Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg once criticized social security comparing it to a “Ponzi scheme.”
As mayor, he also advocated for serious cuts to social security, Medicaid, Medicare, and other entitlement programs. In the wake of his presidential run, the audio clips of his comments are now circulating again.
According to CNN, in 2009, Bloomberg appeared on the radio show, “Live from City Hall,” where he offered his take on social security. During the segment, he said that social security is a scheme that “far” surpasses anything Bernie Madoff ever did.
“I don’t know if Bernie Madoff got his idea from there, but if there’s ever a Ponzi scheme, people say Madoff was the biggest? Wrong. Social Security is, far and away,” Bloomberg said.
Listen to his comments below:
The same year Bloomberg made the comments, Madoff was sentenced to 150 years in prison and ordered to pay $170 billion in restitution after running a massive Ponzi scheme. However, Bloomberg claims the government’s actions are worse and he offered an explanation to defend his opinion.
“We are giving monies out with the next guy’s money coming in and at the end of — when the music stops — it’s just not gonna be enough chairs for everybody,” Bloomberg added.
From 2010 to 2013, Bloomberg also made multiple comments about entitlements and suggested cuts to programs.
In 2010, Bloomberg doubled down on his stance attributing the federal deficit to spending in two areas: military defense and entitlement programs. He argued that the only way to cut the deficit would be to decrease spending in those two areas.
“Sixty percent of the federal budget is benefits or entitlements and debt service,” Bloomberg said. “And out of the third that’s left, half of that is the military and everything else is in the balance.”
He continued: “And so when people talk about cutting the federal deficit, I don’t know what they’re talking about. Nobody’s willing to cut the things where most of the money goes. And unless you do that, you’ll never solve that problem.”
Around that time, Bloomberg also insisted that Medicaid and Medicare cuts would also have to be enforced.
“We’re going to cut back Medicaid and Medicare, we’re going to have to do something, but that’s going to be a very tough lift,” Bloomberg said.
Since Bloomberg’s stance on social security and entitlements doesn’t exactly follow traditional Democratic politics, he is now being challenged.
Today, a social security advocacy group took to Twitter with a response to reports about Bloomberg’s previous comments. The group compared Bloomberg to Trump and criticized his attack on the longstanding program.
“Michael Bloomberg has a long history of attacking Social Security and demanding benefit cuts,” the tweet reads. “Just like his fellow billionaire Donald Trump, Bloomberg is filled with contempt for Social Security and its beneficiaries.”
Michael Bloomberg has a long history of attacking Social Security and demanding benefit cuts.— SocialSecurityWorks (@SSWorks) February 26, 2020
Just like his fellow billionaire Donald Trump, Bloomberg is filled with contempt for Social Security and its beneficiaries. https://t.co/KBwUNrgAf2
Bloomberg’s campaign has yet to respond to the latest reports.