Columnist should explain why it’s a “cheap left-wing talking point” to point out that Coffman calls Social Security a “ponzi scheme”

Denver Post columnist Vincent Carroll wrote last week that it’s a “cheap left-wing talking” point for Denver Rep. Joe Miklosi to point out that Rep. Mike Coffman called Social Security a “ponzi scheme.”

Carroll usually expresses himself as clearly as any columnist out there, but here he should have given us a few more details.

As it is, Carroll sounds like he’s using the “cheap left-wing-talking-point” line as a cheap right-wing talking point against Miklosi.

I mean, Carroll might have a point if Coffman had burped out the “ponzi-scheme” comment, and then said something like, “Excuse me. I didn’t mean it.”  Or even if Coffman said it just once.

But Coffman has embraced the ponzi-ssheme concept not once but twice with his trademark intellectual air of certainty, first calling it “obviously” a “ponzi scheme” and then confirming his view in a second interview.

What Coffman is saying here, unless you believe Bernie Madoff is innocent, is that Social Security is a big piece of fraud, designed by the Madoffs in Washington to rip us all off.

Actually, Social Security is a government program that’s completely above board and transparent, about as different from a ponzi scheme as you can imagine. It’s been tweaked a number of times during its existence, but it remains hugely successful. It will remain solvent for 25 more years with no changes at all, and minor changes will keep it going much longer. It’s no ponzi scheme, as explained here.

Now, to be fair to Coffman, he goes on to say in interviews that he wants to reform Social Security because unless changes are made, it won’t be there for the under-55 set.

But how does this square with his view that it’s a ponzi scheme? If it’s a ponzi scheme, you’d want to get rid of it and put the perpetrators in jail.

It’s a question someone should ask Coffman, why he wants to save a ponzi scheme, because his repeated use of the phrase seems to show that part of him must really hate the program or, in the bigger picture, government itself, because Social Security represents a successful effort by the federal government to collect taxes and design programs to improve our lives.

Coffman wants to have it both ways, allegedly believing in Social Security, yet calling it–and by implication government itself–criminal.

So, it’s not a left-wing talking point for Miklosi to highlight the fact that Coffman has repeatedly called Social Security a ponzi scheme.

It’s a legitimate statement about Coffman, and it should make columnists like Carroll wonder where Coffman really stands not just on Social Security but the basic functions of government.

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