Private retirement accounts would beat the pants off of Social Security

Geoffrey Lawrence

You’ve heard it’s a “Ponzi scheme.”  It is.  President Johnson, in trying to build support for his Medicare proposal, tried to make it look like more money was available in the Social Security Trust Fund than was really the case by switching its accounting from an endowment-type fund that would pay out benefits from returns on the massive capital held in the account to a pay-go system.  With the pay-go system, Johnson began to liquidate the Trust Fund’s holdings and use them for current benefits–ironically increasing future liabilities within one entitlement program in order to create political support for a new one.

Ever since, Social Security benefits payments have been made to retirees using revenues from current workers–an inter-generational wealth transfer and the very definition of a Ponzi scheme.

Geoffrey Lawrence

Geoffrey Lawrence

Director of Research

Geoffrey Lawrence is director of research at Nevada Policy.

Lawrence has broad experience as a financial executive in the public and private sectors and as a think tank analyst. Lawrence has been Chief Financial Officer of several growth-stage and publicly traded manufacturing companies and managed all financial reporting, internal control, and external compliance efforts with regulatory agencies including the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.  Lawrence has also served as the senior appointee to the Nevada State Controller’s Office, where he oversaw the state’s external financial reporting, covering nearly $10 billion in annual transactions. During each year of Lawrence’s tenure, the state received the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting Award from the Government Finance Officers’ Association.

From 2008 to 2014, Lawrence was director of research and legislative affairs at Nevada Policy and helped the institute develop its platform of ideas to advance and defend a free society.  Lawrence has also written for the Cato Institute and the Heritage Foundation, with particular expertise in state budgets and labor economics.  He was delighted at the opportunity to return to Nevada Policy in 2022 while concurrently serving as research director at the Reason Foundation.

Lawrence holds an M.A. in international economics from American University in Washington, D.C., an M.S. and a B.S. in accounting from Western Governors University, and a B.A. in international relations from the University of North Carolina at Pembroke.  He lives in Las Vegas with his beautiful wife, Jenna, and their two kids, Carson Hayek and Sage Aynne.