FRONT PAGE CONTRIBUTOR
The Big Amnesty/ Social Security Lie
It looks like we’ve discovered the panacea for all of our economic and social ills. We’ve found the solution to the entitlement crisis as well. We’re going to find the poorest countries in the world and import as many of their people as possible within a short period of time. That way we will have millions of people paying into Social Security, purveying the “trust fund” with endless bounty. This is what passes for sane analysis from the Social Security Administration’s chief actuary.
In an effort to buttress the Democrat Voting Act of 2013 aka the gang’s amnesty bill, Stephen Goss, Social Security’s independent chief actuary, released an analysis last week opining that amnesty will solve the Social Security deficit and *prevent*future waves of illegal immigration. Goss finds that by 2024, this bill will have created 3.22 million jobs, and grow GDP by 1.63%. With regards to Social Security, Goss concluded, “overall, we anticipate that the net effect of this bill on the long-range OASDI actuarial balance will be positive.”
Wow – why didn’t we think of importing mass poverty to save Social Security before? Oh wait…that’s exactly what we’ve been doing for the past few decades.
This analysis was requested by Marco Rubio and is being bandied about by the open-borders elements on the right. The irony is that Goss’s preposterous assertion is predicated on two long-standing left-wing deceptions, both of which have long been rejected by libertarians who are now pushing amnesty.
1) The Social Security Trust Fund: The left continues to peddle this lie that there is a separate and distinct trust fund for Social Security. As such, they claim that the more people you have paying payroll taxes, even very poor people, the more money there that will flow into Al Gore’s lockbox. The reality is that there is no trust fund. It is an accounting gimmick. All the money from the tax revenue goes into one pot. So yes, some of these people will pay about $2000 in payroll taxes per year. But they will get thousands in refundable tax credits and tens of thousands in welfare programs, especially for their children. Hence, they are net liabilities. Robert Rector factored in their $3.1 trillion in tax contributions, primarily from payroll taxes. But they will receive $9.4 trillion in benefits.
2) Obamacare-style scoring and Ponzi schemes: In order to game the CBO and project Obamacare as a net reduction in the deficit, the Democrats frontloaded the tax increases, thereby offsetting the costs during the first 10 years. They are doing the same thing here. If we add more people into the system, there will be more revenue in the short-term. But low-wage earners receive much more in benefits than they pay into the system, due to the formula granting a minimum level of benefits. As such, there is no way they can ever pay for their future costs. Were that to be the case, we should import tens of millions of new immigrants each year. The conservative solution is not to keep dumping more people into the Ponzi scheme, especially more low-wage earners. We need to wind down the Ponzi scheme and move towards private accounts, similar to IRAs and 401ks.
It is amazing to watch those on the open-borders right adopt both the Alinsky political tactics and the policy arguments of the left in their pursuit of amnesty now, enforcement never. And speaking of enforcement, the SSA actuary estimates that the bill will “reduce the number entering the country without authorization by about half a million per year.” This newly-minted expert in border security doesn’t provide the source for this assertion. Maybe he got it from a cereal box – or maybe from Janet Napolitano. Besides, according to his analysis, why would we ever want to prevent a single soul from coming to the country? Why deny the vaunted Social Security Trust Fund its much-needed revenue?
Ironically, a man named Charlie Crist once made this preposterous argument during a debate with a man named Marco Rubio. As we noted before, Rubio laughed him off the stage, asserting that “there isn’t a single serious public policy observer in the country that thinks that’s a serious solution.” He then sent out a press release citing, among other sources, Robert Rector’s analysis of how amnesty would place a larger burden on Social Security.
Now he is commissioning a back-of-the-cereal-box analysis to show how amnesty will save Social Security, after Rector’s exhaustive study shows the opposite. Try to figure that one out.
What’s so humorous throughout this entire debate over the cost of amnesty is that these same people gobble up Rector’s scholarship on the welfare state as it relates to the general population. Yet, somehow, when he extrapolates the data to a very poor group of illegal immigrants they get all disgruntled and start throwing tantrums. Even Cato’s Chris Edwards observed that despite the debate over immigration, Rector’s study “provides a very useful exploration into how massive the American welfare state has become.”
I guess it’s a case of being blinded by love for amnesty. Logic and commonsense are irrelevant.