THE PROGRESSIVE CONSERVATIVE, USA

An Online Journal of Political Commentary & Analysis
Volume VII, Issue # 77, April 8, 2005
Dr. Almon Leroy Way, Jr., Editor
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MEXICANS & THE U.S. SOCIAL SECURITY SYSTEM:
RETURN OF THE GREAT SOCIAL SECURITY GIVEAWAY
By Dr. Ron Paul

MEXICAN WORKERS IN THE U.S.A. & THE AMERICAN SOCIAL SECURITY SYSTEM:  THE IMPACT THAT THE U.S.A.-MEXICO TOTALIZATION AGREEMENT WILL, IF IT BECOMES U.S. LAW & PUBLIC POLICY, HAVE ON THE FINANCIAL CONDITION OF THE U.S. SOCIAL SECURITY RETIREMENT TRUST FUND -- AN ADDITIONAL PROBLEM FOR AMERICA CREATED BY ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION, AMNESTIES GRANTED TO ILLEGAL ALIENS, OPERATION OF GUEST WORKER PROGRAMS, & THE FAILURE OF THE U.S. GOVERNMENT, IN ALL CONSIDERATIONS OF LAW & PUBLIC POLICY, TO PUT THE INTERESTS & RIGHTS OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE FIRST
FULL STORY:   About two and a half years ago, I wrote about a serious threat to Social Security that was moving ever closer a threat so great that it could truly break the bank of our already dangerously fragile Social Security system. The threat was the ongoing "totalization" negotiations between the United States and Mexican governments. An agreement on "totalization" would have made hundreds of thousands of Mexican citizens eligible for American Social Security.

On June 29, 2004, The United States Social Security Commissioner and the Director General of Mexico's Institute of Social Security signed a "totalization" agreement, which constitutes the first step in the process of making the agreement law and public policy in the U.S.A. The agreement has been sent to the U.S. Department of State and to the Office of the President. After State Department and White House review, President Bush will decide whether or not to submit the agreement to Congress for consideration. Once Congress receives the agreement, it has sixty days during which either the Senate or the House of Representatives must pass a bill approving or disapproving the agreement.

Under the "totalization" agreement, even if a Mexican citizen did not work in the U.S.A. long enough to qualify for U.S. Social Security, the number of years worked in Mexico would be added to bring up the total and thus make the Mexican worker eligible for cash transfers from the United States. To qualify for American Social Security, a Mexican citizen would need to work in the U.S.A. for a period as short as just eighteen months!

Totalization is nothing new. The first such agreements were made in the late 1970s between the United States government and several foreign governments to help American citizens who were sent abroad by their companies. From there we have come, nearly thirty years later, to the point where an estimated 160,000 Mexican citizens would be eligible for U.S. Social Security in the next five years.

Ultimately, the bill for Mexicans working legally in the U.S.A. could reach one billion dollars by 2050, when the estimated Mexican beneficiaries could reach 300,000. Worse still, an estimated five million Mexicans working illegally in the United States could be eligible for the program. According to press reports, a provision in the Social Security Act allows illegal immigrants to receive Social Security benefits, if the United States and another country have a totalization agreement.

Those in favor of sending U.S. Social Security benefits to Mexican citizens argue that the crushing poverty in Mexico demands some form of U.S. assistance to that country's aged. While the poverty in Mexico is truly deplorable and saddening, the fact remains that the U.S. Congress has no constitutional authority to enact what is essentially another redistributionist foreign aid program. I would applaud any private citizen who wishes to help his fellow man living in poverty, whether in the U.S.A. or Mexico or wherever he wishes. But for the U.S. government to force this kind of "charity" on American contributors to the Old Age and Survivors Trust Fund (the U.S. Social Security retirement fund) is both immoral and illegal.

Congress should re-affirm that U.S. Social Security is an American program designed to benefit American retired workers. That is why I introduced into the House of Representatives HR 489, the Social Security for American Citizens Only Act. This bill, if enacted into law, would forbid the U.S. national government from providing Social Security benefits to non-citizens. It would also end the practice of totalization.

Moreover, U.S. Representatives J.D. Hayworth (Republican - Arizona) and Virgil Goode (Republican - Virginia) have introduced into the House of Representatives legislation designed to prevent the totalization agreement with Mexico from becoming U.S. law and public policy. Both bills are presently under consideration in committee, Representative Hayworth's bill (H.R. 20) having been send to the Ways and Means Committee on January 4, 2005, and to the Social Security Subcommittee on January 25, 2005, and Representative Goode's bill (H.R. 50) having been submitted to Way and Means on February 9, 2005, and to the Social Security Subcommittee on February 17, 2005.

Both Hayworth and Goode are continuing to drum up congressional support for their legislative proposals in order to be prepared, in the event that the President sends the totalization agreement to Congress. Representative Tom Tancredo (Republican - Colorado), a strong and active opponent of illegal immigration, is getting ready to join Hayworth and Goode in the battle to prevent the U.S.A.-Mexico totalization agreement from becoming law and public policy.

Bringing hundreds of thousands of impoverished foreign workers into the American Social Security system will surely break the bank, depriving millions of our senior citizens who contributed to the system all their working lives of that which is rightly theirs. That is no way to treat our seniors, be they from this generation or coming generations. We should be shoring up the system for those Americans who have paid into it for decades, not expanding it to cover foreigners who have not.

Under the Constitution and laws of the United States, it is the obligation of the President and Congress to safeguard and promote the interests of the American people, to make certain that, in all considerations of law and public policy, the rights and welfare of American are put first.


LINKS TO RELATED TOPICS:
Government & the Economy

Immigration & Illegal Aliens



Dr. Ron Paul is a Republican member of the United States House of Representatives, elected from and representing the Fourteenth Congressional District of Texas. Congressman Paul is considered to be one of America's leading spokesmen for constitutional government, the rule of law, liberty under law, the private enterprise system,, free market economics, sound monetary policy, and fiscal restraint on the part of the U.S. national government.




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Dr. Almon Leroy Way, Jr., Editor

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