Goss said that as many as 67% of all illegals are working with either a phony SS card or one that was no longer valid. Take this information together with a Pew report that put the number of illegal workers today at 11.1mm. This implies that there are 7,400,000 illegal workers contributing to SS. Most of this income is regular weekly pay. The average number for this in the US is $30K. About $100 per day. That comes to a total payroll of $225 billion! The SS tax on this is 12.4%, or $27b in just 2010. This analysis is how Goss got to the $240b 2007 topside estimate. Add three years to that at $25b a year plus interest on the whole nut and you get ~$350b.
I won’t (now) go into the longer-term impacts to SS of having overstated its surplus by $350b. That number is 13.5% of the assets of the Fund. I will say that this is a sea change event for how we look at SS. All prior analysis and all future expectations must now be revisited. I assure you that the results after excluding the illegal taxes will be will prove to be a major blow to the solvency of the Fund. It will change the debate on SS. It is that significant. Mr. Goss on this:
The Administration will use the Goss revelation to prove to the American people that illegal workers have made a major contribution to the US economy via the taxes they paid to SS. This will be done to blunt the growing tide of ire among those who actually live here. There could be another chapter to this story. It could be the ticket whereby some illegals get legal. The cost for a Green Card would be that the applicant would have to (among other things) agree to give up their rights to any future SS benefits based on prior contributions made to SS. They would be entitled to benefits based solely on what they were taxed in future years. Any previous contributions (both employer and worker) would be given up as a penalty. This thinking would set up the possibility for two extraordinary outcomes.
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