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Posted: 12/19/2002 8:57:57 PM EDT
I saw this on druge. This is a ggod reason to NOT pay income taxes and to throw both the republicans and the dimwits out of office. Mexico is one corrupt country. Talk about the possibilities for Fraud!! U.S. Social Security May Reach To Mexico Story at http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A9342-2002Dec18 By Jonathan Weisman Washington Post Staff Writer Thursday, December 19, 2002; Page A01 Pushed by the Mexican government, the Bush administration is working on a Social Security accord that would put tens of thousands of Mexicans onto the Social Security roster and send hundreds of millions of dollars in benefits south of the border. White House and Mexican government officials say discussions on an agreement to align the Social Security systems of the two countries are informal and preliminary. But excerpts from an internal Social Security Administration memo obtained this month say the agreement "is expected to move forward at an accelerated pace," with the support of both governments, and could be in force by next October. The pact would be the latest, but by far the largest, of a series of treaties designed to ensure that people from one country working in another aren't taxed by both nations' social security systems. In its first year, the agreement is projected to trigger 37,000 new claims from Mexicans who worked in the United States legally and paid Social Security taxes but have been unable to claim their checks, according to a memo prepared by Ted Girdner, the Social Security Administration's assistant associate commissioner for international operations. Extrapolating from U.S. and Mexican government statistics, the accord could cost $720 million a year within five years of implementation. One independent estimate put the total at $1 billion a year -- a large sum, but a trifle compared with the $372 billion in Social Security benefits currently being paid to 46.4 million recipients. Mexican President Vicente Fox has been pushing President Bush to sign a Social Security agreement with Mexico as something of a consolation prize to make up for Bush's failure to pursue promised immigration reforms, according to Latino lobbyists close to the Fox administration. Mexican officials began pressing the White House hard at meetings that preceded the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum in Los Cabos, Mexico, in October. "When the legalization talks began going nowhere, the Mexicans began focusing on this," said Maria Blanco, national senior counsel for the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund. "They really bore in at Los Cabos." Arturo Sarukhan, a top official in Mexico's foreign ministry, said that after Mexico's failure to win a comprehensive package of immigration reforms from Bush, it is lobbying in Washington for important incremental steps. "How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time," he said. The Social Security agreement, he said, is one of those less-sexy things that Mexico has been pushing to deepen its relationship with the United States and improve the day-to-day lives of Mexicans. Just yesterday, Fox underscored the political pressure he is under domestically to secure concessions from the United States when he journeyed to the border city of Nuevo Laredo to call for an "urgent" immigration accord to end discrimination against Mexican workers north of the border. Concern is rising on Capitol Hill -- and even among some White House economic aides -- that any agreement on Social Security could add a new burden to the benefits system, just as the baby-boom generation is preparing to retire. House Ways and Means Committee staff members are meeting today with Social Security officials to hash out projected costs for such an agreement. "We are concerned about the sheer magnitude of the agreement," said a House Republican aide who is an expert on Social Security. About 94,000 beneficiaries living abroad have been brought into the system by the 20 existing international agreements. A Mexican agreement alone could bring in 162,000 in the first five years. White House spokeswoman Claire Buchan said the issue is being explored only at a "technical level" at this point, and the administration has not yet decided to move forward with formal negotiations. "A totalization agreement with Mexico would have significant implications," she said. Miguel Monterrubio, a spokesman for the Mexican Embassy, said several meetings have taken place between the Social Security Administration and its Mexican counterpart since November 2001, but he, too, called them informal. The Social Security memo indicates that work may be further along than both governments are saying. According to the memo, "the application workloads generated by an agreement with Mexico will be much larger than those resulting from any of the 20 existing agreements" with other countries. In addition to the flurry of new claims, an additional 13,000 Mexicans entitled to benefits but cut off by provisions in recent immigration laws could also begin receiving their checks. In a 1996 immigration reform law, Congress decreed that foreigners not legally residing in the United States could no longer claim benefits, unless their home countries were subject to a treaty. Those beneficiaries alone were owed nearly $50 million in 1998, according to a Mexican government document. There is more on page 2
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