Meanwhile, Steven L. Taylor raises some doubts about calling Social Security a "failure":
What creates problems, however, is tossing out terms like “Ponzi Scheme” because even if one does not like SS (or welfare policies in general), likening one of the most popular programs in US history to a fraudulent, illegal venture is problematic. Beyond, there are the empirics of the situation. Perry has called SS a “failure.”
The basic problem is: that is empirically untrue. One may not like SS. One may think it is inefficient. One may have a preferred alternative. One may even think that is non sustainable in the long haul. However, to call it a failure ignores over half a century of operation. It also denies the reality of millions who currently receive monthly checks (who will be stunned, no doubt, to hear what a failure the program has been).