INTRODUCTION OF THE SOCIAL SECURITY FOR AMERICAN CITIZENS ONLY ACT -- (Extensions of Remarks - February 16, 2005)
HON. RON PAUL
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 16, 2005
Mr. PAUL. Mr. Speaker, today I introduce the Social Security for American Citizens Only Act. This act forbids the federal government from providing Social Security benefits to non-citizens. It also ends the practice of totalization. Totalization is where the Social Security Administration takes into account the number of years an individual worked abroad, and thus was not paying payroll taxes, in determining that individual's eligibility for Social Security benefits.
Hard as it may be to believe, the United States Government already provides Social Security benefits to citizens of 17 other countries. Under current law, citizens of those countries covered by these agreements may have an easier time getting Social Security benefits than public school teachers or policemen.
Obviously, this program provides a threat to the already fragile Social Security system, and the threat is looming larger. A little-noticed part of the administration's immigration "reform" proposal would make hundreds of thousands of Mexican citizens eligible for U.S. Social Security benefits. Totalization is the centerpiece of this proposal, so even if a Mexican citizen did not work in the United States long enough to qualify for 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.
Mr. Speaker, press reports also indicate that thousands of foreigners who would qualify for U.S. Social Security benefits actually came to the United States and worked here illegally. That's right: the federal government may actually allow someone who came to the United States illegally, worked less than the required number of years to qualify for Social Security, and then returned to Mexico for the rest of his working years, to collect full U.S. Social Security benefits while living in Mexico. That is an insult to the millions of Americans who pay their entire working lives into the system and now face the possibility that there may be nothing left when it is their turn to retire.
The proposed agreement is nothing more than a financial reward to those who have willingly and knowingly violated our own immigration laws. Talk about an incentive for illegal immigration. How many more would break the law to come to this country if promised U.S. government paychecks for life? Is creating a global welfare state on the back of the American taxpayer a good idea? The program also establishes a very disturbing precedent of U.S. foreign aid to individual citizens rather than to states.
Estimates of what this latest totalization proposal would cost top $1 billion per year. Supporters of the Social Security to Mexico deal may attempt to downplay the effect the agreement would have on the system, but actions speak louder than words: According to several press reports, the State Department and the Social Security Administration are planning to enact a new building in Mexico City to handle the expected rush of applicants for this new program. As the system braces for a steep increase in those who will be drawing from the Social Security trust fund while policy makers seriously consider cutting Social Security benefits to American seniors and raising payroll taxes on American workers, it makes no sense to expand Social Security into a global welfare system. Social Security was designed to provide support for retired American citizens who worked in the United States. We should be shoring up the system for those Americans who have paid in for decades, not expanding it to cover foreigners who have not.
It is long past time for Congress to stand up to the internationalist bureaucrats and start looking out for the American worker. I therefore call upon my colleagues to stop the use of the Social Security Trust Fund as yet another vehicle for foreign aid by cosponsoring the Social Security for American Citizens Only Act.
Original Cosponsors of the Social Security for American Citizens Only Act: ROSCOE BARTLETT (MD-06), JOHN DUNCAN (TN-02), SCOTT GARRETT (NJ-05), VIRGIL GOODE (VA-03), THADDEUS MCCOTTER (MI-11), ZACH WAMP (TN-03).