The people of the United States have no problem believing a Ponzi scheme when initiated by an individual (Bernard Madoff), but can’t believe their government is doing the same thing. Two recent letters (12/31) about Social Security to The Star confirm my theory.
The first writer states “from the beginning, it has been a pay-as-you-go government system.” The first recipient of monthly Social Security benefits, Ida May Fuller, paid in $24.74. She received benefits for 35 years. So much for that theory. He then challenges non-believers to keep their tax money in exchange for letting his mom and dad live at their house. Isn’t that his responsibility?
The second writer states he is entitled to what he paid in, plus interest. Please see my first example. Most, if not all, recipients receive significantly more money than they ever put in. Where does this money come from? Ask Madoff.
Mark S. Damon
You may be among the relatively few people who benefit or will continue to benefit greatly from the legal Ponzi/pyramid scheme known as Social Security. But that doesn’t mean you should disregard the complaints made by people near the bottom of the pyramid, like me (22 years old), who will likely never see the money I’ve been paying in since I was 14 years old and will continue to pay in until the government is forced to admit the truth.
What Social Security started out to be and what it is now are two different things.
When it was first instated, it was meant to be like an insurance policy, where what is paid in draws interest until it is needed. That would mean keeping it in a separate investment account. As there were many more people paying in back in the early days than those collecting, the fund would have grown rapidly and would have covered payouts for a long time.
That’s not what happened. The money was just dumped into the general fund, not generating interest and leaving the government to pay with current receipts. That means that as the number of retirees grows, the burden on the current workers grows heavier and heavier.
As an 81-year-old widow, I’m glad it’s there, but I paid into it almost all my adult life. So did my husband, but he died just before he could collect anything. So what he paid in just disappeared into a black hole, as has happened with many others.
So don’t blame the current retirees for the current debacle. Blame the greedy, irresponsible people who run Washington.