Ponzi on the Potomac by Steve Stanek of the Heartland Institute

Ida May Fuller worked as a schoolteacher and secretary during her long life – a life without marriage, children, political power or business influence yet a life that achieved one of the greatest returns on investment in American history.

The woman who came to be known to family and friends in Brattleboro, Vt., as “Aunt Ida” turned less than $25 into nearly $23,000.

On Jan. 31, 1940, Ida May became the first person to receive a Social Security check. By the time she died on Jan. 31, 1975 – exactly 35 years after receiving her first check – she had collected $22,888 in benefits. She had paid just $24.75 into the Social Security system.

Continue reading at heartland.org/editorial/2011/09/23/ponzi-potomac