For several weeks, NewsBusters has been reporting that despite protestations from liberal media members, Texas governor Rick Perry is 100 percent correct when he calls Social Security a Ponzi scheme.
On PBS's "Inside Washington" Friday, syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer put a fine point on this saying, "If Charles Ponzi had had the force of the law forcing people, new entrants, into his scheme, he’d still be going. He’d be commissioner of Social Security" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
GORDON PETERSON, HOST: Okay, another debate, another round of Social Security. Mitt Romney, sounding like the program's great defender. Romney says it is not a Ponzi scheme. Charles disagrees. I know that because I read it in his column this week.
CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER: Well, it is of course a Ponzi scheme. The only difference is that Social Security is mandatory, and if Charles Ponzi had had the force of the law forcing people, new entrants, into his scheme, he’d still be going. He’d be commissioner of Social Security.
Well, Ponzi died in 1949, so this might be an exaggeration on Krauthammer's part, but the point is a good one.
As much as media members try to push back on the truth - having themselves made the same assertion going back to at least 1967 - there's really no getting around it: Social Security is and has been a Ponzi scheme since the day it was enacted.
Once the press accepts this rather than fighting it, maybe a serious conversation can ensue that allows Congress and the White House to affect reforms that will preserve this program for generations to come.
The only question is whether that's possible, or will the fourth estate continue to demagogue all proposed solutions thereby dooming Social Security to the trash heap?