It annoys me that we get stories like this. The Social Security costs of putting 4 million illegal immigrants onto the rolls of Social Security will cost taxpayers $2 trillion. This is an estimate by someone at the Heritage Foundation.
What we need is for this guy to study the size of the net unfunded liabilities for Social Security and Medicare. Prof. Lawrence Kotlikoff has used Congressional Budget Office figures — which the CBO now suppresses — to estimate the costs: over $200 trillion.
If the Heritage Foundation wanted to tell the truth, the researcher would hold his press conference and say this.
The Social Security costs of paying off 4 million illegal aliens, if they all register (and they won’t), will be $2 trillion. This indicates the extent to which Social Security is statistically bankrupt, and has been from day one. But, compared to Medicare, this money is chump change: about 1% of the unfunded liabilities of Social Security and Medicare.
Why will this never happen? Because the Heritage Foundation is inside the beltway. If it publicly announced the truth — “There is no hope for Social Security and Medicare; they will go bankrupt” — then it would no longer be part of the loyal opposition in Washington. It would be in the category of the Mises Institute: the disloyal opposition. It would declare the statistical truth: “The whole federal welfare state system is a moral and actuarial failure. It cannot be reformed. Get ready for the Great Default.”
As John Wayne said in The Searchers: “That’ll be the day.”