless masses who cannot even read, write or balance their own checking account. Or perhaps it's because they do not work anyway they are living off someone else.

Posted by Jason on 4/30/2010 10:10:24 AM

Posted by TRAYCE on 4/30/2010 10:10:54 AM
SS is an annuity, an inflation-protected guarantee that you won't outlive your income. All that's needed to balance it is that the retirement age be raised to match the numbers of retirees and workers. (If you want to retire sooner, do it on your own dime to bridge the gap.) SS can't have a trust fund because the government must instantly return to the economy every penny it takes in, lest the money supply fall. So that's what it does. In short, no comparison.

Posted by Ron Hardin on 4/30/2010 10:11:43 AM
If Madoff kept that Ponzi scheme afloat for 20 years, we should put him in charge of social security.

Posted by Mark Arnold on 4/30/2010 10:12:07 AM
Many argue the Social Security "Trust Fund" holds a large quantity of assets which can be used to fund future benefits. The Trust Fund is in fact full of assets for the American people. The problem is these assets are ultimately also liabilities of the American people. Hence the Trust Fund value, relative to the American people as a whole, equals zero. If such were not the case we could each write ourselves a nice big IOme and live a life of luxury. Social Security is in fact nothing more that a massive Ponzi scheme with a "Trust Fund" that has been consumed.

Posted by Jeff Ferguson on 4/30/2010 10:13:07 AM
What would my mother, father, and aunt, all who died in their 90s, have done w/o SS? Now I'm collecting after paying into it - and would not have enough without it. How can you begrudge people who worked hard this benefit? Also health care? It seems so greedy to me. And, to the person who said have retirees retire older, which many do anyway, preferring or needing to work, this is already happening - i.e., the retirement age for collecting is older; if you choose to retire early, you collect a lot less money. Why do so many hate the idea of socialism? Countries we consider socialist, i.e., Canada, Holland etc. take much better care of those within their borders than we do. These comments make me feel sad, until I remind myself that the American people said Yes to Obama in 2008, and a resounding No to the Rep party. Mainly, we do care. I am shocked and delighted that citizens mainly overlooked Obama's skin color and chose to vote for intelligence, competence, inclusiveness.

Posted by Francesca J on 5/2/2010 10:57:45 AM
Francesca: First of all, Social Security was never meant to be full retirement. It was to be a "supplement", especially for people who were indigent. Second, YOU are not the only one who paid into your S.S. Your employer paid an equal amount as you did. Third, you are not getting "your own" money back. You are getting the monies that the younger generation is paying in. By the way, those socialist countries you mentioned do not have multitudes of illegal immigrants who sap all the freebies the government hands out, so they have the money (less "service charges" the gov't uses) to give to their own people. Our gov't chooses to give the legal citizens' money to the illegals, plus take a huge chunk of it for themselves. The public "servants" do not pay into S.S., nor do they receive it. They have a much better retirement plan -- they tax you so they can collect far more than you ever could. Capitalism is what made this country great, and Socialism is what will take it down.

Posted by Margaret on 6/27/2010 5:32:31 PM
In an attempt at levity, I wrote a song about the Bernie scandal. Though it attempts at humor, it is not intended to belittle the seriousness. Rather, it is to spread awareness to the mainstream of the population of the dangers of the current environment and the need for stronger regulation. You can listen to it here:

Posted by Dan R on 7/12/2010 11:45:07 PM
I am encouraged to see the deep concern expressed by so many about the national debt. However, It is deeply regretable that during the term of George bush when the National debt was growing at the most alarming rate they were not even a fraction as vociferous. Recently hears about billions that were supposed to be specnt on the Iraq reconstruction in 2002 - 2004 that can't evn be accounted for. BBC did a documentary where some branch of the army was bring up the money from a basement in wheelbarrows to so called "contractors" without even counting it. Where was the protest then?

Posted by Gail Sherman on 8/5/2010 4:45:39 PM
Passage of Social Security is what tipped the balance towards there being more takers than givers in our country

Posted by James Morgan - Puritan Financial Advisor on 8/22/2010 11:46:08 PM
Thanks for the Madoff-Socialist Insecurity comparison chart, I refer to it often. Per Margaret`s post of 6/27, if her term `public servants` refers to members of congress, they`ve being paying into Socialist Insecurity since January 1984. It`s sad that even politicians aren`t exempt from this political fraud, as the late Ohio Rep. Stephanie Tubbs-Jones became a victim of the FICA Death Tax, bilked out of her FICA `contributions` because she had no eligible survivors. How ironic, defrauded by the very political scheme, she so dearly loved. So, let the revolution begin, more FICA taxation, without representation...something about pesky language in the 10th Amendment.

Posted by Harry Thompson on 9/1/2010 12:53:56 AM
If Madoff kept that Ponzi scheme afloat for 20 years, we should put him in charge of social security.

Posted by Demin on 1/8/2011 9:22:37 AM
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Posted by S. Weinberg on 2/12/2011 4:26:40 PM
nice post. Now we can see the difference between bernie Madoff and the social security Security Companies

Posted by Brian on 5/30/2011 8:30:48 AM
Kudos to you! I hadn't thohugt of that!

Posted by Lolly on 5/30/2011 8:31:29 AM
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