social security

No, Illegal Immigrants Do NOT Help Social Security

Yahoo News posted an article by the Atlantic attempting to defend and legitimize illegal aliens by trying to convince the reader that illegals are actually a net asset for America, as they pay billions into the Social Security system and get little in return.

“Every year, the Social Security Administration collects billions of dollars in taxes that it doesn’t know who paid. Whenever employers send in W-2 forms that have Social Security numbers that don’t match with anyone on record, the agency routes the paperwork to what’s called the Earnings Suspense File, where it sits until people can prove the wages were theirs, allowing them to one day collect retirement benefits,” the article claims.

Stephen Goss, the chief actuary of the Social Security Administration, estimates that about 1.8 million immigrants were working with fake or stolen Social Security cards in 2010, and he expects that number to reach 3.4 million by 2040. He calculates that undocumented immigrants paid $13 billion into the retirement trust fund that year, and only got about $1 billion in benefits. “We estimate that earnings by unauthorized immigrants result in a net positive effect on Social Security financial status generally, and that this effect contributed roughly $12 billion to the cash flow of the program for 2010,” Gross concluded in a 2013 review of the impact of undocumented immigrants on Social Security.

Okay – so around 2 million illegals (six years ago) are using fake and stolen Social Security numbers? Is this not a felony? If a citizen like you or me were to do that, would we not end up in prison? But it’s okay because illegals are supposed to be a net positive? Isn’t that just fabulous! Of course we also know this is a lie. The current estimate is that illegals cost us well over $113 billion a year. And why are they even getting one dollar in benefits, much less $1 billion? That was rhetorical – we all know the answer.

But the Atlantic story is a fantasy on its face. Even if the working criminal alien class is a net positive, it would make no difference, as they fail to explain the Ponzi scheme that is Social Security.

It has been explained dozens of times I sure, but let’s go through it again.

Employers send to the government a regular lump sum payment consisting of income, social security and medicare payroll taxes. Most believe the Treasury then breaks up these tax revenues and forwards the portion to the Social Security Administration (SSA) to pay benefits. WRONGO!

FedSmith explains that, “The Treasury both receives the payroll taxes (and income taxes that higher-income retirees pay on their Social Security benefits) and pays monthly benefits on behalf of the Social Security Administration (SSA). The money stays in the Treasury’s hands until it is either paid out as Social Security benefits or otherwise spent by the government [for other programs]. In fact, no money ever goes into the trust fund,” nor does the SSA ever see a dime. One could therefore logically conclude that the SSA is a useless government department.

Treasury estimates the difference between what was supposed to go into the “trust fund” and what was paid out as benefits. Any money (which has already been spent on other programs) left over after benefits have been paid is then converted into bonds, which are called “special issues of the Treasury.” That’s a fancy term for an IOU. These phony bonds are the only thing in the SSA trust fund.

Unlike other Treasury notes or bonds, which can be traded or sold on the open market, these “special issue bonds” have ZERO market value. They are strictly an accounting gimmick. Even the interest that Treasury is supposed to be paying on what they “borrow” from the SSA is in the form of these special and worthless bonds. Every dime in the SSA trust fund has been long ago spent and replaced with non-marketable government IOUs. They could not be sold to anyone, even for a penny on the dollar.

In 2012, the Social Security Trustees Report estimated “that the gap between revenue and the cost of full benefits will be $53.2 billion this year [2012], $95.0 billion in 2020, and a whopping $318.7 billion in 2030. This means that the government will have to find $318.7 billion in its tight budget, and transfer it to Social Security, in order for full benefits to be paid in 2030.”

Yet Yahoo and the Atlantic want us to believe that the paltry $13 billion of which criminal aliens kick in will make a difference.

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The Common Constitutionalist

The Common Constitutionalist, is a constitutional conservative who advocates for first principles – the Founders' original intent and enemy of progressives. He is Navy veteran and a martial arts expert. Smith considers himself just an average Joe with no formal journalism background – but rather than simply complain about the state of our nation, he took to the Internet to battle the left.

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