Bernard Madoff has been arrested for running what’s being called “the biggest swindle ever.” This was a fraud to the tune of about $50 billion that threatens to send some annoying, blinded-by-greed Hamptons/Palm Beach socialite types to the poor house — but the scandal also had its bad points.

Madoff was operating a Ponzi scheme, which does the following:

A Ponzi scheme, named after the swindler Charles Ponzi, is a fraudulent investment operation that pays abnormally high returns to investors out of money put into the scheme by subsequent investors, rather than from real profits generated by share trading.

Madoff paid for current excessive outlays with money from people who will be “taken” in the future, and the venture never generated “real” profit but was misrepresented to look like it was creating actual wealth. That sounds an awful lot like the federal government.

Private citizen Madoff is probably going to jail for the rest of his life. If he’d have been in Congress doing the same thing he’d be receiving accolades for his years of “public service.”

“Swindle” is in the eye of the government office holder. Mr. Madoff, you shoulda been a politician.

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