The "right-wing media" are pushing the "falsehood that Social Security is a Ponzi scheme," Soros' Media Matters complains. "In fact, experts agree that Social Security's 'structure, logic, and mode of operation have nothing in common with Ponzi schemes.'" (emphasis mine)
Hmm. That sounds pretty authoritative. I wonder who these "experts" are...
A simple Google search later, I had my answer -- the Social Security Administration:
Apparently worried people could somehow confuse Social Security with a Ponzi scheme, the Social Security Administration conveniently provides a little background on the historical context of Ponzi schemes, including the problems with Ponzi schemes and the perils of chain letters and pyramid schemes -- all very handy stuff coincidentally posted to the SSA.gov website in January 2009, the same month President Obama took office.
So what do Social Security and Ponzi schemes have in common? According to the Social Security Administration, absolutely nothing (emphasis mine):
Social Security is and always has been either a "pay-as-you-go" system or one that was partially advance-funded. Its structure, logic, and mode of operation have nothing in common with Ponzi schemes or chain letters or pyramid schemes.
The first modern social insurance program began in Germany in 1889 and has been in continuous operation for more than 100 years. The American Social Security system has been in continuous successful operation since 1935. Charles Ponzi's scheme lasted barely 200 days.
There you have it -- Social Security isn't a Ponzi scheme, it's just "modern social insurance." If only Bernie Madoff had been this clever with his words, he may have avoided jail time.
Sorry, Media Matters -- even Chris Matthews admits it's a Ponzi scheme (h/t Hot Air):