In a September 13 op-ed in The Washington Examiner, Fox Business host John Stossel wrote that "[t]o the extent people believe there are trust funds with their names on them, Social Security is absolutely a Ponzi scheme." In fact, experts have said that Social Security's "structure, logic, and mode of operation have nothing in common with Ponzi schemes."
From Stossel's op-ed:
Ponzi! Ponzi! Ponzi! There, I said it. To the extent people believe there are trust funds with their names on them, Social Security is absolutely a Ponzi scheme. So is Medicare. People need to hear it.
Many people think that when the government takes payroll tax from their paychecks, it goes to something like a savings account. Seniors who collect Social Security think they're just getting back money that they put into their "account." Or they think it's like an insurance policy -- you win if you live long enough to get more than you paid in. Neither is true. Nothing is invested. The money taken from you was spent by government that year. Right away. There's no trust fund. The plan is unsustainable. Medicare is worse.
What sustains a Ponzi scheme is deception. If people really knew how it worked, they wouldn't sign on.
Social Security and Medicare are different. You could say no to Ponzi. I wouldn't advise saying no to the government. Not if you want to stay out of prison.
Social Security is nothing more than a promise from politicians. The next gang can break the promise.