Chris Matthews’ Social Security admission: ‘It is a Ponzi scheme’

Betcha didn’t see this one coming.

On MSNBC’s Thursday broadcast of “Hardball,” host Chris Matthews committed the mortal sin — he nearly parroted the theory that mortified so many of the network’s hosts and guests throughout the day. Matthews called Social Security “a Ponzi scheme” the day after Republican Texas Gov. Rick Perry doubled down on his previous statements echoing that sentiment in the Republican debate  (h/t Matt Lewis)

Matthews first put forth what he thought Social Security was originally intended to be: “You pay for it while you work. When you retired and have no other form of income, this will help you out. In fact, a lot were impoverished in the old days without Social Security. It’s a great anti-poverty program. But then people started to live past 65. Even the great Franklin Roosevelt didn’t make it to 65. In those days, if you made it to 65, you were lucky. You got a few bucks on Social Security.” (RELATED: Has Chris Matthews lost his mind?)

Then he put forth what it has become: “Today, lots of people fortunately make it past 65,” he said. “They live into their 80s and 90s. They’re still getting checks. The system doesn’t work that way anymore. It’s not as healthy as it once was. So, how does a Republican deal with the fact it is a Ponzi scheme in the sense that the money that’s paid out every day is coming from people who have paid in that day. It’s not being made somewhere.”

Todd Harris, Matthews’ guest and a Republican strategist agreed. “That’s absolutely right,” Harris said. “And you will never get back the amount of money that you paid into it under its current structures.”

“Certainly, poor people did pretty well,” Matthews replied. “That’s the idea.”

  • Abezieff

    The plain fact is that President Johnson made Social Security into a Ponzi scheme by confiscating the surplus in 1963,i believe. It was the only Govt program that ever created a surplus in our history. had President Johnson invested 50% of that money in Divedend paying companies. we would now haveenough to fund Medicar, Social security and even medicaid. So now you know the rest of the story

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  • ConservativeCorporatism

    its being slush funded and was double dipped by both bush sr and bush jr for war funding purposes. then later never replenished , as should only be allowed to be a stand alone funded program by and for the ppl, republikkkraps get in they will get rid of ss, medicare, gut the constitution to implement corporate abuse upon the ppl and to secede from the union…  to prevent const protections for the ppl. to be bypassed with big gop govt role of abuse of power and profiteering…  all red states have state taxes,  duh.  figure it out.

  • http://musingsandobversations.blogspot.com/ Conor

    why are we focusing on the Chris Matthews and what he said
    instead of having an honest debate about the health of social security… shouldn’t that be the focus of the debate

  • Defending Our Republic

    Actually, Matthews didn’t say that. Did you hear all of his comments? 

    Matthews fully supports maintaining Social Security indefinitely into the future. So what are you talking about. 

    Ponzi scheme?!?!? What do you call the trillion plus we throw down the toilet every year for the Pentagon and the Bush/Cheney created “Homeland Security” boondoggle?

    • http://wsau.com/ bobfrommosinee

      Constitutional…….One of the enumerated powers, Article I, section 8 of the US Constitution, 

      The Congress shall have Power To;

      To constitute Tribunals inferior to the supreme Court;
      To define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas, and
      Offenses against the Law of Nations;
      To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules
      concerning Captures on Land and Water;
      To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall
      be for a longer Term than two Years;
      To provide and maintain a Navy;
      To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval
      To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union,
      suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;
      To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for
      governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United
      States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers,
      and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed
      by Congress;To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into
      Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution
      in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer

    • thephranc

      Why do you see a need to be so intellectually dishonest?

    • bigsigh

      Liberals have so much trouble with focus.  We are talking about SS. 

  • http://wsau.com/ bobfrommosinee

    Well lets read what the U.s. Surpeme Court had to say about Social Security and any right of the Citizen to that money;

    The U.S. Supreme Court decided this in 1960 in the case of Fleming v. Nestor;

     Bulgarian immigrant Ephram Nestor was deported in 1956 for being a Communist in
    the 1930s. After Congress prohibited Social Security benefits for deportees in
    1954, Nestor sued. He claimed title to his FICA tax payments between 1936 and
    1955, the year he retired. The Supreme Court disagreed: “To engraft upon the
    Social Security system a concept of ‘accrued property rights’ would deprive it
    of the flexibility and boldness in adjustment to ever-changing conditions which
    it demands.”

    The Court added: 

    “It is apparent that the non-contractual interest of an
    employee covered by the [Social Security] Act cannot be soundly analogized to
    that of the holder of an annuity, whose right to benefits is bottomed on his
    contractual premium payments.”

    In Helvering v. Davis. In 1937, it ruled: “The proceeds of both the employee and
    employer [Social Security] taxes are to be paid into the Treasury like any other
    internal revenue generally, and are not earmarked in any way.”

    Time after time congresses and presidents have raised Social Security taxes at least 40
    times since the program commenced in 1935, when ever they needed money to ballence budgets, 
    Social Security funds do not belong to individual workers and entrepreneurs.
    This money is the property of Washington politicians and they may do with it
    whatever they please.