Conservative Radio Host Joins Coffman in Calling Social Security a “Ponzi Scheme”

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Rep. Mike Coffman (R).

Conservative talk-radio host Ross Kaminsky dredged up an old conversation Tuesday, saying Social Security is “clearly” a “Ponzi scheme” and a “fraud.”

To his credit, Kaminsky didn’t just proclaim the 80-year-old program a “Ponzi scheme” and move on. Instead, he had a six-minute debate with Max Richtman, director of the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare. Listen here..

A search of Colorado politicians who agree with Kaminsky that Social Security is a Ponzi Scheme revealed U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman (R-CO), who told a radio host a few years back that Social Security is “obviously” a “Ponzi scheme.”

In fact, a Ponzi scheme is defined as an “investment swindle in which supposed profits are paid to early investors from money actually invested by later participants.” Maybe that’s what Social Security sounds like to people who think government shouldn’t collect taxes and devise programs to help people, because the program relies on the ongoing collection of Social Security taxes.

But if you’re ok with basic taxation for the benefit of yourself and others, you probably understand that Social Security is no swindle, but actually a successful government-run retirement system based on a funding formula that’s worked, with rational adjustments, for 80 years.

Asked about his Ponzi-scheme comment later, Coffman told Fox 31 Denver’s Ron Zappolo:

Zappolo: You are never afraid to say controversial things.

Coffman: It’s true.

Zappolo: I’ll give you just a couple. You went on somewhere the other day and said that Social Security is a Ponzi scheme. You’ve also talked about how all ballots should be in English. Correct?

Coffman: Right.

Zappolo: Do you ever think about, as a politician, some of these things, I might be better off steering away from?

Coffman: You know, no. [smiles] My staff wishes I would. [laughs]

Zappolo: The honesty comes out. [laughs]

Coffman: But I don’t. The thing with Social Security. I think it is, although I agreed with Ponzi.

Zappolo: You scared people in your district who are 65 and over.

“Social Security is social insurance,” said Richtman Kaminsky, who’s the morning host on Denver’s KHOW 630-AM. “You need to try to wrap your head around that, Ross. Social Security is a program of insurance for families. Social Security pays old-age survivor and disability benefits. A third of Social Security benefits goes to non-retired workers, spouses, survivors, disabled, children. About 3 million children get by because of Social Security. So this is insurance for families. [With Social Security,] you are buying insurance in the event that something happens to your framily and to have some modicum of decent living when you do retire.”

“Insurance is a contract,” countered Kaminsky. “You don’t have any contract with the government. They could change this. The only thing that’s keeping them from changing it, ending it, whatever, is political realities, which political realities, which is better than nothing I suppose.”


11 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. mamajama55mamajama55 says:

    Add a "to" between Richtmann and Kaminsky in the next to last paragraph, Jason, and it will make better sense.

    Calling Crowe campaign: Please make ads nailing Mike Coffman on his “Social Security is a Ponzi scheme” remarks.

    • DavieDavie says:

      Great articles — this pretty much sums it up:

      Donald Trump’s presidential record is just like his actual business record: exploiting the hopes and fears of Americans by promising huge rewards, without any practical plan for delivering them. It’s a political Ponzi scheme.

      Mike Coffman has drunk the Trump juice too.

  2. spaceman65 says:

    Coffman demonstrating his stupidity yet again, (1) not knowing what a Ponzi scheme actually is, and (2) not understanding that the right to vote is a fundamental constitutional right–like the second amendment, only without guns.

  3. ElliotFladenElliotFladen says:

    Of course it is a Ponzi scheme.  This is a silly article

    • PseudonymousPseudonymous says:

      You don’t understand either Social Security or Ponzi schemes, or you’re just plain lying.  You usually apply your politics to issues in much more interesting and enlightening ways on this site, at least that’s my impression.  Shame to see your dogma intrude.

  4. papapajama says:

    No one need have any illusions that when confronted with facts, you'll change your mind. However, by definition, a Ponzi Scheme is a "form of fraud in which a purported businessman lures investors and pays profits to earlier investors using funds obtained from newer investors." Social security, on the other hand, is enshrined in Article 22 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. How you can compare the two is indicative of your ignorance of the two subjects.

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