I am writing to alert readers to an issue of grave importance to all Americans:
President Bush is presently proposing to extend Social Security Benefits to Mexican citizens in Mexico. He is claiming that they are "entitled" to money they pay into the Social Security system when they work in America -- either legally or illegally. This proposal is euphemistically referred to as "totalization." According to Texas Congressman Ron Paul, M.D., who has submitted HR 489, the Social Security for American Citizens Only Act to Congress:
"As I wrote last year, under such a ‘totalization' agreement, even if a Mexican citizen did not work in the United States long enough to qualify for Social Security, the number of years worked in Mexico would be added to bring up the total and thus make the Mexican worker eligible for cash transfers from the United States. To qualify for American Social Security, a Mexican citizen would need to work in the US as short as just 18 months!"
I have already written to Congressman Rick Renzi telling him that this "totalization" proposal is simply an outrage to all Americans, and furthermore, that both President Bush and Congress need to acquaint themselves with the legal fact that the Supreme Court has ruled several times that no one -- including Americans -- is entitled to receive anything from Social Security.
Social Security benefits are not "property," in the legal sense. The right to an annuity or bank account can be passed on to one's heirs, whereas Social Security benefits cannot.
In Helvering v. Davis (1937), the Supreme Court ruled that Social Security is not an insurance program -- thus payroll taxes are not contributions that guarantee a benefit, but are taxes like any others. And in Flemming v. Nestor (1960), the Court ruled that workers and their families have no legal claim to their payroll tax payments."
I encourage as many people as possible to contact the White House, Congressman Renzi and Senators McCain and Kyl and inform them that: a) there is no legal entitlement for anyone, including Americans, to any Social Security; that b) Social Security is a tax that goes into the treasury general fund; and c) the idea of giving Mexicans in Mexico some mythical "entitlement" to American Social Security demonstrates breathtaking ignorance of American law and court decisions on the part of elected representatives, and is offensive to all Americans.
Tina Terry, Payson