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ENTITLEMENTS: Stop calling them that

Letter by Wendy Wright, University Place on July 25, 2011 at 2:43 pm with 12 Comments »
July 25, 2011 2:43 pm

Please stop calling Social Security and Medicare “entitlements.” These programs are not entitlements, hand-outs or social programs.

Our members of Congress, along with the news media, have forgotten that most of us have been paying for Social Security and Medicare all our working lives. Not only did I contribute to Social Security, but my employer did, too. It totaled 15 percent of my income before taxes. If I averaged only $30,000 a year over my working life, that’s close to $220,500.

For better or worse, people in their 50s and older have built this country. We also built the companies and organizations for which we worked. We made this country. Social Security and Medicare payments to us is just our money coming back to us. We earned these programs; they are not entitlements. Please stop referring to them using this terminology.


Leave a comment Comments → 12
  1. Rollo_Tomassi says:

    Merriam Webster defines “Entitlement” as…

    1) a : the state or condition of being entitled : right
    b : a right to benefits specified especially by law or contract

    2) : a government program providing benefits to members of a specified group; also : funds supporting or distributed by such a program

    3) : belief that one is deserving of or entitled to certain privileges


    Why would you not want to be identified as an “entitled” person?

  2. itwasntmethistime says:

    Ummmm, they are entitlements. You paid in, and therefore are entitled to draw. What’s the problem?

  3. Silly rhetoric games.

    Social Security and Medicare are insurance programs, not “entitlements” in the sense of the word that the Republicans would like to make you think.

  4. PumainTacoma says:

    Entitlements? Watch what tax payers and SSI money goes for in Tacoma.

  5. Whatever! Anything that benefits the disadvantaged will be disparaged by the extreme right wingnuts any way they can. Using the language “entitlements” is just one way to frame the argument in their favor.
    Ignore it is my advise.

  6. alindasue says:

    itwasntmethistime said, “Ummmm, they are entitlements. You paid in, and therefore are entitled to draw. What’s the problem?”

    There is no problem. As you say, they are entitled to draw on the money they paid in. The only problem is people who twist the meaning of words to fit their political bias.

    Ms. Wright, an entitlement is something you are entitled to. There’s nothing wrong with that. Don’t let the people who misuse words (that they often don’t even understand) for their own political gain convince you otherwise.

    PumainTacoma, keep searching all the threads you put this link in. Eventually, you’ll find the one that I already replied to your nonsense in. I’m only writing it once.

  7. I am in agreement with the posters who correctly indicate certain politicians have painted the word “entitlement” as something bad or evil.

    The only definition for a government entitlement is the person meets the qualifications for eligibility. Social Security and Medicare are funded by specific taxes and premiums. The level of entitlement is determined by prior contributions/taxes.

    Unfortunately medicaid is thrown in the same political buzz word with social security and medicare because it is a big dollar issue. If you meet medicaid eligibility you are entitled to the benefits. The same with veterans benefits. The same with food stamps. The same with unemployment benefits.

    The problem is when politicians create entitlement as an evil thing because funds have to be found to pay for the entitlement or the rules for eligibility has to change.

    Except for social security and medicare I am not aware of any other ‘entitlement’ that has been funded by specific taxes.

    Of course, when it comes to some other entitlements it is called something else. If you meet the qualifications for a deductions, credit or other break under the Internal Revenue Code it is not called an entitlement. If you get a subsidy from the US Treasury it is not called an entitlement. Somehow “job creators’ get to have politicians paint their entitlement into something beneficial.

  8. domedude47 says:

    Kard says ” SS and Medicare are insurance programs”. only in a liberal sense. Try to have Safeco pay for your wrecked car if you have not paid into it .

  9. domedude:

    Ever heard of “uninsured motorist”? Where there is a dollar the insurance companies will find a way to make two. The other guy didn’t have insurance and you paid for your accident, along with a hit on your record so that they can jack your rates.

    So let me guess, you are one of those that are going to spew malarky about illegal aliens getting social security…..right? The only people I know that get social security without contributing are disabled folks. Should we just hand them a tin cup and tell them to hit the streets?

  10. domedude47 says:

    If your suggesting that the only people getting un-paid into SS are the disabled you live in a pretty small place. And I PAY for uninsured motorist.

  11. alindasue says:


    This is copied and pasted directly off the Social Security website:

    (begin copy/paste) ————————————————————————-
    Generally, if you are a noncitizen in one of certain immigration categories granted by the Department of Homeland Security, you may be eligible for SSI if:

    You were lawfully living in the United
    States on August 22, 1996, and you are blind or disabled;
    You were receiving SSI on August 22, 1996, and you are lawfully living in the United States; or
    You were lawfully admitted for permanent residence under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) and have a total of 40 credits of work in the United States. (Your spouse’s or parent’s work also may count.)

    Important: If you entered the United States on or after August 22, 1996, then you may not be eligible for SSI for the first five years as a lawfully admitted permanent resident even if you have 40 qualifying credits of earnings.

    Some other noncitizens who may be eligible for SSI payments are:

    Active duty members of the U.S. armed forces;
    Noncitizen members of federally recognized Indian tribes;
    Certain noncitizens admitted as Amerasian immigrants; and
    Cuban/Haitian entrants under the Refugee Education Assistance Act.
    ——————————————————————– (end copy/paste)

    Those entering the country prior to August 22, 1996 have long reached the seven year limit for refugee assistance. Unless there is another reason for them to collect SSI, such as disability, they are no longer receiving any benefits.

    Immigrants currently serving our country in the military and certain Amerasian immigrants (generally children of US soldiers) MAY possibly qualify for SSI benefits. Other immigrants who lawfully enter this country will qualify only after working in a job long enough to accumulate 40 qualifying credits (at 4 credits per quarter per worker). In other words, they earn it through military service or they pay into it.

    The only exceptions to paying into the system first seem to be Cuban refugees (not many of them in Tacoma) and some Native Americans who may possibly qualify if they meet all other criteria…. and disabled people, of course.

  12. Roncella says:

    If the Big spending Democrats and Establishment Republicans would have just kept their money crabbing hands off the Social Sucurity funds years ago, it would not be necessary to make serious changes to the Fund now to keep it from going bankrupt.

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