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Social Ponzi Insecurity In One Easy Chart

Tyler Durden's picture


Where a million essays, debates, rants, and denials have been littered over the past month arguing whether or not Social Security is a ponzi or not, we believe one simple chart should suffice to explain to the reader just where we stand. As those who follow the data series know too well, outlays exceeded revenues in 2010 for the first time ever, for a backward looking basis, and so when applying CBO data on future SSTF revenues and outlays (as a % of taxable payrolls), using 10 year moving average data, for forward looking projections, outlays surpass revenues and basically never look back until at least the end of the century. In other words: this is a construct that relies exclusively on new capital coming in to keep it funded and from imploding under its own weight, something better known in literature as a pyramid scheme. But yes: it is not a ponzi scheme in that it most certainly is not voluntary.


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Mon, 09/19/2011 - 22:52 | 1687239 papaswamp
papaswamp's picture

Does this include the $4 trillion already borrowed? know that intragovernmental loan thingy?

Mon, 09/19/2011 - 23:17 | 1687315 JW n FL
JW n FL's picture

Does this include the $2.6 Trillion stolen.. I mean in IOU's?

fuck you and yours..

Mon, 09/19/2011 - 23:48 | 1687440 rocker
rocker's picture

@JW n FL  Seems like the Rich, (phony job creator's who sold out 6 million jobs), will have to make up for all those tax cuts funded on the backs of those they stole the money from. After all, many of them were in Iraq, (saving America), from the terrorist while they were on their yachts bought by the tax cuts. They lie about a transfer of wealth. 90% of Americans paid for those tax cuts. The bill is done. Bloomberg was right. Time to Burn Wall Street to a level with the rest of America they destroyed.

Fuck Wall Street Bail Outs.  CNBC's Joe Kernen said on Air, "Bailing out the Banks is all Good".  Fuck you Joe Kernen and Wall Street too.

Tue, 09/20/2011 - 00:04 | 1687518 JW n FL
JW n FL's picture



Kill them ALL!

Tue, 09/20/2011 - 01:03 | 1687661 I think I need ...
I think I need to buy a gun's picture

"we can always print entitlements we just can't guarantee their value" Alan Greenspan

Tue, 09/20/2011 - 02:07 | 1687742 Cliff Claven Cheers
Cliff Claven Cheers's picture

Speaking of Greenspan, it was he and the greatest president to ever live who decided to start using the SS fund in the General Budget, 2.6 Tril to date.  I don't think you call it Ponzi when it was Trust.  Now it is a Ponzi because Regan the great with a banker thought it would better be invested in weapons and such like star wars and tax breaks for the wealthy, you trickle down as in urine down your leg.  But hey now that the money is gone it sure is a ponzi to keep it going.  

I keep hearing Limbaugh and the likes still squabling of whos fault is was, Dems or Repubs.  I will tell you whose fault it is.  It is the American public's.  Only 50% of all eligible voters bother to vote and they all think it is the other bum, not theirs that is creating the problems.  Congress is owned by Corps and Banks and we don't give a shit enought to have had them change it.  God help us now.  The only thing we have left is the military, which is the most trusted institution in America.  Lets hope they step in whith a coup, suround Congress and put them all in FEMA camps.  This country used to be the United States, it is now the Divied States and I think the Military should officially become the 3rd party in this inpenetrable corrupt 2 Party system.  Admr. Mike Mullins said the biggest threat to this country is the Debt, not terrorists.  I hope they (the Military) have contingency plans when the pols blow up this country.  I think we need a period of Military Rule with 1 responsible and respected party and at a future date we will try making this country a Republic again, where the Federal Govt serves at the states pleasure.   The only thing we need those 535 plus 1 knuckle heads is to provide National Security and 435 can coin money and control the purse strings, and then get the hell out of the way and let the states manage themselves.  These Pols have already bankrupted us and our children and we are going to lose our entire military when dollar crashes.  How are you going to keep troops on duty if the govt can not pay them.

As I understand it the states agreed to unify and create a republic, not a far reaching Federal Police State that is now 25% of our GDP.

A Utal state legislator is putting together a bill right now to make every state agency account for how much of their budgeit is comprised of Federal Funds.  They are doing this in the anticipation all the Federal Funds stop for some reason, it may be the reason that same state legislator introduced and had passed legislation where utah accepts Gold and Silver as currency.

Just one more point about the 17th amendment, they sold that piece of shit as greater direct democracy.  Before that state legislators selected a state's National Senator and could recall them anytime they didn't tow the state's interests.  Now we have a milionaires club, I think over 60% who are out of touch with the common people.

God help us.  The Hubris of the Nation has no parallel in History.


Tue, 09/20/2011 - 02:35 | 1687768 Aeonios
Aeonios's picture

Cliff: "The Hubris of the Nation has no parallel in History."

You must not read much history. Rome, during the beginning of the transition to Empire (when Octavius became the first Augustus), was just such a bread+circuses nation. In fact the Romans invented the term "bread and circuses" (panum et circenses). Also, your quaint suggestion that the military become the "third party" and "set everyone straight" was played out multiple times.

Following the assassination of Nero there was " The Year of Four Emporers" followed by a short lived dynasty, then the "Five Good Emporers" of the Nerva-Antoine dynasty with its relative peace and prosperity. Then after Marcus Aurelius there was "The Year of Five Emporers", which was followed by a largely incompetent and corrupt military dictatorship known as the Severan Dynasty, which quickly eroded as the currency was debased out of existence, leading into the long age of war which "ended" with the worst dictators that Rome ever saw.

Constantine in particular was a fine example of modern political hubris. He was the first to make groveling in his presence a fact of law, and was known for expanding government until there was practically one tax collecter for every 10 citizens. It really wasn't amazing or surprising that Rome was sacked during that period, by people who had formerly served as mercinaries for the Romans, no less.

Tue, 09/20/2011 - 02:39 | 1687776 Cliff Claven Cheers
Cliff Claven Cheers's picture

Thanks for the education, do you see any parallels?

Tue, 09/20/2011 - 09:55 | 1688482 flacon
flacon's picture

Social Security is not a Ponzi Scheme! It is FAR, FAR WORSE!

Tue, 09/20/2011 - 12:56 | 1689274 Cliff Claven Cheers
Cliff Claven Cheers's picture

I understand how SS works, the money I pay in is not mine.  But the point is we would be fine right now if the 2.6 trillion was actually setting in an account to spend.  It has been looted and now this adds more pressure to the federal budget when we least need it.

My true view is ssi makes us soft as a nation, most have put that in the back of their mind that it will be there when they retire so they don't save. 60% of Americans don't even have $1000.00 saved.  People would save half their income like they do in China where there are no social safety nets.  I think we should have some safety nets in place to assist those that truely need it as they are our fellow countrymen.

And my larger point is the politicians have bankrupted this nation, if it weren't for borrowing 40 cents on every dollar we would be insolvent.  When the lenders stop lending and we either collaspe in a deflationary death spiral or we print into an inflationary death spiral.  This is going to undermine the safety of our nation.  As I said he is going to pay for our national defense then?  The politicians have severly undermined our safety and as such since we have lost all our states rights I think the US military would be justified in developing a new transition government back to our basic roots. 

I can only dream.



Tue, 09/20/2011 - 11:57 | 1689012 Bananamerican
Bananamerican's picture

" It really wasn't amazing or surprising that Rome was sacked during that period, by people who had formerly served as mercinaries for the Romans, no less."

"do you see any parallels?"

U.S. Military: "se habla espanol"

Tue, 09/20/2011 - 03:03 | 1687801 FreedomGuy
FreedomGuy's picture

Actually SS trust fund raids started in the 60's. As for my tastes, I could argue too many people vote. These are the idiots who reelected Frank, Reid and Pelosi as we march happily toward the dawn of our statist future.

Tue, 09/20/2011 - 04:17 | 1687856 Silver Bully
Silver Bully's picture

I believe Lyndon johnson evaporated the Social Security Trust in 1968 when he and congress passed the Unified budget. Not Reagan. Remember, ol Johnson needed to pay for the War on Drugs, the War on Poverty, and the War in Vietnam. Wars on 3 fronts ain't cheap ya know.

Tue, 09/20/2011 - 08:23 | 1688140 Bicycle Repairman
Bicycle Repairman's picture

Start printing.

Tue, 09/20/2011 - 01:11 | 1687676 sun tzu
sun tzu's picture

You make perfect sense. The people on welfare are paying all the taxes. 

Tue, 09/20/2011 - 01:23 | 1687693 RockyRacoon
RockyRacoon's picture

And those on welfare are swelling ranks.   Wonder where all that money is going?   Hmmmm.....

Tue, 09/20/2011 - 08:31 | 1688163 Bicycle Repairman
Bicycle Repairman's picture

Whether it's official treasuries or SS's special "double secret" treasuries, it is debt and the government must find the money to pay off.  Traditionally the method is through taxation, so get ready to pay. 

If FedGov won't pay, then they are in default.  FedGov has lots of great assets to be attached in bankruptcy, so payment can be made no matter what.  A real benefit of a bankruptcy proceeding would be firing managment (535 guys) and reorganizing FedGov.

Tue, 09/20/2011 - 09:21 | 1688365 sdmjake
sdmjake's picture

"Traditionally the method is through taxation, so get ready to pay."

I'd say you are already are. The method being deployed is debasement of your currency. Inflate away the debt is the current strategy. Got Gold?

Mon, 09/19/2011 - 22:53 | 1687240 Do You Speak Greek
Do You Speak Greek's picture

I wonder what effect would raising the retirement age and the age at which benefits accrue by 5 years would have?? 

Any actuaries in da haus that can estimate??

Mon, 09/19/2011 - 23:32 | 1687379 mr. mirbach
mr. mirbach's picture

For those born after 1960 Social Security Full Entitlement starts at age 67. Maybe they should raise it to age 75.

Tue, 09/20/2011 - 00:14 | 1687560 Cole Younger
Cole Younger's picture

People need to just say no to social security and be able to opt out. Why send money to the government?

Tue, 09/20/2011 - 01:13 | 1687680 sun tzu
sun tzu's picture

You don't understand. The government is here to take care of you and help you make it through this tough life

Tue, 09/20/2011 - 08:39 | 1688188 Are you kidding
Are you kidding's picture

To keep people from dying in the don't want to see that.  I have no problem with government providing a minimum of care to the infirmed. the leeches...nothing.

Tue, 09/20/2011 - 07:20 | 1687990 Freewheelin Franklin
Freewheelin Franklin's picture

Because the government hates competition.

Tue, 09/20/2011 - 07:34 | 1688014 CH1
CH1's picture

Why send money to the government?

Because if you don't, armed men eventually show up and lock you in a cage.

Mon, 09/19/2011 - 23:48 | 1687451 FreedomGuy
FreedomGuy's picture

Raising the retirement age is one of the dumb ideas. No one is going to let you work at those ages unless you are self employed. Because of health you may not be able to. So your government guaranteed retirement will not kick in at retirement. Right now 401k's are being cashed in right and left so you will have a tsunami of people who have canabilized their savings, are too old to work at any significant income, and will be projected to collect less than they paid in...way less with inflation, etc.

The proper solution is to end or buy out the current system with enforceable private contracts (something the government doesn't have) or at least freeze payouts immediately until revenues match outlays. Raising the age breaks the contract and sets up yet another huge problem for those future generations. You know, that generation that is actually going to pay off the national debt, lol, lol, lol!

Tue, 09/20/2011 - 08:22 | 1688127 Bicycle Repairman
Bicycle Repairman's picture

"enforceable private contracts"

Do you mean private contracts with private insurers?  Do you mean the guys who would have disappeared in 2008, if not for the bailout that covered them as well?

Tue, 09/20/2011 - 12:11 | 1689071 FreedomGuy
FreedomGuy's picture

Yes, I mean those guys...and more. There is no guarantee in this life that any company will survive but you have better odds with insurers than the US government...or any government. When insurers go under their contracts are usually bought out by others. BTW, not all banks and insurers went under. By not letting the bad players go under we confused who the smarter and stronger players were...the ones smart enough not to get involved in CDO's and stupid credit swaps.

Government makes no enforceable contract, nothing it will or has to honor over time. Our SSec "reforms" are perfect evidence. Plus, we are all forced by law to keep participating. If you saw AIG was a dog you could take your money elsewhere. Not with government.


Mon, 09/19/2011 - 23:50 | 1687460 Lucky Guesst
Lucky Guesst's picture

High school would need extended to k-17 in order to keep the young adults busy while they are waiting for a job.

Tue, 09/20/2011 - 01:08 | 1687671 agNau
agNau's picture

If OB had any intelligence he would lower the age. Talk about some political firepower.
When OB care kicks in the number of recipients should drop dramatically!
Two problems solved.
What a pathetic herd of sheep is this countries citizenry.

Tue, 09/20/2011 - 10:29 | 1688175 Bicycle Repairman
Bicycle Repairman's picture

Adding a year or two would make the problem disappear entirely for the retirement fund.  Medicare is far more damaged and interestingly enough there seems to be no controversy about it.  To fix medicare, our health system would have to be drastically reformed.  The benefits of fixing our health care system would affect the entire economy and not just medicare.

Mon, 09/19/2011 - 22:58 | 1687243 caerus
caerus's picture

i told a couple of guys at the bar that ss was a ponzi last week and they immediately said that i sounded like perry...i told them that i thought perry was blowing smoke and trying to steal rp's thunder by spouting disingenuous faux libertarian talking may have been the booze but they left promising to vote for dr paul

Mon, 09/19/2011 - 23:04 | 1687265 Let them eat iPads
Let them eat iPads's picture

Saying you sound like Perry was uncalled for.

You should have forcibly vaccinated them with a syringe full of Worchestershire sauce to the nards in response.

Mon, 09/19/2011 - 23:09 | 1687282 caerus
caerus's picture

i must admit...i was momentarily insulted

Mon, 09/19/2011 - 23:21 | 1687332 ReadySteadyGo
ReadySteadyGo's picture

lol... That is funny shit.

Tue, 09/20/2011 - 05:09 | 1687897 OldTrooper
OldTrooper's picture

Well, there's a couple more votes for RP.  I'll buy a couple drinks too, for a few more votes.  Just like old-time campaigns!  That's cheaper than the $100 a week I've been doing for his campaign - and you get a nice buzz in the bargain.  I like it!

Mon, 09/19/2011 - 23:03 | 1687247 Dapper Dan
Dapper Dan's picture

Tuesday,  that's in like 12 hours, not enough time to complete the escape pod.

Reuters) - U.S. trade officials will announce a major trade enforcement action against China on Tuesday, according to a U.S. Trade Representative's office advisory obtained from a business group.

Did you reinforce the ramp?   No, we didn't have time.



Tue, 09/20/2011 - 02:31 | 1687766 Western
Western's picture

Did you say "reinforce the ramp?"

Tue, 09/20/2011 - 05:12 | 1687900 OldTrooper
OldTrooper's picture

Maybe America is a lost cause.  Idiocracy is here...just 500 years early.

Tue, 09/20/2011 - 07:38 | 1688018 CH1
CH1's picture

Americas is a lost cause, but not all Americans are.

There are good people here. We just need to ditch the system and do our own thing.

Tue, 09/20/2011 - 08:16 | 1688111 StychoKiller
StychoKiller's picture

Re-elect President Comacho! :>D

Mon, 09/19/2011 - 23:09 | 1687281 Hedgetard55
Hedgetard55's picture

As the cash flow deficit grows larger each year, the ever growing difference has to be made up by government borrowing, meaning the program morphs from a pure Ponzi to a hybrid - a Ponzi/wealth redistribution scheme, as more and more of it gets funded through regular taxes, and by the next three generations. Pwned.

Mon, 09/19/2011 - 23:56 | 1687488 FreedomGuy
FreedomGuy's picture

Actually, the unwillingness to pay for the ponzi end game will cause its downfall. At the end of the ponzi the perpetrator runs off with the money when it is unsustainable. The US government will do the same with a strategic default. The have spent the proceeds.

Mon, 09/19/2011 - 23:10 | 1687285 Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

  Prints like Gov. reinvestment.    Ex; spend 2 dollars to make 1.5 dollars.   (1) dollar becomes the treasury, and 1.5 dollars becomes { good will}...

   Lend 20% vs 1.5 dollars, and you have a ( Credit Default Swap).

Mon, 09/19/2011 - 23:10 | 1687286 Misean
Misean's picture

What's the interest on those intergovernment loan thingies. With this epic bond bubble, maybe they could tranch 'em and sell 'em.

Mon, 09/19/2011 - 23:11 | 1687287 Mike2756
Mike2756's picture

That's easy! Raise taxes to 18%!

Mon, 09/19/2011 - 23:11 | 1687291 goparra
goparra's picture

Have people seen this news story that a Chinese Bank has stopped trading FX Swaps with UBS, Soc Gen, Credit Agricole, and BNP?  Have not seen this on Zero Hedge yet.

Mon, 09/19/2011 - 23:12 | 1687292 Hulk
Hulk's picture

+ 400k+ fresh prints a week says we won't quite make it to 2100...

Mon, 09/19/2011 - 23:14 | 1687305 Mr Lennon Hendrix
Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

Luckily for the homeless, they don't tax recycled cans.

Mon, 09/19/2011 - 23:17 | 1687313 Mike2756
Mike2756's picture

Not yet...

Tue, 09/20/2011 - 00:35 | 1687619 malek
malek's picture

Outta touch with reality again?  ;-)

From California's 540-CA schedule

Beverage container recycling income. Enter in column B the amount of recycling income included in the amount on line 21 in column A.

It get's taxed as regular income.

Tue, 09/20/2011 - 06:04 | 1687933 nmewn
nmewn's picture

lol...this is where we've come to.

Someone doing what can be termed an act of community service (picking up litter/saving the planet/recycling...what-the fuck ever) is taxed for his effort.

Tue, 09/20/2011 - 05:22 | 1687905 OldTrooper
OldTrooper's picture

Don't give them any ideas.

But it does remind me of a family that collected cans from the dumpster at our barracks.  Some of the guys made fun of them for dumpster diving...I noticed that they had a brand new F-250.

Mon, 09/19/2011 - 23:18 | 1687319 Mike2756
Mon, 09/19/2011 - 23:20 | 1687325 Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

HULK!  YOU are smart!  YEN!!!

Mon, 09/19/2011 - 23:12 | 1687294 Mr Lennon Hendrix
Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

it is not a ponzi scheme in that it most certainly is not voluntary.

Like the fiat ponzi, until I learned I could cash in my doelarrs, and buy silver!  You can do it to, and make a shit tonne of cash!  And while you are at it, you can destroy the fascist system, crash JP Mporgan, and get some bling that the women love!


Mon, 09/19/2011 - 23:13 | 1687299 MethodMan
MethodMan's picture

"But yes: it is not a ponzi scheme in that it most certainly is not voluntary."

You can file for an exemption on religious grounds. Your friendly government bureaucracy will determine if your sect qualifies.

Mon, 09/19/2011 - 23:51 | 1687461's picture

I'm an apostle of Saint Paul 2012. Does that qualify?

Tue, 09/20/2011 - 05:28 | 1687912 OldTrooper
OldTrooper's picture

Only if he wins.

Tue, 09/20/2011 - 05:30 | 1687914 OldTrooper
OldTrooper's picture


Mon, 09/19/2011 - 23:20 | 1687323 chump666
chump666's picture

ZH hedge, you seeing on wires a Chinese bank pulling FX swaps from EZ banks?  Just caught it then...

I'm thinking Greece will get the shove soon

Mon, 09/19/2011 - 23:32 | 1687383 Captn Morgan
Captn Morgan's picture

Who wants that shit basket washing up on thier shores?



Drink responsibly


Tue, 09/20/2011 - 01:02 | 1687656 Bear
Bear's picture

Greece ... An Obama shovel-ready project

Mon, 09/19/2011 - 23:20 | 1687328 dwdollar
dwdollar's picture

On an infinite world with infinite resources, a population growing exponentially forever, and a political class who behave like adults and not children, Social Security might work. Anything less than that is a failed system, sooner or later. I"m sorry if some of you payed in your whole life, but you shouldn't force a system that is clearly broken down the throats of a generation who can't support it.

Mon, 09/19/2011 - 23:28 | 1687361 Manthong
Manthong's picture

Now if we could just get Geithner to say that there is "no chance" SS depends on an ever increasing number of people paying into it than people receiving payments to stay solvent, we could put that bothersome Ponzi comparison to rest. 

Mon, 09/19/2011 - 23:36 | 1687399 Captn Morgan
Captn Morgan's picture

If someone would stangle timmay like timmay has strangled us, we could put timmay to rest.



Drink like a lush

Tue, 09/20/2011 - 05:33 | 1687915 OldTrooper
OldTrooper's picture


Tue, 09/20/2011 - 00:04 | 1687493 poor fella
poor fella's picture

Hey now, someone (Birinyi)ed expenses; so, if we stick to (Birinyi)ed markets - let's put all SS funds into ETFs.

There, fixed.

And while we're at it - let's see what we can do about that national debt (might take a whole lotta AAPL).

Mon, 09/19/2011 - 23:59 | 1687497 Dingleberry
Dingleberry's picture

Give me all my contributions back in gold-adjusted dollars, and we'll call it even.

Tue, 09/20/2011 - 00:05 | 1687523 zorba THE GREEK
zorba THE GREEK's picture

We are now collecting $3000 Per month, my wife and I, after paying in for nearly 50 years. I thought it was a retirement plan.

I wasn't aware that the money we had been paying in all these years had been stolen by thieves. Why haven't the thieves been

brought to justice? I say we hang all politicians and let God sort them out. (that is with the exception of the Paul family)

Tue, 09/20/2011 - 00:13 | 1687553 DalaiLamaInAShark
DalaiLamaInAShark's picture

This is a waste of time... big deal, the program includes a cash flow scheme, similar to pyramids and ponzis.  That is necessary but not sufficient for equivalence.  It simply is what it is.  And, it needs to be tweaked to remain solvent.

Tue, 09/20/2011 - 00:18 | 1687575 dwdollar
dwdollar's picture

Haha... a ponzi is a ponzi except when it isn't?

Tue, 09/20/2011 - 00:22 | 1687588 DalaiLamaInAShark
DalaiLamaInAShark's picture

Bingo.  Not a Ponzi - No individual accounts.  Not a pyramid - no reward for recruiting.  It simply is what it is.  Don't get me wrong, it's ugly.  But, it is what it is.

Tue, 09/20/2011 - 00:22 | 1687591 DalaiLamaInAShark
DalaiLamaInAShark's picture

Bingo.  Not a Ponzi - No individual accounts.  Not a pyramid - no reward for recruiting.  It simply is what it is.  Don't get me wrong, it's ugly.  But, it is what it is.

Tue, 09/20/2011 - 00:22 | 1687593 DalaiLamaInAShark
DalaiLamaInAShark's picture

Bingo.  Not a Ponzi - No individual accounts.  Not a pyramid - no reward for recruiting.  It simply is what it is.  Don't get me wrong, it's ugly.  But, it is what it is.

Tue, 09/20/2011 - 00:25 | 1687598 DalaiLamaInAShark
DalaiLamaInAShark's picture

Ha!... sorry... bad connection.

Tue, 09/20/2011 - 04:24 | 1687860 Silver Bully
Silver Bully's picture

Jane, you ignorant slut.

How can it be a ponzi when everyone MUST pay into SS? A ponzi must be voluntary to be a ponzi! Because the government simply does not fall for pyramid schemes. Oh no sir. Nu-uh. No ponzi for joo. You have to be in the Pentagon to qualify for that benefit.

Tue, 09/20/2011 - 00:55 | 1687646 jmc8888
jmc8888's picture

ROFL, there is no such thing as an accurate projection, especially in ponzi world.  All of these projections for 10 years or more, let alone almost a hundred are completely useless.

We live in moneatry world, aka bullshit economics, and with the system collapsing, everything else does.

It both has ponzi aspects, and doesn't.  You can't call it a ponzi, because it isn't.  You can't say it doesn't have ponzi aspects, because it does.  Wine isn't beer, even if both gets you drunk. Or better yet, fermented grapes isn't wine, but it's possible both can get you drunk, eventually. 

It is a sustainable system more or less when the monetary (monetarism) ponzi (which shouldn't be in place) isn't collapsing.  Even if it is, and IT IS, the social security system is set up better than anything else on this planet.  Social security is looking bad in forward projections....but compare those forward idiot projections with the quintillions in printing that need to go on to keep the monetary ponzi going. (need being for the idiot status quo anti-american system to keep going).

Without social security, we WOULD be back to the past where most old people were destitute, and shit out of luck.  There is no 'market' way about it. 

With a functioning American Credit System, or even a fucktard moneatry system not eating it's children alive, social security would be fine.  But since we are in a fucktard monetary system, which is currently imploding (or exploding) then yes, it's looking quite bad, except in comparison to EVERYTHING ELSE. 

What's great about social security, is unlike what fucktard anti-american Austrian monetary school of non-thought dogma teaches you, is that old people are covered AND it is paid for by a strong physical economy that is built through private business on a platform foundation given to it by gov't to succeed....AND people have an opportunity to invest in whatever they want or simply save...or both. 

Under the Austrian school, everybody must save, yet the unavoidable consequences of life is not everybody is paid much, meaning as always, a huge proportion will never be able to save squat, and those people, will be completely screwed without social security.  If you don't have anything to save now, how are you supposed to make it after 65?  Lots of idiotic people seem to think, though shit, which is about as idiotic as anything Paul idiot Krugman would say. 

I won't list all the ways social security ISN"T a ponzi, just like I won't list all the ways it resembles a ponzi.  But we need to have 'catch phrase' bullshit rather than reality I guess.  Calling this a ponzi is saying any alcohol is beer.  It isn't.  Everclear isn't Utah Domestic beer.

It's incorrect to call it a ponzi, just like it is incorrect to call it nothing like a ponzi.  It is a separate definition, and thus any linkages saying it IS or it ISN'T is WRONG.  You need a NEW name, and the differences must be realized.  Is it sustainable under normal conditions? Yes. That's what matters.  Given outside influences based on fraud don't impact it, will it collapse? Nope.  It's the fraudulent system CRACKING social security...and doing it far slower than everything else around us.  Yet we like to point at THIS?

So while the monetary system is the house burning down, lots of people are focusing on why the rain is coming through the roof...whose holes were created by the fire...and say focus on that? 

This is a bogus distraction, because social security even as everything is rigged against it in this fucktard monetary system will last far longer THAN the fucktard monetary system.  When the fucktard monetary system is replaced, social security will not be a problem. It will be easily fixable, if it doesn't fix itself by better jobs, and better wages, in a less inflationary/diluting environment. 

Cause and effect.  The cause is the fucktard monetary system, the effect is everything collapses..including...but much more security. 

Wake up people, this is one of the last things needing to be talked about, since it is wholly predicated on our fucktard monetary system. 

Is it the car's fault that you got into an accident or the fucktard decision to drive it after 12 beers? 

The situation social security is in is caused by #1 our fucktard monetary system.  #2-100? Same.  #101 Demographics.  That's reality.

We need to focus on REAL issues.  Not change a system because the fucktard monetary system created a problem where it didn't exist before, and assume by fixing the effect, the cause will remedy itself.   Bass Ackwards thinking won't solve our problems.

Destroying the monetary system will.  (when replaced by the infintely better American Credit System...ya know the one Hamilton gave us)

This shit ain't very hard.  Social Security is the effect, focusing on the cause is much more prudent than ditching a system because of it's effects, or saying we must because Wine is Beer and effects influences causes....using inherently flawed 100 year asinine forward projections based on bullshit that have a worse shot of being anything resembling true than Greece having a surplus this year.

Glass-Steagall, not more bullshit sophistry.

Tue, 09/20/2011 - 02:16 | 1687748 Cliff Claven Cheers
Cliff Claven Cheers's picture

Nice Rant, but too little too late. My friend the US is like Big Ugly Turd circling in the bowl, it at the precipice, one more swirl and its down the hole.

Tue, 09/20/2011 - 08:06 | 1688080 twotraps
twotraps's picture

jmc8888 and cliff claven cheers.......both have great points although I'm not sure about bringing in the military, unless you are just making a point, and I'm not sure we should throw the Austrians under the bus entirely, they seem to balance the rest of the supposed economic bullshit prevailing today.  

Social Security came into law with a retirement age of 65 and a life expectency of 60.  Even for a couple of drunken politicians its easy to vote for.  So, life expectancy is what?   80....84.5?    Is it the cars fault we had a crash?   Is it really the fault of the rich?  Funny how its Class Warfare bla bla bla  but the politicians make it really go, they vote on shit, raise their own pay/benefits, vote on more shit, allow tax protection for corporations and ultra-rich people, HAVE ABSOLUTELY NO CONSEQUENCES FOR THEIR ACTIONS, and here we still sit...........just as bad as the other guy watching Idol, distracted with class warfare while the politicians steal the show, pun intended.

Tue, 09/20/2011 - 13:02 | 1689306 Cliff Claven Cheers
Cliff Claven Cheers's picture

"but the politicians make it really go, they vote on shit, raise their own pay/benefits, vote on more shit, allow tax protection for corporations and ultra-rich people, HAVE ABSOLUTELY NO CONSEQUENCES FOR THEIR ACTIONS, and here we still sit"

***We either get organized back at the state level and start reclaiming our constitutional states rights back.  If we can't fight them and think we can't as they have grown to stronge, then in the interest of restoring law and order I think a police state is warrented albeit with good intentions for our nation, not as a third world grab for power.***

Tue, 09/20/2011 - 01:06 | 1687667 newbee
newbee's picture

Charles Krauthammer had a great editorial on this that makes a lot of sense.  Yes, SS is a ponzi, and yes it can and should be saved w/o breaking the bank.

Tue, 09/20/2011 - 01:26 | 1687696 bankruptcylawyer
bankruptcylawyer's picture

i've developed graphobia. graphs are what got us into this mess, and they are NOT what is going to get us out. 

i'll read about the assumptions behind social security as stated through english sentences that are non-pictoral or graphical in nature. once that happens then i can begin trusting the dialogue of fixing problems again. until then, i distrust even the cynical stats! ( the medium is the message sort of thing ) 

Tue, 09/20/2011 - 02:37 | 1687772 Lord Koos
Lord Koos's picture

The imbalance of SS could be fixed with a few tweaks, however the political will on the far right seems to be more interested in demolishing the entire program. Apparently many are looking forward to seeing elderly Americans begging on the streets.

Tue, 09/20/2011 - 04:50 | 1687884 Silver Bully
Silver Bully's picture

Here's a little history on how much of a ponzi this has been from the get-go, about the very first monthly payment recipient for SS.

'The first monthly payment was issued on January 31, 1940 to Ida May Fuller of Ludlow, Vermont. In 1937, 1938 and 1939 she paid a total of $24.75 into the Social Security System. Her first check was for $22.54. After her second check, Fuller already had received more than she contributed over the three-year period. She lived to be 100 and collected a total of $22,888.92'

We have had this stupid system going since 1937.

Oh, and if you think you have a RIGHT to that money, think again:

'The Supreme Court has established that no one has any legal right to Social Security benefits. The Court decided, in Flemming vs Nestor (1960), that "entitlement to Social Security benefits is not a contractual right".'

Further on that case:

'Termination of appellee's benefits under 202 (n) does not amount to punishing him without a trial, in violation of Art. III, 2, cl. 3, of the Constitution or the Sixth Amendment; nor is 202 (n) a bill of attainder or ex post facto law, since its purpose is not punitive.'

Got that? You don't have a right to it, Congress can take it away at any time, and yet you are required to pay into it.


Here are some raw numbers by decade:


Year – Beneficiaries – Dollars

1940 – 222,488 – $35,000,000

1950 – 3,477,243 – $961,000,000

1960 – 14,844,589 – $11,245,000,000

1970 – 26,228,629 – $31,863,000,000

1980 – 35,584,955 – $120,511,000,000

1990 – 39,832,125 – $247,796,000,000

2000 – 45,414,794 – $407,644,000,000

2008 – 50,898,244 – $615,344,000,000

So we should be pushing $2 trillion by 2020?


Tue, 09/20/2011 - 08:13 | 1688102 twotraps
twotraps's picture

great perspective, thank you

Tue, 09/20/2011 - 10:47 | 1688699 Bastiat
Bastiat's picture

Your 100 y/o lady getting in at the inception of SS illustrates the point that SS is more like insurance than a trust fund--ie. the full benefit pays regardless of the amount paid in.  But it is not representative.

How about a counter example of someone who works for 50 years and dies months after retiring? 

Also it is not a ponzi, it is more like an underfunded, fraudulent insurance program.

If we still have "dollars" in 2020 I think $2 trillion will be less than the $615 bln of 2008.

Tue, 09/20/2011 - 05:27 | 1687911 cranky-old-geezer
cranky-old-geezer's picture



SS isn't a pyramid nor ponzi any more than any other welfare program is.

SS used to be unique because excess FICA collections were invested to help fund future payouts, much like a corporate pension fund. Future solvency projections depended on returns from investment just like a corporate pension fund does.

Somewhere along the way congress decided to take those excess invested FICA collections and the ongoing excess FICA collections out of the so-called "trust fund", leaving it more or less empty, and spend that money in general government operations.

Technically they put IOUs back in the "trust fund", in the form of Treasuries, which now are yielding about 2% or less, far below the investment return needed to keep SS solvent into the future, just like taking all the invested assets out of a corporate pension fund and replacing them with Treasuries yielding 2% would destroy future solvency of that corporate pension fund.

So technically SS is still unique in that a special dedicated tax, FICA, funds it, whereas other welfare programs are funded out of general tax collections, and excess FICA collections end up as Treasuries in the so-called "trust fund" ..when there are excess FICA collections ...which there aren't any more ...partly because the intended investment returns to help fund payouts aren't there anymore.

But in a practical sense SS is no longer unique because payouts are exceeding FICA collections + the miniscule return on a so-called "trust fund" full of Treasuries yielding 2%, meaning the so-called "trust fund" is rapidly being drawn down and will soon be empty.

At that point SS becomes just like any other welfare program funded out of tax collections. Technically FICA will still be a dedicated tax but FICA collections won't cover payouts, requiring money to be taken from general tax collections to make up the shortfall.

Then enters the problem of millions of jobs being sent overseas where there is no FICA collection on those wages, putting SS cashflow further in the red, requiring even more funding from general tax collections.

At that point SS becomes a major bleed on the federal budget, and highly subject to deficit-cutting efforts ...particularly in the current view that bank bailouts and military spending (on useless wars) are more important than taking care of senior citizens, i.e. Wall Street and MIC are more important than Main Street.

Tue, 09/20/2011 - 08:26 | 1688152 espirit
espirit's picture

Would  a $35 Billion deposit help SS?  Perhaps multinational corporations would repatriate the $1 Trillion in profits to US at the current 35% tax rate which could offset treasury IOU's.

Oh no that won't work, too many want a slice of that pie. 

Tue, 09/20/2011 - 07:05 | 1687979 TruthHunter
TruthHunter's picture

These predictions about Social Security are based on actuarial assumptions that

don't include our enemies perfecting Biological agents.  Fortunately, El Quaida has

been too dum to send it recruits to school, but other enemies aren't.

The Chinese have made noises about attacking us if they have severe unrest due to

an economic downturn.  They wouldn't dare enter a nuclear exchange, but could be

crazy enough to send us a Christmas present of contaminated toys etc

Tue, 09/20/2011 - 07:32 | 1688007 cranky-old-geezer
cranky-old-geezer's picture



Just keep on hunting for the truth you fucking moron, because you haven't displayed any here, just a bunch of bullshit.

Tue, 09/20/2011 - 07:34 | 1688012 msmith
msmith's picture
CL may of had an important top put in last friday. It retraced higher a bit overnight. A possible setup for lower price levels to come  Oil could be acting a a leading indicator for equities.
Tue, 09/20/2011 - 08:44 | 1688209 Bicycle Repairman
Bicycle Repairman's picture

FedGov wastes a lot of money on a lot of things that given a choice the people wouldn't fund.  FedGov as a whole is a ponzi by the definition given here.  Why is it that the SS retirement fund is brought up for elimination?  Even medicare gets a pass.  We have money for medicare schedule D and obamacare (not to mention bankster bailouts and MIC), but nothing for retirement income ?


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