Friday, July 02, 2004

Further Idiocy From the U.S. Government

Here's another outrage from the idiots in Washington ...

New U.S.-Mexico Agreement on Social Security Benefits Is a Looming Threat to an Already Imperiled System, Warns FAIR

Millions of Bogus Social Security Accounts Pose Huge Potential Liability for American Workers and Retirees

(Washington, DC - July 1, 2004) An agreement signed on June 29 between the United States and Mexico that will allow retirees in Mexico to collect U.S. Social Security benefits could further imperil America's already fiscally unsound retirement system. The pact signed between the U.S. and Mexico would allow a limited number of Mexicans who have worked in the U.S. to collect benefits from the Social Security system, but given the Social Security Administration's (SSA) poor record-keeping and the potential for a massive illegal alien amnesty, the number of Mexicans collecting benefits could increase dramatically.

By the SSA's own admission, they do not know how many Social Security numbers are currently being used fraudulently. Moreover, under an amnesty/guest worker program proposed by President Bush, potentially millions more workers from Mexico and other countries would also qualify for Social Security benefits. Congress still has a 60-day period during which it may call for a vote and reject this agreement with Mexico.

"When it comes to immigration matters, the government invariably underestimates the costs and the numbers of people who will apply for any program or benefit," warned Dan Stein, executive director of FAIR. "What is billed as a limited program that will allow a relatively small number of people who have paid into the system to collect benefits will almost certainly turn into a feeding frenzy as lawyers line up clients who will claim benefits under the agreement. Until we straighten out the mess in our immigration system—not to mention our Social Security system—these sorts of agreements are premature and fiscally irresponsible," said Stein.

If Congress does not reject the agreement outright, passage of H.R. 1631, an amendment to the Social Security Act introduced by Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), must become a top legislative priority. Under H.R. 1631 any quarters worked in the U.S. illegally would not count toward eligibility for Social Security benefits. "With the President's proposal on the table, and even more irresponsible amnesty proposals that are likely if John Kerry is in the White House next year, it is important to establish a clear policy that time worked without authorization will not be rewarded with Social Security benefits," Stein said.

Barring quarters worked illegally will also preclude a bureaucratic nightmare of trying to sort out millions of potential claims by people using an assortment of valid and fraudulent Social Security numbers and aliases. "Our Social Security system is probably not going to be able to deliver on the promises it has made to current and future retirees. Even if was possible to sort out potential claims filed by millions of illegal aliens, the benefits paid to them would come directly out of the pockets of America's own elderly," warned Stein. "That is not only fiscally irresponsible, but politically volatile."

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