Monday, December 3, 2012

"Entitlements" Debunked

Social Security and Medicare are "Entitlements"?

I worked for them!   

(Note: This article was written in 2012, but the principles are the same.)

I wince whenever I hear the word "entitlements" used to describe Social Security and Medicare.  I started putting money into those funds when I was 14!  

We also were all enlightened when we heard former Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney talk about the irresponsible 47% who felt that they were "entitled" to food, shelter, and medicine. (No way should we give any of those low-life veterans, seniors, disabled people, working poor, and students "food"!  Let them starve!)

Sarcasm aside, I found this great explanation of the use and the misuse of the word "entitlements".  No matter, I still wish the Democrats didn't go along with the Republicans in the defined use of this word.  It's still infuriating, and the Republicans and other conservatives have managed to get the upper hand in rhetoric, as they managed to do with the phrase "pro-life".  


Entitlements debunked:
Entitlement is actually a technical accounting term that refers to fixed payments that must be honored. Republicans and their spinmeisters have taken this accounting term and used it in a vernacular form which suggests that an entitlement is, "something you feel you are entitled to." 
It's a linguistics trick which has worked well in influencing the minds of conservatives that our society is full of 'takers' who are getting something for nothing.

Posted HERE at Huffington Post by Jazzman in reply to this article on Obama's response to the Fiscal Cliff entitled "Better Late Than Never" by Robert Kuttner. 

Other readings on those mind-numbing, government-dependency-producing "entitlements":

Important Links and Recent News:


  1. The problem is that what we pay in doesn't cover the costs of what we pay out and unless we fix the problem someone will be left holding the bag of what is essentially a giant government ponzi scheme. When SS started the average age that people who survived infancy that almost 54% of men could expect to live to age 65 if they survived to age 21, and men who attained age 65 could expect to collect Social Security benefits for almost 13 years (and the numbers are even higher for women). Now we still have people getting SS and they can expect to live on average, until age 84. A woman turning age 65 today can expect to live, on average, until age 86! And the program has expanded to include disability payments. And the benefits are more generous. Something has to change.

    1. Ponzi schemes are by definition illegal, and SS is not illegal. It is not a Ponzi scheme.

      I explain the issue of increased life expectancy HERE. Life expectancy at birth is not the determining issue; life expectancy for people who have attained age 60 or 65 is the issue, and that hasn't increased that much. But, yes, something has to change, and that something is eliminating or raising the cap and/or FICA taxing capital gains or dividends income above a certain level.


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