They’re not “entitlements”

December 9, 2012

I am enraged that the federal government calls Social Security and Medicare benefits “entitlements.” An entitlement is commonly thought of in a negative way. It is a pejorative term.

As a retired person who worked most of my adult life, I am angered by the use of the term entitlement to describe Social Security and Medicare payments. Both my employers and I paid regular “premiums” to guarantee my “right” to receive benefits when I reached retirement age. We paid those premiums in the same way that people pay for insurance annuities or contributed to company sponsored defined benefit pension plans.

I was enraged years ago when President George W. Bush visited Wheeling, W.Va., and stood waving government obligations in the air and called them “worthless paper.” Wonder what the Chinese and the other countries that sink their money in U.S. bonds would do if our government told them the bonds were “worthless paper?”

Where are the senior citizens? We need another Bonus Army. Only the demands should be in writing to our representatives in Congress. Most of us are too old to march on Washington and camp in a park until the government stops raiding the Social Security Trust Fund and humiliating us by calling the benefits we worked for “entitlements.”

Phoebe H. Suica



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