Crist: You know what would save Social Security? Amnesty!

posted at 8:48 am on May 21, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

Charlie Crist starts off sounding analytical, but soon winds up in the realm of demagoguery when he offers his idea of entitlement reform to the Miami Herald editorial board this week. Saying that his understanding of the Social Security crisis is that it’s primarily an issue of low worker-to-beneficiary ratios, Crist says legalizing the 10-12 million illegals in the country would solve that problem. However, Crist not only gets the basics of the issue wrong and draws the wrong conclusion on the impact of adding millions more into the SocSec pipeline, he then confuses legal and illegal immigration:

Where to start with this? First, America has always welcomed immigrants, and still does — when they emigrate legally.  That statue in the harbor doesn’t say, “Break our laws and climb over our fences,” after all.  Somehow I doubt that Crist’s ancestors came in a truck packed with dozens of other illegals across the Rio Grande.  We are a nation defined by laws we create and enforce ourselves, not defined by ethnicity.  How difficult is it to ask people who come here to do so by obeying those laws?

Next, the idea of saving Social Security by legalizing illegal immigrants is ludicrous.  Crist’s formula only works if every illegal was 18 years old and willing to work until age 65 — and even then it would only postpone the eventual collapse.  The bills Crist cites would only have allowed illegals who had resided in the country for years to get a fast track to legalization.  They would pay into Social Security for half the time or less that other Americans do, but draw the same benefits at the end.  The impact of adding millions of recipients in such circumstances would create a much higher level of unfunded liabilities for the SSA — as well as Medicare.

The worker-to-beneficiary ratio is poor not because we don’t have enough population growth, but because people are living far longer than when the retirement age was set over 70 years ago.  When the SSA retirement age was set at 65, the average life expectancy was below that, which meant that at least half of the population that paid into the fund never claimed benefits.  It was intended to help people who could no longer work for a living, not those who chose to retire voluntarily.  Now, with life expectancy pushing 80, almost everyone draws benefits from SSA, which is why the ratio is so poor.

It’s rare to see such demagoguery and ignorance put together in a three-minute package, and prompted by a bit of petty revenge, too.  If Crist is this obtuse, he doesn’t belong anywhere near the Senate.  This isn’t a “common sense approach”; it’s nonsense.


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Comments

Where’s Charlie gettin’ his crack?

Cybergeezer on May 21, 2010 at 8:52 AM

You conservatives need to put up your slide rules and forget the math. Obama’s death panels will fix everything.

flyfisher on May 21, 2010 at 8:53 AM

Where’s Charlie gettin’ his crack?

Cybergeezer on May 21, 2010 at 8:52 AM

Jetboy

strictnein on May 21, 2010 at 8:53 AM

Pay no mind to this one. He bears the mark of the beast on his forehead… “Sunkist”

Laura in Maryland on May 21, 2010 at 8:54 AM

But will it get the immigrant vote?

Cindy Munford on May 21, 2010 at 8:54 AM

I wouldn’t let Crist walk my dog let alone assume any responsibility as a U.S. senator.

Wake up, Floridians.

BuckeyeSam on May 21, 2010 at 8:54 AM

Man that Crist is just the kind of guy we need in the Senate.

/JetBoy

MobileVideoEngineer on May 21, 2010 at 8:55 AM

Laura in Maryland on May 21, 2010 at 8:54 AM

*snicker

ladyingray on May 21, 2010 at 8:57 AM

It is time for Charlie to permanently move to the Villages.

Disturb the Universe on May 21, 2010 at 8:57 AM

Where’s Charlie gettin’ his crack?

Cybergeezer on May 21, 2010 at 8:52 AM

Mexico.

Key West Reader on May 21, 2010 at 8:58 AM

Here’s Crist in drag performing.

Laura in Maryland on May 21, 2010 at 8:58 AM

Here’s Crist in drag performing.

Laura in Maryland on May 21, 2010 at 8:58 AM

hahahaa! That was too good.

Key West Reader on May 21, 2010 at 8:59 AM

Pay no mind to this one. He bears the mark of the beast on his forehead… “Sunkist”

Laura in Maryland on May 21, 2010 at 8:54 AM

Oooo good one!

ProfessorMiao on May 21, 2010 at 9:03 AM

Reminds me of those nature videos where the little seal is trying desperately to escape the killer whale; twisting and turning, jumping and cavorting, doing anything and everything in a bid for survival.

Bishop on May 21, 2010 at 9:03 AM

SS was never intended to work, it was intended to give govmint power over our lives and fund a revenue stream. They always knew they could change the rules later if needed.

Kissmygrits on May 21, 2010 at 9:04 AM

Pay no mind to this one. He bears the mark of the beast on his forehead… “Sunkist”

Laura in Maryland on May 21, 2010 at 8:54 AM

100+ too funny

thebrokenrattle on May 21, 2010 at 9:04 AM

This is what happens when Limbaugh controls the GOP.

/

artist on May 21, 2010 at 9:04 AM

Charlie “The Fish” Crist. He flopping around like a green cobia on the deck; he’s in the boat, but can wreck a bunch of stuff once he is there. He has shown his true colors (not just the spray on orange either) multiple times and to think that would change is insanity. Say anything you think that they want to hear, regardless of the audience.

Deckard on May 21, 2010 at 9:06 AM

You know how you can save a ponzi scheme?

Find more marks.

Thune on May 21, 2010 at 9:06 AM

Where’s Charlie gettin’ his crack?

Cybergeezer on May 21, 2010 at 8:52 AM

I don’t think it’s from his wife but it may be from his most recent significant other.

CC

CapedConservative on May 21, 2010 at 9:06 AM

Does Crist still have advisors?

I ask because I cannot imagine anyone advising him that in the current political climate he should run as the guy who won’t make the difficult decisions.

myrenovations on May 21, 2010 at 9:08 AM

But will it get the immigrant vote?
Cindy Munford on May 21, 2010 at 8:54 AM

“Hey, good news: We’ll use you to bail out Social Security!”

Oh yeah, they’ll be lining up around the block to vote for that plan.

logis on May 21, 2010 at 9:09 AM

thebrokenrattle on May 21, 2010 at 9:04 AM

Why…thank you!

Laura in Maryland on May 21, 2010 at 9:10 AM

Please Crist, continue to demonstrate on a daily basis your massive ignorance, lack of reasoning skills, and willingness to swallow whole every Democratic myth about how rewarding millions of foreign lawbreakers with amnesty is somehow going to magically solve all of America’s problems.

No sensible American wants a fool like you anywhere near the U.S. Senate. So please Charlie, continue to enlighten us all with your “wisdom.” Do it often, and in front of television cameras whenever possible.

AZCoyote on May 21, 2010 at 9:10 AM

If Crist is this obtuse, he doesn’t belong anywhere near the Senate. This isn’t a “common sense approach”; it’s nonsense.

That’s our Suntan Charlie. Sorta makes one weep with pride to be called a Floridian–or is that: sob with humiliation?

How can this country survive such a cluster of ignorance in high office?

I weep for my state and my nation.

Crusader Rabbit on May 21, 2010 at 9:10 AM

Wow, and to think this man was elected to office by US citizens. It’s no wonder why this country is in such trouble. This man might not qualify to drive a trash truck.

Keemo on May 21, 2010 at 9:11 AM

Now, with life expectancy pushing 80, almost everyone draws benefits from SSA, which is why the ratio is so poor.

I wonder what that ratio will look like when the last Baby-Boomer has been retired for five years.

anuts on May 21, 2010 at 9:12 AM

I think we should let all the physics PhDs, and engineering PhDs in Mexico immigrate to the US. Lets just leave it at that for now. Work down from there.

RBMN on May 21, 2010 at 9:12 AM

Worst. Political. Class. Ever.

rbj on May 21, 2010 at 9:13 AM

Putting a bunch more people into the Social Security taxpayer base would certainly extend the life of Social Security, sure. But for how long? All it would really do is extend the ponzi scheme and delay the inevitable. If you want to really save Social Security, Paul Ryan has the plan that will actually make it solvent for the forseeable future.

Caiwyn on May 21, 2010 at 9:14 AM

logis on May 21, 2010 at 9:09 AM

I am pretty sure “amnesty” will be all they hear. Considering they are usually paid less and send money back to Mexico to keep it afloat they have no problem with the patsy role.

Cindy Munford on May 21, 2010 at 9:14 AM

Wait a minute… perhaps Crist is factoring in ObamaCare killing off the elderly before they can collect too much.

myrenovations on May 21, 2010 at 9:14 AM

I told you this was what was behind the elites’ desire to legalize the aliens. What Crist and others fail to mention, however, is that it just kicks the problem down the road, and forgets to include the Earned Income Tax Credit to the calculation, which would be devastating. Money is fungible, and moving the problem from SS to the general fund is no solution.

Vashta.Nerada on May 21, 2010 at 9:14 AM

Spoken just like Bernie Madoff.
The best way to keep a Ponzi scheme going is to add more “marks” victims.

J_Crater on May 21, 2010 at 9:15 AM

Ah, the healthy glow of orange skin…

Oompa Loompa doom-pa-dee-do
I have a perfect puzzle for you
Oompa Loompa doom-pa-dee-dee
If you are wise, you’ll listen to me
What do you get when you sleep in tanning booth?
Frying as much as chicken would fry?
What are you at getting turning terribly orange?
What do you think will come of that?

I don’t like the look of it

Oompa Loompa doom-pa-dee-da
If you’re not orange, you will go far
You will live in happiness too
Like the Oompa Loompa doom-pa-dee-do

TheBigOldDog on May 21, 2010 at 9:16 AM

Where’s Charlie gettin’ his crack?

Cybergeezer on May 21, 2010 at 8:52 AM

Jetboy

strictnein on May 21, 2010 at 8:53 AM

Not anymore he ain’t.

Laura in Maryland on May 21, 2010 at 8:54 AM

Heh, actually, here’s Crist trying to get a tanning appointment…

Man that Crist is just the kind of guy we need in the Senate.

/JetBoy

MobileVideoEngineer on May 21, 2010 at 8:55 AM

Hey, I admit I was TOTALLY WRONG about Crist. My bad. And before ya’s all ask again, I promise to get that vid up this weekend. Pass it around, I deserve it.

JetBoy on May 21, 2010 at 9:19 AM

If you put another layer on the bottom of the pyramid, Charlie, it’s still a pyramid.

CDeb on May 21, 2010 at 9:20 AM

Charlie seems driven to slash his own wrists. Is there a point where a career politician loses it completely but remains unaware that he has done so?

jeanie on May 21, 2010 at 9:20 AM

imagine this could’ve been Mac’s VP

TimTebowSavesAmerica on May 21, 2010 at 9:21 AM

Charlie seems driven to slash his own wrists. Is there a point where a career politician loses it completely but remains unaware that he has done so?

jeanie on May 21, 2010 at 9:20 AM

I believe that is called the Specter point.

rbj on May 21, 2010 at 9:22 AM

Add millions of social security recipients who have not paid into the system as a fiscal fix…

Crist has the fiscal right stuff to be part of the Obama administration!

Mr. Joe on May 21, 2010 at 9:22 AM

Why do I feel like I’m in the back seat of a car that is speeding towards the Grand Canyon and the driver is a schizophrenic mumbling about how he is going to “jump into the pot of gold?”

THE WORLD HAS GONE MAD

Zetterson on May 21, 2010 at 9:24 AM

Pass it around, I deserve it.
JetBoy on May 21, 2010 at 9:19 AM

You don’t deserve it, at one time or another all of us have pinned some support on a politician only to seem them turn on us, you just happened to make an offer about eating a hat. No big deal.

Bishop on May 21, 2010 at 9:25 AM

This man is a blithering fool.

I will enjoy watching his poll numbers crash through the floor, and then his flailing desperately to stave off the inevitable, then finally confronting the sad (for him) reality that his political career is just as finished as Arlen Spectacle.

Brian1972 on May 21, 2010 at 9:26 AM

Why would an illegal want amnesty anyway?That puts them into the system where they can be taxed and forced to buy health insurance.

docflash on May 21, 2010 at 9:29 AM

rbj on May 21, 2010 at 9:22 AM

Good one!

jeanie on May 21, 2010 at 9:29 AM

Did the GOP betray you in the case of Crist?

Just asking.

True_King on May 21, 2010 at 9:32 AM

This is like watching a slow motion car crash. Will someone please make it stop. How can we take this until Nov??

Dan Pet on May 21, 2010 at 9:33 AM

If Crist is this obtuse, he doesn’t belong anywhere near the Senate.

Why not? He’ll fit right in with the other gasbag idiot morons.

Last I checked, the Senates chalk full of absolutely worthless, corrupt and incompetent Democrats, Chucky will continue the tradition of buffoonery.

NoDonkey on May 21, 2010 at 9:33 AM

Pass it around, I deserve it.
JetBoy on May 21, 2010 at 9:19 AM

You don’t deserve it, at one time or another all of us have pinned some support on a politician only to seem them turn on us, you just happened to make an offer about eating a hat. No big deal.

Bishop on May 21, 2010 at 9:25 AM

Yeah but Charlie Christ?? He and John Edwards have to be the most transparently slimy and shamelessly scummy politicians on the planet. No excuse for not being able to see that man for what he is.

Zetterson on May 21, 2010 at 9:36 AM

The worker-to-beneficiary ratio is poor not because we don’t have enough population growth, but because people are living far longer than when the retirement age was set over 70 years ago.

I have to quibble with this a bit.

The longer life expectancy is part of it, but the population growth rates also obviously affect SS contributions. 1940 fertility rates were in the lower 2s, jumped over 3 by 1947 and stayed there until the mid-60s, and are staying pretty close to 2 in recent years.

Crist’s “solution” isn’t a good one, but if we did actually have more workers paying in that would help address the issue (not likely to happen, also wouldn’t totally fix the shortfall obviously).

cs89 on May 21, 2010 at 9:37 AM

which meant that at least half of the population that paid into [SocSec] never claimed benefits.

Democrats soon to propose a law that will make this rule apply to IRAs and 401(k)s. Still money left in these funds when you die? UNcle Sammy gets the money. Not your kids.

WashJeff on May 21, 2010 at 9:39 AM

What a great idea Gov Crist.Maybe we also could start taxing bank robbers,drug dealers just think how much money we could get for SS. If we start making all organize crime people pay their payroll taxes we would be rolling in the money.Gov. with a mind as sharp as yours don,t waste it by running for the Sen.go for the gold in 2012 and run for Obama’s job.

thmcbb on May 21, 2010 at 9:41 AM

Zetterson on May 21, 2010 at 9:36 AM

I agree with ya, Z-son.

I was totally and unequivocally wrong about Crist. I didn’t simply support him, I defended him huge. You guys were right, I was wrong.

I’m not wrong often :P but when I am, I admit it fully. But like I’ve said, it’s a good thing…because now I’ve learned never ever to trust another politician like that from now on. No matter whom it is.

JetBoy on May 21, 2010 at 9:45 AM

Because 10 million lawn-care workers with 20 million dependents is going to balance things out…

I would accept them all if 2 things would happen:
1) they would learn English and become “Americans” (no hyphen)
2) We can send Mexico all the progressives and hyphenated Americans.

rgranger on May 21, 2010 at 9:47 AM

thmcbb on May 21, 2010 at 9:41 AM

Well let’s expand on that idea. Burglars and Robbers should actually receive a salary from the US Government since they are helping to redistribute the wealth – which the current government seems to believe is a job for government.

How long must we suffer this insanity? Back 2 days from 10 days of glorious vacation where I turned off the news and I’m already crazy again!

katablog.com on May 21, 2010 at 9:48 AM

Oh yeah, we should also not prosecute murders of citizens over say age 60 because after all the murderer is helping to reduce the social security crisis.

katablog.com on May 21, 2010 at 9:50 AM

I wonder what that ratio will look like when the last Baby-Boomer has been retired for five years.

anuts on May 21, 2010 at 9:12 AM

It’s going to be a lot longer than 5 years.

The United States Census Bureau considers a baby boomer to be someone born during the demographic birth boom between 1946 and 1964.[9]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baby_boomer

mwdiver on May 21, 2010 at 9:52 AM

anuts on May 21, 2010 at 9:12 AM

Misread your post. Sorry.

mwdiver on May 21, 2010 at 9:53 AM

Back-of-the-spreadsheet estimates would be that the employment tax revenues would go up a bit under 20%. The bad news is, when those suddenly-legal workers hit retirement, they’ll be drawing from Social Security.

Of course, since the goal of Crist and the other Leftist Boomers is to get SocSecurity to last until they die and to Hell with those who were born after 1964, that temporary boost just might get SocSecurity there.

steveegg on May 21, 2010 at 9:54 AM

Charlie, you been drinking the suntan oil again?

tarpon on May 21, 2010 at 9:58 AM

JetBoy on May 21, 2010 at 9:45 AM

I don’t know, I was sure going to support him to replace Sen. Nelson once we got Mr. Rubio elected. Gov. Crist seemed like an okay guy until he got competition. He doesn’t handle that well at all.

Cindy Munford on May 21, 2010 at 10:02 AM

First, America has always welcomed immigrants, and still does — when they emigrate legally.

Actually, Ed : I would have to disagree with you here. I think we, the American public, are largely misinformed about the issues with *legal* immigration, specially with respect to Chinese and Indian immigrants. The backlog for a green card for these two countries run into 10 years or more, so for a student who comes for a degree, they have to pay taxes for 15 years or more before they are accepted as permanent residents. *That* is what I call discrimination – but of course will never be reported by left leaning groups. At least those on the right should be educating themselves more on this travesty. (Thanks to my Indian and Chinese colleagues for all informing me on this.)

peter_griffin on May 21, 2010 at 10:07 AM

I agree with ya, Z-son.

I was totally and unequivocally wrong about Crist. I didn’t simply support him, I defended him huge. You guys were right, I was wrong.

I’m not wrong often :P but when I am, I admit it fully. But like I’ve said, it’s a good thing…because now I’ve learned never ever to trust another politician like that from now on. No matter whom it is.

JetBoy on May 21, 2010 at 9:45 AM

Well done sir

Zetterson on May 21, 2010 at 10:08 AM

Great Idea! When a ponzi scheme reaches its limits, enlarge it!

I’m sure it would “save” it… at least until the illegals demand their checks in about 20 years.

elfman on May 21, 2010 at 10:08 AM

…and still does — when they emigrate legally.

Emigrate would be when they leave the US. Immigrate would be when they enter the US.

mwdiver on May 21, 2010 at 10:08 AM

There is no provenance for the ages of these illegals so they claim they are 60 when they are 40 and then work 5 years before retiring as 45 year old SS retirees who are officially “65” and thereafter getting monthly checks for the remaining 45 years of their lives.

Buddahpundit on May 21, 2010 at 10:17 AM

To formulate a solution to a problem you must have an understanding the problem first. The problem we face is a ponzi scheme. How does every ponzi scheme usually end? The last in’s to all ponzi schemes are the ultimate losers. At best, Crist’s proposal just creates the next layer of last in’s to Social Security. Crist may try to persuade that infusing more people into the pool of workers already contributing to Social Security will benefit the those who are near retirement, but if their are few, or no jobs available for the so called post amnesty population, what happens to this population now? The become qualified for other government entitlements, welfare rolls, food stamps, and on. I could go on with this analysis but at the end of the day amnesty will just make our economy weaker. Social Security is going to end eventually either by weening people off it, or because of a nations collapse. I hope our next round of politicians stop trying to kick the can down the road and start the weening process. They didn’t put or call it Social in Social Security for nothing, it was bound to run out of other peoples money someday. Economist who are realist have forecasted approximately when SS would end. I say we start to prepare for the end, and move along with the other business of cutting or getting government interventionist entitlement spending under control.

Americannodash on May 21, 2010 at 10:19 AM

I’m guessing Mark Steyn’s next book will be “American No Longer Alone.”

Dale Wyckoff on May 21, 2010 at 10:25 AM

We are a nation defined by laws we create and enforce ourselves, not defined by ethnicity.

You could have fooled me.

Daggett on May 21, 2010 at 10:33 AM

Adding 10 to ?? million more unskilled low wage earners tha will not be paying federal taxes or contributing any significant amount to the SS ponzi scheme is….

Hey Charlie, you really aren’t one of the bright crayolas in the box, are you!

belad on May 21, 2010 at 10:36 AM

As I understand it, Crist has it exactly backwards. The “advantage” of illegal immigrants to Americans is that illegals pay into Social Security without being able to withdraw money from Social Security. According to the NY Times:

As the debate over Social Security heats up, the estimated seven million or so illegal immigrant workers in the United States are now providing the system with a subsidy of as much as $7 billion a year.

While it has been evident for years that illegal immigrants pay a variety of taxes, the extent of their contributions to Social Security is striking: the money added up to about 10 percent of last year’s surplus – the difference between what the system currently receives in payroll taxes and what it doles out in pension benefits. Moreover, the money paid by illegal workers and their employers is factored into all the Social Security Administration’s projections.

So how then would having these same people already paying into Social Security also collect from Social Security help Social Security?

DarkKnight3565 on May 21, 2010 at 10:41 AM

I’m not wrong often

Uh..yes you are. Pretty much every time you mention John McCain you sound like you loaded up on a meth pipe.

I was totally and unequivocally wrong about Crist.

You were wrong about Crist for the same reason you’re wrong about McCain. Only difference is Backdoor John didn’t take the big step and go independent. Your admission on Crist is worthless; he has a shorter record than McCain and wasn’t as dangerous because he never had McCain’s power. And of course, Crist didn’t run a joke of a campaign and get his a** handed to him by a dumbo eared rookie.

You know, given that McCain is so much more of a worthless 2 faced bag of cr*p than Crist, I think your admission is insincere. Like a crackhead apologizing for smoking cigarettes. Fail. Keep **cking that McCain chicken Jetboy.

austinnelly on May 21, 2010 at 10:44 AM

He looks more and more like the love child of Bob Barker and Barry Manilow.

Scott P on May 21, 2010 at 10:50 AM

Here’s the big problem, you effing genius:

The whole point of hiring illegals is so you don’t have to pay them much of anything. The whole point of being illegal is that you are unlikely to be self-supporting if they had to pay you over the table for your limited skill set.

“Legalizing” illegals won’t add as much to the tax base as their advicates say it will.

Sekhmet on May 21, 2010 at 10:56 AM

Teddy Roosevelt strongly condemned looking at immigrants as mere economic units and not as future countrymen and brothers.

This is like conceiving a child to use it for spare parts.

Indeed, the lack of children is part of the problem. Europe has already tried this with Turks, Algerians and Pakistanis. Is it working for them?

People are generally assets, not liabilities. But the incentives of the Multi-Cultural Welfare State destroy that, turning assets into liabilities.

Noel on May 21, 2010 at 11:00 AM

Wow, and to think this man was elected to office by US citizens. It’s no wonder why this country is in such trouble. This man might not qualify to drive a trash truck.

Keemo on May 21, 2010 at 9:11 AM

And there’s the problem.
Fickle, stupid, ignorant, spoiled rotten, moronic American citizens letting this happen.
Those that do not vote should have always been voting.
Those who do vote should be looking to something other than Star magazine for their voting information.
America, please stop watching American Idol, Survivor, etc & get off of your collective a$$e$ and VOTE WITH YOUR BRAIN.

Badger40 on May 21, 2010 at 11:01 AM

If you put another layer on the bottom of the pyramid, Charlie, it’s still a pyramid.

CDeb on May 21, 2010 at 9:20 AM

Yeah, but lifting all the upper layers to put in the new one is a beeyotch.

ya2daup on May 21, 2010 at 11:05 AM

The bills Crist cites would only have allowed illegals who had resided in the country for years to get a fast track to legalization. They would pay into Social Security for half the time or less that other Americans do, but draw the same benefits at the end.

This is not really true. Social Security benefits are proportional to the amount of MONEY each worker paid into the system during his working lifetime, so that a person who immigrates (legally) to the US during middle age gets less benefits than someone who worked their entire life in the US, even at the same salary.

I lived and worked in France, for French companies, for 9 years, and made no contributions to Social Security during that time, so my eventual benefits will be lower than someone my age who made the same salary for American employers, although I will probably receive some benefits from the French retirement system.

This doesn’t change the fact that Crist is lying here–amnesty for illegals will NOT save Social Security! Crist is also lying to the illegals themselves, since if they are given amnesty in middle age, they will still receive less Social Security benefits than someone who worked for American employers from age 18 or 22 on (if they went to college).

The worker-to-beneficiary ratio is poor not because we don’t have enough population growth, but because people are living far longer than when the retirement age was set over 70 years ago. When the SSA retirement age was set at 65, the average life expectancy was below that, which meant that at least half of the population that paid into the fund never claimed benefits. It was intended to help people who could no longer work for a living, not those who chose to retire voluntarily. Now, with life expectancy pushing 80, almost everyone draws benefits from SSA, which is why the ratio is so poor.

When the retirement age was set as 65, average life expectancy was 46 years, meaning that only a VERY samll percentage of people made it to age 65. Back in the 1930s, people were in the habit of saving for their own retirement (if they lived that long), and Social Security was intended for elderly people who had their life-savings wiped out by the stock-market crash of 1929.

These days, the average person lives about 15 years after “retirement” at age 65, and most of them are healthy enough to continue working after age 65. With the advent of IRA’s and 401K plans in the 1980’s, many middle-class families have put substantial amounts of money aside for retirement, and don’t really NEED Social Security, although they are “entitled” to MORE benefits than the “working poor” who didn’t contribute to 401K’s.

Social Security will soon go bankrupt under the current system, so one of four things has to happen:

1) Raise the retirement age
2) Reduce benefits (possibly for payments above a certain minimum benefit level)
3) Raise Social Security taxes
4) Incentivize private saving for retirement.

None of the first three are politically palatable, although the public might grudgingly accept raising the retirement age or a reduction of middle-class benefits as the price of a longer, healthier life than anyone expected in the 1930s.

Instead of raising the payroll tax RATE, more money could flow into the system if the income cap for Social Security taxes was raised, and the percentage could actually be lowered, making Social Security a true “flat tax” instead of the current “regressive” system, where the poor and middle-class pay proportionately MORE than the rich.

As for number 4, that incompetent idiot George W. Bush tried it in 2005, and those wise and wonderful Democrats “saved” the system by doing nothing. Or maybe, in retrospect, Bush had it right, but just didn’t sell it well.

Steve Z on May 21, 2010 at 11:09 AM

Ed just got a shout out from Laura Ingraham on the radio.

Cindy Munford on May 21, 2010 at 11:16 AM

Democrats soon to propose a law that will make this rule apply to IRAs and 401(k)s. Still money left in these funds when you die? UNcle Sammy gets the money. Not your kids.

WashJeff on May 21, 2010 at 9:39 AM

Thats if you will have a 401k any longer, the treasury dept floated an I idea a few mo’s ago that I thought received far too little attention.

The idea/excuse behind this concept is that the Fed/Treasury would protect hapless investors from the volatility of the markets by seizing all 401k’s and replacing them with fixed annuities(bonds by any other name), really.

In actuality this is merely using everyones personal savings acct’s to make up for their budget short falls. Its a way to force everyone to finance their giant ponzi scheme.

http://www.howestreet.com/articles/index.php?article_id=12184

http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/coming-soon-substituting-government-annuities-for-your-401k/

http://moneymorning.com/2010/01/27/retirement-plans/

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/annuities-may-come-to-a-retirement-plan-near-you-2010-05-06

The perfidy of the progressives knows no bounds and they will not stop until they’ve seized all assets!

Archimedes on May 21, 2010 at 11:16 AM

We’re down to 3 taxpayers for each recipient. If this keeps going, we’ll one day assign each taxpayer his own personal taxpayee!

“Here, Bob; here’s your cut of my paycheck.”
“Thanks, Steve. I’m goin’ fishin’ now–I’ll see you next payday!”

The Social Security Trust Fund: neither Society’s, nor Secure, nor Trust-worthy nor a Fund. Like the Al Gore Presidential Library, Bait, Tackle & Lockbox Shop, it exists only in our elites’ imagination.

The problem isn’t that we need a new pool of Ponzi marks; the problem is THE POLITICIANS ALREADY SPENT ALL THE MONEY!

And we let them.

Noel on May 21, 2010 at 11:21 AM

This guy was leading in the GOP. Purges of people like this are a GOOD thing.

jukin on May 21, 2010 at 11:39 AM

The thing is, there’s the germ of a winning *conservative* argument in it. Increased *legal* immigration could be part of the fix for the coming entitlement crisis, particularly wrt Social Security.

edshepp on May 21, 2010 at 11:46 AM

Whadda ya know, Slick Willie said the very same thing.

Herb on May 21, 2010 at 11:55 AM

I have no idea how anyone could even begin to think that Charlie Crist, utter dolt that he is, could represent any kind of answer to any of America’s problems.

Edouard on May 21, 2010 at 12:22 PM

Hmmmm.

@ Ed

“The bills Crist cites would only have allowed illegals who had resided in the country for years to get a fast track to legalization. They would pay into Social Security for half the time or less that other Americans do, but draw the same benefits at the end. “

It would be actually far worse than that since every illegal alien given amnesty would be a citizen and thus eligible to “chain” immigrate spouses, children, parents, siblings, etc. So even if you assume that the amnestied illegal alien cum citizen is 18 years old and willing to work until age 65 his parents and his spouse’s parents would be eligible NOW for SSA benefits.

And if such relatives are chained is sufficiently large numbers they could overwhelm the native voter base and thus manipulate the money-spigot at will. At that point the USA would be either effectively dead or a civil war would be imminent.

memomachine on May 21, 2010 at 12:30 PM

A year ago Crist looked like a cinch for the Senate and AZ Gov. Jan Brewer looked like “road kill.” Today Gov. Brewer has an 85% approval rating among likely Republican voters and Crist is “road kill.”

Good things happen when you show courage and take the side of your constituents.

bw222 on May 21, 2010 at 12:38 PM

JetBoy on May 21, 2010 at 9:19 AM

That was funny, and so wrong. I don’t care what Drywall says about ya…you’re okay.

Laura in Maryland on May 21, 2010 at 12:42 PM

Next will be:

You know what would save money on prisons? Releasing everyone on death row.

scrubjay on May 21, 2010 at 1:19 PM

The man has really lost his mind.

RUBIO!

Repubtallygirl on May 21, 2010 at 3:25 PM

Charlie Crist is a special needs Slime-mold but…

If we start by sealing the borders, and pass a law making the children of illegal aliens illegal aliens as well. We could then offer the illegal aliens permanent residence status, if they meet certain conditions, including turning themselves in, renouncing all previous allegiances, learning and using English, paying into but not receiving benefits from SS and such. The money they pay in could help prop up SS giving us time to faze out SS in a responsible manner.

Slowburn on May 21, 2010 at 4:09 PM

You have it half correct. Social security was meant for those who could no longer work not those who wanted to retire at 65.
Problem is that over the years that INTENT has been taken to mean that those who are DISABLED and/or THEIR DEPENDENTS could also partake of SSI.

This opens the system to LARGE amounts of Younger claimants and also to fraud. I not so easy to claim 65 if you’re looking pretty spry and don’t have a job history that backs it up but being injured and claiming disability; that is doable.

And it’s being done. Just like Medicare/Medicaid fraud, the Gov does little to prevent it and to prosecute it. The system itself is difficult to police. You hear about people being denied but take a look at the figures and you’ll see how much is taken up by providing for the disabled whether fraud or not. Eliminate the rationale for the claim and eliminate the claim. There are other programs that could provide for those disabled. They shouldn’t be tacked on to SSI.

jcw46 on May 21, 2010 at 8:14 PM

No asshole how about we don’t. If revenue’s truly your motive, tax the money going back to Mexico and Central America and Romania and Thailand and where ever sneaks have come and try to return money to their homeland. And don’t tell me it can’t be done. China does very well in this department, thank you very much. Did you know any new busines gets a free link up with the Revenue Service and a separate Revenue Service Accounting package. It’s all very efficient.

They can stick around and work off the books as long as they either spend their dinero here or have it taxed on the way out. Sounds about right for the interlopers. Illegal immigration is not the same as legal immigration you dense elites!

pc on May 21, 2010 at 10:02 PM