VIDEO: Under Questioning from Senator Stabenow, OMB Nominee Mulvaney Doubles Down on Statement that Social Security is a Ponzi Scheme

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

WASHINGTON, D.C. – In today’s hearing in the Senate Budget Committee on the nomination of Congressman Mick Mulvaney to be the next head of the Office of Management and Budget, U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) questioned Mulvaney about his beliefs on Social Security and Medicare.  Under questioning from Senator Stabenow, Rep. Mulvaney failed to reverse his previous statements that Social Security is a Ponzi scheme and failed to say whether he would advise President Trump that Social Security is a Ponzi scheme. 

Video of the exchange is available here and a transcript is included below.  To watch the full hearing, click here


Senator Stabenow: “I have to say, after that exchange, folks on Social Security and Medicare ought to be really worried. This demonstrated the difference between what President Trump has indicated he would do and what, in fact, you will be advising him, Congressman Mulvaney.  If, in fact, as you indicate and Senator Cotton indicated, you would give him the unvarnished truth. 

“I believe people sitting on this side of the aisle believe Medicare and Social Security are great American success stories that have lifted a generation of seniors out of poverty and created health care certainty for many, many, many Americans. I'm thinking after that exchange that for the 57 million seniors and people with disabilities and surviving spouses and children who receive Social Security benefits, the alarm bells should be going off right now.


You did indicate that Social Security is a Ponzi scheme.  Is that something you will say to the President?  You did indicate that both Social Security and Medicaid and the Department of Education were unconstitutional. Just keeping it to Social Security, do you intend to indicate to the President that you believe Social Security is a Ponzi scheme?”

Mr. Mulvaney: “Thank you, Senator. I had a very similar conversation on this exact same topic with Senator Sanders in his office. He asked me about that and I said, well, what I described it as was a plan that takes money from people now in order to give money to people now. And he explained, and I think he was accurate in doing so, that Social Security has always been like that. I wouldn't read too much into the description of it as a Ponzi scheme. It’s simply describing to people how the cash flows. The difficulty that we face was contained in what Mr. Graham just laid through, which was that 50 years ago, 15 people were paying in and one person was taking out and by the time my kids are paying for my retirement, two of them will be paying in for every one that's paying out.”