Andrew Nenow is a wine and viticulture sophomore and Mustang Daily conservative columnist.

Hello to the year 2011; a year that may prove to be a major turn-around year for the American economy. It may also be a year of substantial change for the United States government, whether it is for better or for worse.

The truth is the United States government is at a breaking point, which many Americans are not aware of. The only way this year’s change can be for the better is if America wises up to what is really going on.

Being home for the holidays allowed me to not only see loved ones, but also re-spark my study of liberal agenda. Long days (well, more short days given the time of year) with nothing to do allowed for deep conversations with family members and rigorous online study.

My first search brought me to Bernard Madoff. Does the name sound familiar? To put it simply, Madoff is one of the biggest criminals in the history of the American stock exchange.

The once non-executive chairman of the NASDAQ stock market executed the largest Ponzi scheme in history. In layman’s terms, what Madoff did was first convince people to invest with him, but instead of investing their money he kept it for himself. He then used new investors to pay off the old ones and continued this cycle.

Eventually Madoff did not have enough new investors to pay off the old ones and he was exposed. By the end he had defrauded thousands of investors of billions of dollars possibly over the course of 20 years. The justice system did their job as Madoff was found guilty of 11 federal crimes and was given the maximum sentence possible of 150 years in prison.

The fact of the matter is Bernie Madoff is a criminal and was even convicted as a criminal by our federal government. Well, the truth here is that the conviction of Madoff is completely hypocritical on the part of the federal government. That’s right, the United States government is committing a massive Ponzi scheme on the federal level.

For more than 70 years, Social Security has offered Americans with something to look forward to when they retire. Every month, a sizeable portion of our paychecks is put into the Social Security fund. Now you would think that this fund would be untouchable, but that has never been the case.

The truth is the government dips into our Social Security fund all the time for gross spending and uses our paychecks to provide the now retired people with their checks. Even worse, is that a lot of these withdrawals are to compensate for the fat paychecks and medical benefits that politicians enjoy.

How is this any different than what Bernie Madoff did on the stock market? So here is a clear comparison:

Madoff took money from investors and promised to invest the money and make it available to them later. The government will take money from wage earners and put it into a “trust fund” made available later when we retire.

Instead of investing the money, Madoff spends it on new homes and yachts. Instead of putting the money in the trust fund, politicians put the money into a General Revenue Fund for spending and vote buying.

Instead of paying the investors back, Madoff uses new investors to pay off the older ones. The government uses the new working class to pay off the older investors in Social Security.

Here is where the two stray from each other. When Madoff was found out, all hell broke loose and no one would invest with him, but when Social Security runs out politicians just squeeze more money out of the working class with the threat of canceling all Social Security. They give us no choice but to give them more money to embezzle.

The most noticeable difference is that Bernie Madoff is in jail while politicians remain in Washington with large paychecks and ridiculous retirement benefits.

The point here is that Social Security is functioning as an (il)legal, misappropriation of the people’s money. The Trust Fund should be untouchable to the government and only accessible to retired persons who contributed to the fund.

It is not just the fact that the government is able to take our hard earned money and use it on something that we had no say in that scares this American. It is the fact that so few Americans are aware of what our government is doing behind are backs.

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  1. While I agree with much of the article, it mistakenly singles out liberals as the criminals. Many politicians in both major parties are guilty of this. Also, Bernie Madoff was caught when he continued to have large returns for investors despite the economy, not because investors ran out.

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