Bloomberg Called Social Security the ‘Biggest’ Ponzi Scheme, Resurfaced 2009 Audio Shows

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.”

Bloomberg’s campaign has yet to respond to the latest reports. 


  1. Mikey speaks the truth that Social Security IS a Ponzi scheme. It also benefits those who have NEVER paid into it. It is literally government-enforced extortion that allows no one to choose not to participate.

    The money is spent BEFORE or as soon as it arrives. It’s going bankrupt.

    It unjustly forces ALL to pay out of every paycheck, even if they will NEVER see their money back due to death, having saved enough to survive on their own, or due to “means testing”. Means testing should be applied to the front-end OR people should be allowed to save for themselves.

  2. Comparisons of Social Security to a Ponzi Scheme are correct. It’s what to do about it that there can be some departure.
    Like a Ponzi Scheme:
    – You take money from one to give to another (They told people the money was going into a trust fund, so it would be invested and be there for them in the future. They lied.)
    – The organizers skim off large portions of the money put in (The federal government raided the trust fund, replacing it with IOUs.)
    – Future payments to people who bought in are wholly dependent on many more people buying in at a later date (This of course insures that at some point a lot of people get the shaft.)

    Worth noting is that all these elements of a Ponzi Scheme that are in Social Security would are illegal for anyone else to do. Insurance companies have to maintain huge reserves, insuring future payouts, the money has to be invested prudently, not raided to buy stuff. IRA’s, 401k’s similarly have to account for the money.
    Pensions get themselves into serious legal trouble when they don’t fund future payouts, or are even in danger of not doing so.

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