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DEBATE FACT #5: Crist’s Amnesty For Social Security Plan Would Bankrupt The System Faster

What Crist Said…

That he would protect Social Security but his plan would actually make it go bankrupt faster.

The Facts About The Crist Record…

Charlie Crist Has Proposed Granting Amnesty For Illegal Immigrants To Save Social Security:

· In 2007, The CBO Predicted That Amnesty For Illegal Immigrants Would Increase Social Security Spending $350 Million Over Ten Years And Add 11,500 Disabled And Retired Workers To The Rolls Ten Years Out. “CBO estimates that the Z-A visa program would boost outlays for Social Security benefits by $350 million over the 2008-2017 period and add 11,500 disabled and retired workers to the rolls in 2017.” (Congressional Budget Office, “Senate Amendment 1150 To S. 1348, The Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act Of 2007,” 6/4/07)

· Amnesty Would Also Increase Medicare Spending $290 Million Over The Same Period According To The CBO. “Medicare would spend an extra $290 million over the 2008-2017 period and enroll an added 7,000 people in 2017.” (Congressional Budget Office, “Senate Amendment 1150 To S. 1348, The Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act Of 2007,” 6/4/07)

· PolitiFact: Crist Plan Would Actually Add Costs To The Social Security System. “In fact it turns out Social Security already is receiving a huge benefit from illegal workers who are paying into the system but as of now are unable to receive any of the benefits. Back in 2005, the New York Times reported that illegal workers essentially are contributing a $6 billion to $7 billion annual subsidy. More recent estimates suggest illegal workers are now paying $9 billion to $12 billion a year into Social Security, with no legal way to get that money back in retirement benefits. … Crist’s plan would potentially tap the other third of illegal workers not paying payroll taxes, but also would allow all workers access to Social Security benefits when they reach retirement age. Added benefits, yes. But added costs, too.” (Aaron Sharockman, “Charlie Crist Says Social Security Plan Embraced By Former Labor Secretary Robert Reich,” St. Petersburg Times’ “PolitiFact,” 10/18/10)

· National Review: Amnesty “Would Also Make All Of These Individuals Eligible For The Program Upon Retirement – Essentially Turning Today’s One-Way Cash Flow Into A Two-Way Street.” “Here’s the fallacy of Crist’s thinking, by the numbers: About 50 percent of illegal immigrants already pay Social Security taxes, because their wages are ‘on the books.’ The Social Security Administration estimates that illegals pay as much as $7 billion into the program on a yearly basis. Since they’re not eligible for the benefits, this is an inflow of money without any future corresponding outflow. If Social Security’s numbers are the only consideration, keeping illegal immigrants illegal has its advantages. Amnesty would bring the other half of current illegals into the fold of payroll taxes, and increase Social Security receipts in the short term. But it would also make all of these individuals eligible for the program upon retirement — essentially turning today’s one-way cash flow into a two-way street. ‘It is true that they will pay small amounts into the Social Security and Medicare systems for, say, the next two or three decades, but once they retire, they will draw down $2.7 trillion in benefits from Social Security and Medicare alone,’ Rector said. Rector calculated the figure during the 2007 consideration of amnesty, based on an estimate of 10 million adult illegal immigrants.” (Kyle O. Peterson, “Charlie Crist Says Amnesty Will Help Social Security. Really. Governor?” National Review, 9/27/10)

· Crist’s Amnesty Plan “Will Put More Pressure On The System.” “When Crist has been pressed for his ideas of dealing with Social Security’s long-term problems, the governor suggested that finding a way for some of the country’s 14 million illegal immigrants to become citizens may create more workers who would provide additional payroll taxes to support Social Security. Critics have attacked his proposal by pointing out many illegal immigrants already work and pay payroll taxes but do not receive Social Security benefits. They said if those workers become legal, they will put more pressure on the system and also qualify for other federal aid, such as Medicare.” (Lloyd Dunkelberger, “Senate Candidates Talk About Changing Social Security,” Lakeland Ledger, 10/3/10)

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