During these trouble economic times, what we really need is a good scapegoat. Fortunately, Mr. and Mrs. Bernard Madoff are happy to oblige. Just when public outrage over Madoff’s $50 billion Ponzi scheme begins to subside, his lovely wife Ruth comes forward to claim that the mere $62 million she was able to salt away during the good times has nothing to do with Bernie.
See, he had his business, systematically robbing charities, and she had hers — systematically counting the money as it arrived at their Manhattan penthouse bundled on wooden shipping pallets. Completely separate! Should she be penalized for Bernie’s errors in judgment? That would be un-American, your honor.
You can only shake your head. Crime of the century, and the Madoffs remain free, rich and unrepentant. At worst, they’re facing a reduction in status from billionaire to millionaire. That’s a little too subtle for my taste. But it appears my recommendation of public flogging and lifetime poverty has fallen on deaf ears.
I know, it wasn’t just the Madoffs who ruined this country. But as scapegoats, they’re looking better and better.