To the editor:
Bernard Madoff has been credited by the media with pulling off the greatest Ponzi scheme in the history of the U.S. It is true that Madoff, by his own admission, ripped off $50 billion from some 8,000 charities and rich people. Sorry, Mr. Madoff, you deserve only the third-place award in the infamous history of Ponzi schemes.
The second-place award for the title of the greatest Ponzi scheme goes to millions of Americans who own an average of 10 credit cards and borrow money from some of their credit cards to make minimum payments required on their other credit cards. They know for sure that sooner or later their Ponzi house of cards will collapse. Yet they keep acquiring more credit cards and live it up on borrowed money. As the date for bankruptcy nears, they borrow even more so they can legally get away with the heist.
The first-place award for the greatest Ponzi scheme in the history of mankind goes to the U.S. government, which keeps on borrowing more money than it can ever repay, thus mortgaging the lives of future generations. It has wasted billions of dollars on worthless pork-barrel projects, trillions on tragic foreign wars and trillions more on irresponsible bailouts, expanding health-care benefits and whatnot. Yet the government keeps on borrowing more money on one pretext or another.
Madoff deserves our consolations.
K.P.S. KAMATH, Cape Girardeau