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Santorum: Abortion to Blame for Some Social Security Problems

by Steven Ertelt | Washington, DC | LifeNews.com | 3/29/11 1:49 PM

National

Rick Santorum the former Pennsylvania senator who is eying a bid for the Republican nomination for president, blamed part of the insolvency problems related to social security on abortion.

He says the system would be stronger if not for the 53 million abortions that have robbed the nation of potential workers who would be contributing to the program. Santorum’s comments came during an appearance at an event in New Hampshire, the site of one of the first primary election battles.

“The social security system, in my opinion, is a flawed design, period,” Santorum said in an interview with WEZS Radio in Laconia, New Hampshire.”But having said that, the design would work a lot better if we had stable demographic trends.” Santorum cited the “abortion culture” and said “we don’t have enough workers to support the retirees. Well, a third of all the young people in America are not in America today because of abortion.”

The former senator and House member made the comments in response to a caller to the radio station who made the same point about abortion hurting Social Security and Medicare and the Catholic Republican said he was “absolutely right.”

“We have seven children, so we’re doing our part to fund the Social Security system,” Santorum added.

Leading pro-life advocates have made the argument for years that abortion has contributed to some of the instability of the Social Security systems. Steve Mosher, the president of the Population Research Institute and a demographics expert made the point in an article in 2009.

“In 1940 there were 160 workers supporting each person on Social Security. By 2006 this number had fallen to 3.3 workers per pensioner,” he said. “By 2034, there will be only 2.1 workers for each person collecting a government retirement check.”

“When you look at the projections that show our population aging rapidly over the next few decades, when you see our economy and government programs such as Social Security risking bankruptcy, you can see that the United States’ annual 0.9% population growth rate is not enough,” he adds.

Dennis Howard, the president of the pro-life group Movement for a Better America, has researched the economic impact of abortion since 1995. He found in October 2008 that the abortions taking place in the United States have cost the American economy $35 trillion. That comes in the form of lost productivity by having fewer workers contributing to society.

Those contributions also come in the form of taxpayers contributing to state, federal and local governments that would have had more funds to pay teachers, offer health care benefits or put more police on the streets. The cost to the economy also includes the lost support for the social security system, which experts say still presents a host of challenges for the future and questions about whether younger Americans will receive anything from it.

“Aggressive population control has exacted a huge price in future economic growth that can never be recovered,” he told LifeNews.com.

Howard indicates the estimates are based on GDP per capita per year times the cumulative number of abortions since 1970. He said that is a more conservative approach than that used by government agencies, such as the EPA — which employs an “estimated statistical life” as a benchmark for its cost/benefit analyses for new regulations. A typical ESL averages about $7.8 million per human life and Howard says using that as a standard shows the cost for all abortions to date would be more than 11 times his estimate, or an excess of $390 trillion.

The concern is not just from the pro-life camp as a United Nations (UN) report found the global trend of fertility decline and population aging will have devastating economic and societal effects on the developing world. “World Population Ageing 2009” was published in December 2009 by the UN Population Division, a statistics research branch within the UN’s Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA).

Because fertility is decreasing in the developing world, there will be fewer and fewer workers to support aging citizens, the report found. The ratio of workers to older non-workers dropped from 12 to 9 between 1950 and 2009. By 2050, there will be only 4 workers supporting every retiree: “The reduction of potential support ratios has important implications for social security schemes, particularly for pay-as-you-go pension systems under which taxes on current workers pay the pensions of retirees.”

The effects of fertility decline and population aging will hit the developing world hardest, according to the report, because, “The pace of population ageing is faster in developing countries than in developed countries. Consequently, developing countries will have less time to adjust to the consequences of population ageing.” Furthermore, “ageing in developing countries is taking place at lower levels of socio-economic development than has been the case for developed countries.”