Friday, April 01, 2005

How social security solvency problems will be addressed - through immigration law changes

Brad DeLong's Semi-Daily Journal: Max Sawicky Reports on Brookings

The last election cost me whatever residual faith I had in the wisdom of the nation, but it does seem that Bush is having a hard time convincing people that solvency and privatization are somehow inextricably linked. Here DeLong quotes a Sawicky summary of a recent Brookings presentation on the topic. The kicker is DeLong's comment:
Bob Gordon is--as is almost invariably true--smart. Raising immigration by 0.3% of the workforce every year wipes out nearly half of the 75-year Social Security deficit.
Ok guys, the game's over. Everyone can go home now.

If the US emulates Canada's mercenary approach to immigration (anyone who thinks Canadians are altruistic goofs hasn't studied Canadian immigration policy) then a very large chunk of the social security solvency problem goes away. The rest can be dealt with in routine and well understood ways (a bit of longer work here, a bit of tax increase there, a bit of compromise on the annual benefit increase).

This is the kind of backdoor solution that politicians will be unable to resist. It's also not a bad solution.

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