Social Security is a “Ponzi scheme” and “a monstrous lie”

So says Rick Perry. Think he’ll be saying that a year from now, if he’s the nominee?

If Rick Perry is the Republican nominee, he’s going to spend most of September and October working hard to make people forget he said that. So here’s some Memory Hole protection.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com

16 thoughts on “Social Security is a “Ponzi scheme” and “a monstrous lie””

  1. I think life is a Ponzi scheme. We get tired and cynical and so we impose existence on cute little beings to make ourselves feel better.

    Not that many people ask for their money back, though.

  2. Mark thinks that quoting things he disagrees with constitutes refutation, since his opinions are self-evident, or something like that. At least that’s what I must conclude, given the lack of any actual argument here that SS isn’t a ponzi scheme.

  3. Social Security is an insurance plan. It was originally named (maybe still is) Old Age Survivors and Disability Insurance. OMG, INSURANCE!!! How radical can you get?

    Like all insurance programs they invest the money in secure, interest paying things like bonds. In this case US Treasury bonds, considered the most secure investment in the world. I know, so scarey!

    The only thing about this plan that looks shakey is that for thirty-plus years Our government, under Republican administrations has been borowing the principal and throwing it down rat holes like wars, welfare for oil companies, huge tax breaks to corporatins who close US factories and ship the jobs to China and just generally handing out our money to billionaires like party favors while neglecting the stuff that makes an economy run. Things like infrastructure, educaton, healthcare, ect. ad infinitum. All the while they have been about this they have been screaming about being conservative and fiscally responsible. By wasting this investment it endangers not only the USA’s ability to repay this debt but the entire future of the nation.

    The monsterous lie is the BS the GOP has been spouting for three decades.

  4. Brett writes,

    Mark thinks that quoting things he disagrees with constitutes refutation.

    You are not stupid, Brett, so it is difficult to accept that you are advancing this argument in good faith. Dimmer bulbs than you can see that Mark is not trying to refute Perry’s position. He is trying to make it more difficult for Perry to lie about having held this position, as he inevitably will.

    Quixotic on Mark’s part, if you ask me.

  5. Seconding Mrs. Tilton, empirically I too know Brett is brighter than this comment. It is plainly obvious (to me at least) that rather than opining about the truthfulness of Perry’s claim Mark is commenting upon the Texas Governor’s national electability – as regards saying things that to a large number of active voters are quite scary and off-putting. In fact, I am scratching my head a little as to where Brett read Professor Kleiman offering a “refutation” of anything.

  6. Brett seems to have these kinds of “issues” a lot. One wonders why he would choose to promote his positions here with one misleading and deceptive claim after another, if there were non-misleading arguments that could be used instead.

    If this happened once or twice, it could merely be error or carelessness. But when it happens over and over again, readers are likely to draw the conclusion that misleading claims are the only ones available to support Brett’s positions.

  7. “If this happened once or twice, it could merely be error or carelessness. But when it happens over and over again, readers are likely to draw the conclusion that misleading claims are the only ones available to support Brett’s positions.”

    This is why some of us scoff at Prof. Kleiman’s overemphasis on Civility. Since Brett does not curse or call people names, Kleiman is perfectly fine with him constantly spreading mendacious horseshit in his comment section. I find intentional, disingenuous ignorance and bad faith far more offensive than profanity or name-calling, but others apparently disagree.

  8. I wonder if there are people on Social Security right now, who had politicians like Perry back in the day, telling them that “Social Security is a monstrous lie that isn’t going to be there for them”.
    That would be a wonderfully educational find… no? And if so, a juxtaposition would make a fine advert…

  9. @waingro– if you read brett as a comic of the deadpan ironic type, his comments are generally pretty funny.

    that’s my story and i’m sticking to it.

  10. as a liberal who is sad that most “liberal” websites don’t have a “donate to OWS bailfund” button, I think you people are way over intellectualizing this.
    based on my conversations with ordinary people here in the boston area, people think that the ratio of retiree/workers has increased, and that this is a problem in the future; in this general, commonplace view, “ponzi scheme” and “lie” are not that hard to understand, and I suspect they will resonate with a lot of people; what doesn’t resonate is that Perry appears to be opposed to the program

    In ref to the above, and noting how much $ Perry has raised, I might refer to a probably apocyrphal story about Peggy Noonan.
    someone asked her, wasn’t she worried about all the bloopers made by President Reagan, esp during debates. She said, so what, millions *saw* him say it on TV; thousands read the correction the next day in the times.
    PS: if you understand why I use the verb *saw* you know something about the role of TV; as halberstam recounts in best and brightest, all the old reporters followed the nixon kennedy debate on the radio, and they all thought nixon wiped the floor with the young upstart.

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