Monday, May 24, 2010

Amnesty and the Social Security Paradox

Republican governor Charlie Crist, who is running for a Florida Senate seat as an independent after trailing badly in the primary to candidate Marco Rubio, has argued that Social Security and immigration reform go hand in hand, and that the support of immigration reform is a useful step in assuring the solvency of Social Security funding. He uses this argument to campaign for a much shorter path to citizenship for illegal aliens.

The broad idea behind this strategy is that while immigration reform is a heated conflict where two sides of an ideological debate clash, the preservation of Social Security is an endeavor that will likely find backing in the prized body of independent voters. He appears to believe that saving Social Security is a cause that a great number of Americans can rally behind.

There are two problems with this strategy.

First, Americans are sick of hearing that the answer to their prayers is comprehensive federal overhaul, and the legislation of amnesty for illegal aliens would be exactly that. Beyond this, there is a growing anxiety about the taxpayer liability represented by illegal aliens, as millions of them take advantage of healthcare, education, and welfare programs that they are not entitled to exploit as non-citizens.

Second, many Americans are not exactly enamored with Social Security in general. Particularly, younger Americans view it as a complex and obscure investment, and few of them believe that they will reap the benefits of their investment.

Crist’s is among latest suggestions to offer fast tracks to citizenship or amnesty to illegal aliens, which would require them to contribute more into Social Security and thereby help to rectify the universally recognized fiscal shortfall of the Social Security Trust Funds.

On the surface, this seems like a rational hypothesis. If more money goes into the Social Security piggybank, it would seem that there will be more money to spend on the benefits of the program. But this logic is tragically flawed. By legalizing these aliens we would be increasing the burden upon the system by drastically increasing the number of those receiving Social Security benefits. Providing unjustified payment to millions of new recipients that have paid a pittance into the system is not only logistically destructive, but it is also ethically unjust to those who spent their entire lives funding the system.

Beyond this, it is also obvious that the massive influx of low-income wage earners would drain Social Security rather than increase its solvency, because they will inevitably receive far more in benefits than they would contribute to the system.

Amnesty for illegal aliens will certainly not stabilize Social Security, despite the liberal agenda telling us that it will. They appear to be desperately seeking the means to protect Social Security funding, but paradoxically, it is the policymaking of the left that provides the greatest obstacle to the application of more useful solutions.

If immigration law were more tightly enforced, for example, employers would likely offer increased wages for unskilled American laborers. Higher wages and more American workers would yield increased contributions. As another example, if extended entitlement programs like welfare were limited rather than expanded, more Americans would be encouraged to join the workforce, thereby increasing American employment and increasing contributions.

The most significant boon for Social Security would be for Americans to increase fertility rates to assure replacement levels to sustain the system. But even that possibility is stifled by liberal sensibilities. For decades, a European-style agenda has caused a decline in fertility rates that has assured that Social Security cannot support itself, the result of incessant campaigns about detriment to the planet’s resources or carbon footprints. All the while, Democrats in America strive to provide unlimited contraception, and some even advocate federally funded abortions as means to keep our population from growing.

Honestly, it seems apparent that it is the liberal agenda that is both the creator and destroyer of Social Security.

Of course, none of this will be addressed once Congress finds the “appetite” to tackle immigration reform. But I can assure you that we will see the left spewing variations of Crist’s argument that amnesty could provide a boost to Social Security funding. They will suggest in broad tones that it makes sense fiscally, and supporters will be assured of this belief over and over by Barack Obama’s soothing tenor. And educated by nothing beyond the left’s propaganda, legions of zealots will argue the soundness of the idea, and chant their mundane mantra about opposition to amnesty being choreographed by racists.

The argument tying Social Security and immigration reform has taken definite shape, and I would wager it will become common rhetoric for Democrats in their march to legislate amnesty for illegal immigrants. After all, what better way to make a push for amnesty than to argue that we could save Social Security for all Americans by levying a mandatory tax upon the fifteen to twenty million illegal aliens that are working in this country? That way, a massive federal program like Social Security could appear sustainable and illegal aliens could be granted amnesty and a legitimate vote in future elections.

Talk about two birds for the Democratic Party.

William Sullivan

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