Friday, December 15, 2006

Illegals for Everyone!

Can somebody help me here?  Digby’s got a great post about the whole illegal immigrant sweep-up the DHS did, and how they’re trying to portray this as an issue of identify theft, though only a handful of those arrested were actually charged with identify theft.  And there’s a real chicken v. egg thing about all this, in regards to whether this was a semi-legitimate operation that the Whitehouse marketing kooks corrupted for their typically partisan agenda, or if this thing was rotten all the way to the bottom; as is so often the case where Bushies are involved.  It’s almost as if the illegal immigrant issue has had an identify theft problem of its own.

But here’s my question: If someone’s using your Social Security number so that they can work in this country, do you get the money being deducted from the illegal immigrant’s paycheck, as well as the employer contribution?  Because rather than this seeming like a negative, this seems like a huge plus.  Hell, even if the illegal only gets paid $10,000 a year, that’s an extra $10k worth added to my Social Security account, isn’t it?  I mean, even those paltry wages would add an extra $1240 to my already burgeoning account each year.  Sweet!

Tell me if I’m wrong here, but I don’t see how I am.  Assuming they don’t get caught or anything.  Or even if the illegal is caught, do they go back and erase those wages from your record?  And if they do, who gets the money that had been collected?  Do they refund it back to the immigrant and employer?  After all, it IS their money.  Or does Uncle Sam keep it?  I mean, it’s not like it was set aside in a cool lockbox or anything.  It’s been long since spent, so does the country just keep it?

And if you get to keep it, are you really being victimized?  As a payroll-doing CPA, I know a thing or two about how Social Security works, and it seems to me that this is a HUGE plus that would totally outweigh the damage done by someone using your Social Security number.  We’re talking MUCHO DINERO, my friend.  

Just to show what an all-out kind of blogger I am, I went to the Social Security website and used their quickie calculator to show us what kind of money we’re talking about.  If someone born on January 1, 1965 retires on their 65th birthday, and averaged $40,000 a year, they’ll receive (in today’s dollars) $1231 each month for the rest of their lives, as well as the life of their spouse.  BUT…if we add an illegal immigrant’s income of a measly $10,000 a year to this, the monthly benefit increases to $1453, more than $200 a month extra…for life!  That’ll buy a lot of pain killers.  And I strongly suspect that those numbers are extremely conservative, and that the payoff would be much bigger.  Particularly if we adjusted for inflation.

So if people knew about this aspect of the whole illegal immigrant/Social Security bonanza, would they be more supportive of a porous border system?  Perhaps seeing it as a sort of retirement lottery, and that they might be one of the lucky few to have their identity stolen by an illegal immigrant.  Not that I’m suggesting we emphasize this right now, but it seems like not such a bad idea, were this whole illegal immigrant privacy meme to catch on.  I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t mind having my own personal illegal pumping cash into my retirement fund.  

Hell, we could eventually just make it official by allowing immigrants to adopt us.  They can stay as long as they keep pumping cash into our Social Security accounts.  We could even create a commodities market out of it, with the higher paid immigrants being sold to the highest bidder.  These could be real investments.  And if nothing else, this would really fix any “crunch” that Social Security might suffer in the future.  We could have old fogies replenishing their Social Security account well into retirement.  It’d be better than privatization (if you can imagine that).

BTW, throughout this post, I’m referring only to illegal immigrants using your Social Security number to get a job, with payroll deductions going to your Social Security account; and not to regular identity thieves, who almost never give you their payroll deductions.  So if you’re taking this post as a sign that I want to be ripped-off, you are sorely mistaken.  But if anyone needs my identity to obtain a job, it’s spelled “D-O-C-T-O-R”, and not “Dr.”, as it is usually misspelled.  I know it seems insignificant, but the SSA is very strict about these sort of things, and I’d hate for something like that to get in between me and your money.


Anonymous said...

I would suggest that your premise is ok until you are arrested for Hot Checks or suddenly find yourself with a collection notice for credit cards you never had. The only way to correct this problem is to punish the employer
severely. Until we do the attraction to off the books, low pay workers will remain. Another thought that you should consider is the fact that here in north Texas a lot of the illegal workers are paid in cash, assuming that the employer pays them at all, because the employer doesn't want a paper trail hence no paid taxes or SS.

Doctor Biobrain said...

Anon - As I made clear, the premise I was working on was solely of illegal immigrants using someone else's Social Security number for employment purposes. That was the original rationale for these raids, so it just makes sense that I was limiting our discussion to that. If there is only a low incident of this occuring, then these raids weren't really justified on those grounds.

As for illegal immigrants being paid cash, there is no identify theft issue at all.