Immigrants: Pay for My Retirement! Please?

Everyone agrees: the problem with Social Security is that we’re going to have (already have?) too many old people and not enough young people.

Since killing off old people like me is not an option, what we need is more hardworking young people.

Americans aren’t putting their shoulders to the wheel by creating more little ones. Since Abstaining-from-Abstinence programs would likely to be about as effective as their opposites, we’re going to have to find an alternate method if we want to increase the number of  young workers.

Happily, we’ve already got one, and it’s already hard at work: immigration.

It seems that the Social Security projections greatly understate the projected number of immigrants (who are, not surprisingly, heavily skewed toward prime-working-age individuals). The latest SS trustees’ report–which is required to assume current legal limits on immigration–projects between 1 million and 1.3 million immigrants, mid-century. (We’re currently at 1.3 million.) But the Census Bureau projects 2 million.

Dean Baker says that “If the Census projections prove correct, then close to 30 percent of the projected Social Security shortfall would be eliminated.” (Unfortunately he doesn’t detail his calculations or source, though his post implies that the scenario comes from the trustees’ report; I can’t find it in there.)

Hat tip to Don Pedro at Economist for Obama.