There is a common argument against Social Security that I addressed in another thread elsewhere and decided to reproduce here:
"If your parents and grandparents invested the money they put into SS into conservative funds they would have three times the income when they retired"
You could say the same about your welfare taxes, and it would be just as irrelvant. SS isn't an investment program or a pension, so it is inappropriate to compare it to them. It is a form of social insurance, a welfare program for old people if you like. As welfare programs go, its one of the more defensible. After all, we all get old, and those that don't aren't in a position to complain.
The comparison of social security with ponzi schemes is ignorant, and those who claim knowledge of actuarial science says otherwise are bloviating out of their bungholes. The very fact that we actuaries (ACAS, MAAA, 1994) study SS and attempt (succesfully to date) to keep it solvent proves its not a ponzi scheme, since one of the things that make ponzi schemes what they are is a complete disregard for the solvency of the program. They begin with a business plan certain to fail. That is simply not true of SS.
Now it is true that many politicians talk about SS as if it were a pension plan (if they say "trust fund", turn your skepticism way up), and we should all be more vigilent in holding their feet to the fire for doing so. But, with apologies to Quentin Tarantino and Samuel Jackson, that's not remotely the same thing as a ponzi-guy like Madoff lying to investors. It's not in the same ballpark, its not the same leage, it's not even the same fucking sport. The sport here is people ideologically predisposed to oppose government programs grasping at straws to attack social security.
SS paid a group of retirees the moment it was created. No ponzi scheme ever did that.