This is the question posed by Jeff Goldstein in response to Stossel's Reason essay that compares Bernie Madof's Ponzi scheme to Social Security and Medicare.
Stossel's right. These programs have never been about individual Americans saving for their future; they've been all about taking money from working Americans and handing it over to those the government in Washington deems worthy. Welfare with a kinder face, basically. Now both programs are effectively broke. What a surprise.