Social Security's shortfall: Immigration no fix
By The Tribune-Review
Published: Friday, Dec. 21, 2012, 8:53 p.m.
The challenges that America's aging presents for Social Security's solvency must be resolved by confronting them head-on, not by relying on immigration-driven population growth.
A new Center for Immigration Studies ( cis.org) report analyzes U.S. Census Bureau projections to explain why.
Net immigration will increase the population from 2010's 309 million to 436 million in 2050, with immigrants — legal and illegal — constituting nearly one-fifth. Even with just half that projected immigration, population still will rise by 79 million by 2050, with immigrants 61 percent of that growth.
Yet immigration will increase 2050's working-age portion of the population by only 1 percent over what it'd be without immigration. The report says raising the retirement age by just one year would have a bigger positive impact.
Plus, as Federation for American Immigration Reform ( fairus.org) spokesman Ira Mehlman points out, immigrants tend to hold low-paying jobs and eventually will collect Social Security benefits — but their Social Security contributions won't offset those benefits' cost.
America must “deal with the structural problems” plaguing Social Security, according to Mr. Mehlman. It must not buy the “immigration fix” that some in the “intelligentsia” are selling.
America can't “import” its way out of this demographic dilemma. Rather, it must pursue reforms — such as raising the retirement age — that address Social Security's fundamental problems.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- The Malaysian jetliner probe: Passport insecurity
- Greensburg Tuesday takes
- Alle-Kiski Tuesday takes
- The market speaks: Cadillac dealers reject another electric folly
- Sunday pops
- Pittsburgh Tuesday takes
- Greensburg Laurels & Lances
- Market perversions: Chrysler retreats
- The new SAT: Rigor gets a pass