Since 1935, the United States government has been operating a program that would be illegal if run by a private citizen or company — tarred as a fraudulent Ponzi scheme. Social Security, a scheme both impractical and immoral, is a smear on America’s principles of free enterprise. To defend the liberties which have enabled our country to prosper, we Americans must unite with a clear voice and end Social Security.

In 1920, Charles Ponzi devised a scheme by which he promised to return a fifty-percent profit on investors’ money in forty-five days. Of course, this was not actually possible, and the returns on investments came from money Ponzi was receiving from new clients. It was an obvious con game, and his scheme eventually landed Ponzi in jail. The idea has borne his name ever since.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt started a similar program in 1935; he called it Social Security. Most people do not realize this because of the common misconception that a person’s Social Security taxes go directly into his or her own retirement fund. The truth is that Social Security is a “pay as you go” system, i.e., the benefits paid to retirees from the program come directly from taxes collected that same year. Any surplus funds are disbursed as a government slush fund. The U.S. government took Ponzi’s plan, magnified it, and backed it with the muscle of law: just as Ponzi paid old investors with the money coming from new investors, the government pays off retired workers with money taxed from young workers.

As a Ponzi scheme, Social Security cannot last forever. When it finally does self-destruct, all the money paid in taxes will be lost. Around 2010, the Baby Boom generation will begin to retire and the working population will be shrinking. The program will be in the red by 2025, still supporting millions of boomers and putting an intolerable strain on those of us who are still working. People starting their careers now have no hope of collecting the money they will pay in Social Security taxes. The program will accumulate a deficit of $3.1 trillion over the following seventy years, crashing under the weight of its own fraudulent nature. Baby boomers’ children will then be cut off from their past “contributions” to the program. This program would be contemptible if it was privately run and participation was voluntary. How much worse is it, then, as a government project in which tax money is collected under threat of force?

More importantly, as a Ponzi scheme forced upon the people it defrauds, Social Security violates every American’s property rights. Tax payment is certainly not optional; a jail sentence is the stick the government wields to force remittance from the person refusing to surrender his money to the income tax collector. This is an initiation of force, a fact that cannot be washed away regardless of what the government does with the stolen money. A thug who mugs people in the park but then gives his loot to the poor is still a thief violating people’s rights. No matter what sound bites or false claims the government uses to rationalize Social Security, its essential nature remains unchanged. It is a fraudulent Ponzi scheme that is coercively imposed on all of its victims.

Social Security has been a leech on the wallets of Americans for over sixty years. As citizens of the freest nation on Earth, we should be outraged that we have been defrauded for so long. To defend the freedoms guaranteed to us by the Founding Fathers, we must raise our voices to those who lead us: “End Social Security now!”