Government’s Ponzi Scheme Beats Madoff 1000x December 18, 2008Posted by John in Technology.
Tags: Bernie Madoff, Financial Crisis, Ponzi scheme
By Anton Walhman
By now we have heard about Bernie Madoff’s $50 billion Ponzi scheme,
where the life savings of at least hundreds of people – perhaps
thousands – went up in smoke. We are all being told that this
represents the biggest Ponzi scheme of all time, by a wide margin.
Wrong. Madoff’s Ponzi scheme isn’t even close to the biggest one ever,
by far. The biggest Ponzi scheme is one in which we are all victims,
to the tune of close to $50 trillion – not billion. It’s the unfunded
liabilities of the US Federal Government, particularly Medicare and
How does it add up to $50 trillion? In a classical Ponzi scheme, the
government has promised pay-outs of monies under the guise of “Social
Security” and “Medicare” (among the two largest schemes) for whom
taxpayers will be on the hook in the future. What about the Social
Security “trust fund?” It consists primarily of IOUs denominated in
government bonds, to be paid for by future taxpayers. Madoff would
only have been so proud to be in charge of this giant scheme.
There are just over 100 million households in the US, although only
approximately half of Americans are significant Federal income
taxpayers. What that means is that some 50 million Federal income
taxpayers could be the ones carrying the burden of funding this $50
trillion Ponzi scheme. That’s $1 million per taxpayer, folks. If the
government expands the tax base to 100 million people, it’s $500,000
per person. That’s the average net worth of all Americans. Everything
we own is spoken for in the government’s $50 trillion Ponzi scheme.
What’s the bottom line? Sure Bernie Madoff is a giant crook, but even
this giant pales in comparison to the Ponzi scheme in which we are all
victims to the tune of anywhere from $500,000 to $1m each. One can
also suspect that this number will increase further, because the
government may be expanding its activities into further areas of
society, including health care, the banking system, industries such as
automobiles, and so forth. Are you enjoying the service you receive at
The Post Office? At your airport’s TSA station? Then you will
increasingly love the world of entitlement socialism, built on these
giant Ponzi schemes.
There are many things of which we can be critical of President George
W. Bush, such as the new Medicare Ponzi scheme, the bailout mania, the
general insane increase in government spending (all with massive
Democrat support in Congress). However, for what it’s worth, President
Bush warned against, and tried to do something about, two of the
biggest problems of all time: He tried to (1) Put the lid on the
corrupt Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that led to the mortgage crisis,
and (2) Convert Social Security from a Ponzi scheme to a private
401(k)-style savings account. In future years, historians will look
back at those who opposed President Bush’s reform proposals in those
two areas, in the same way we are now looking at Bernie Madoff, except
this Ponzi scheme is 1000x larger.