To Andrew Sullivan's readers, who weigh in on the accusation that Social Security is a Ponzi scheme. Several excellent comments. It's also what I wrote about, in a less explanatory and more mocking way, over at Greg's place yesterday.
Very simple: anyone who says that Social Security is a Ponzi scheme either misunderstands Social Security, misunderstands Ponzi schemes, is deliberately lying, or some combination of those.
In my view, saying that Social Security is a Ponzi scheme is a more awful thing to say than Romney's "corporations are people" thing or Perry's "pretty ugly" comment, although it's not far from Perry's accusation that Ben Bernanke would be committing treason if he tried improve the economy over the next year. After all, a Ponzi scheme is a deliberate fraud. Saying that Social Security is financed like a Ponzi scheme is factually wrong, but saying that Social Security is a Ponzi scheme or is like a Ponzi scheme is basically a false accusation of fraud against the US government and the politicians who have supported Social Security over the years.