President Bush’s spokesman says he doesn’t have the answer to every question for instant response, but he’ll prepare information for a WND question about illegal aliens qualifying for Social Security benefits.
At a presidential press briefing, Les Kinsolving, WND’s correspondent at the White House, asked about the issue on which WND reported earlier.
“This morning The Washington Times noted, ‘The Bush administration reached an agreement with Mexico that would permit illegal aliens, after they are granted amnesty in the future, to claim Social Security benefits for the work they performed while in the U.S. illegally, even if they committed felonies by using fraudulent Social Security documents.’ Could you explain why this is not subsidizing crime?”
“I don’t know anything about it. … For the last 25 hours, I’ve been dealing with who is going to take what position in Washington at which department. And so if I am preparing for a news conference, probably the last thing I’m going to be doing is something which, while it may be of vital interest, it may not be top of mind. So if you wish … if you want to ask me a question like this and you really want a good answer, call me beforehand so I can be prepared,” Snow said.
The TREA Senior Citizens League revealed the documentation showing the issues involving Social Security.
It obtained the papers, after years of work and a Freedom of Information Act request, documenting the U.S.-Mexico Social Security Totalization Agreement.
The group said the document reveals what was expected, a huge threat to the future of Social Security, because any Mexican worker who has as little as 18 months of employment history in the United States could end up qualifying for some Social Security retirement benefits.
The estimated drain to the Social Security system was in the billions. An analysis of the plan by the Center for Immigration Studies noted that at the end of 2003, the Social Security System owed retirees and current workers benefits valued at $14 trillion, with assets of only $3.5 trillion.
The governmental agreement between the United States and Mexico was signed in June 2004, and now is awaiting President Bush’s signature. Once that signature is in place, which can be done without a vote in Congress, the U.S. House and U.S. Senate would have only 60 days to disapprove it by voting to reject it.
“The Social Security Administration itself warns that Social Security is within decades of bankruptcy – yet, they seem to have no problem making agreements that hasten its demise,” said Ralph McCutchen, chairman of the league.
It’s not the first such agreement; the U.S. already has nearly two dozen other agreements with other nations. They are intended to eliminate dual taxation for people who work outside their country of origin. But the other agreements are with developed nations with economies similar to that of the U.S., the league said.
For example, a worker who turns 62 after 1990 generally needs 40 calendar quarters of coverage to receive retirement benefits. Under the cross-country agreements, workers can combine earnings from both countries in order to qualify for benefits in the U.S.
The agreements generally provide that workers need only 18 months of coverage in the U.S. to qualify.
However, the league said Mexico’s retirement system is “radically” different from other nations, the group said. “There, only 40 percent of the non-government workers participate in the system, as opposed to 96 percent of America’s non-government workers. Additionally, the U.S. system is progressive, meaning lower-income workers get back much more than they paid into the system. But in Mexico, workers get back only what they put in, plus interest.”
The CIS said the current plan “represents a sell-out of American workers and their families.”
The cost of Social Security is just one of the concerns being raised by those who oppose the “Premeditated Merger” of North America, a subject fully explored and explained in the newest issue of WND’s Whistleblower Magazine.
On another issue, Kinsolving asked about an Internet report “that Cindy Sheehan would join Daniel Ellsberg and Michal Ratner of the so-called Center for Constitutional Rights, in calling on the Congress to impeach the president. Does the White House know if that happened, and what was your reaction, if it did?”
Snow said he didn’t know, but House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has said “that no such proceedings will take place. We’ll take her at her word. She is, after all, the Speaker of the House.”
On a third issue, Snow said he didn’t know whether Wesley Autrey, the New York Subway Samaritan, would be invited to the White House.
The 50-year-old Autrey saw a 20-year-old man suffer a seizure and fall onto the subway tracks. He jumped down and held him still while the coming train passed over them. Neither suffered more than minor injuries.
Do you have a tough question you’d like to ask the White House? WND’s MR. PRESIDENT! forum is your big chance.
Related special offers:
For a comprehensive look at the U.S. government’s plan to integrate the U.S., Mexico and Canada into a North American super-state – guided by the powerful but secretive Council on Foreign Relations – read “ALIEN NATION: SECRETS OF THE INVASION,” a special edition of WND’s acclaimed monthly Whistleblower magazine.