Why are Social Security and Medicare called "entitlements," when the word has such negative connotations. Shouldn't they more accurately be called "earned benefits?"

Freddie Reis 2011/09/04 18:59:22
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  • Mike axe 2012/11/07 02:00:32
    Mike axe
    I Payed into self employment tax ssi or social security and disability insurance.Insurance not entitlement! I was hurt badly in an accident.I am now collecting ssdi Insurance not an entitlement why do they try and say I do not deserve this. I worked hard for many years and if you have a job with health insurance for my pre existing condition I would love to work but I earned it it is not a freebie I was unlucky.i was doing everything right I even had private insurance but they found a way to not pay sounds like our government would like to do the same and leave me out in the cold taking everything from me I only have my house left which I built and payed for myself because I could not get a loan.You can not take my earned ssdi away calling it an entitlement,I am entitled to it I earned it.I still pay$4000 plus for health insurance whichi is one quarter of my yearly pay try living on that!
  • Independent Lutheran 2011/09/04 21:28:46
    Independent Lutheran
    According to the definition of the word SS and Medicare are entitlements. What are not entitlements are the other safety net programs such as Medicaid, TANF, and Food Stamps. I don't see Washington however separating the terms because seniors are a huge voting block and so long as they can lead seniors to believe that their entitlements are in danger they never have to worry about major changes to the other non-entitlement programs.
  • Max 2011/09/04 20:42:45
    I don't feel that the word entitlement should be viewed as a negative word. Seniors are entitled to those earned benefits.
  • Freddie... Max 2011/09/04 20:53:27
    Freddie Reis
    It does have that negative connotation, though. We say that somebody "feels so entitledf" when we mean that they expect things they didn't earn. Using this word about SS and Medicare is misleading.
  • Rusty Bubbles 2011/09/04 19:25:35 (edited)
    Rusty Bubbles
    Yes, they are earned because the people put money (supposedly) into government accounts for future payouts and unfortunately have been mixed in with government handouts, such as food stamps, housing, welfare, where no such investment was ever made

    Handouts have been called by courts "entitlements," which falsely presupposes that one person is "entitled" to enjoy the tangible fruits of another person's labor when the government extracts them from the latter through the coercion known as taxes.

    In any other context, "handouts aka: entitlements" are nothing but the receipt of stolen property
  • jeepster4 Rusty B... 2011/09/04 19:30:54
    By your rather ignorant statement, my paying in to social Security since 1954 and paying in to Medicare since its inception has earned me the payouts. Spouting what you heard on Fox news is not an indication of any awareness of fact.
  • Freddie... jeepster4 2011/09/04 19:40:58
    Freddie Reis
    I paid into the system for 50 years and thought of it as something like an investment. It bugs me so much, now that I'm retired, to be called some kind of moocher by these right wingers.
  • Tony Ma... Freddie... 2011/09/04 20:01:38
    Tony Mariotti
    I believe there is no such accusation to those that have put in. It is those that do not, refuse to do it, and expect me, you and everyone else to support their gimme lifestyle.
  • Freddie... Tony Ma... 2011/09/04 20:51:09
    Freddie Reis
    Don't you agree, though, that when Washington talks about "entitlement reform" they're talking about Social Security and Medicare? I really think that separating these 2 programs from the rest of the "safety net" -- in language that reflects the reality -- would be a change for the better.
  • Tony Ma... Freddie... 2011/09/05 15:31:22
    Tony Mariotti
    i dont think they include them wholly with things like Welfare. That said, MEdicar and Social Security certainly DO need reform as well. Social Security as it was created, wasnt intended for people to live off of for 20-30 years. More like 5 to 10 tops. Ive been paying into it since I was 15, and I wont see a dime of it most likely. So what is wrong with me taking MY withholdings and investing it how I want? Its not like its a foreign concept. We have 401k, TSP, ROTH, etc...
  • Freddie... Tony Ma... 2011/09/05 16:06:24
    Freddie Reis
    Throw it to the mercies of the market? I don't know -- my IRA has taken a beating.
  • Tony Ma... Freddie... 2011/09/05 21:55:37
    Tony Mariotti
    but at least you have one. what do I have to look forward to from 20 years of putting into SS? "Gee, sorry we spent your payments on crap"-Uncle Sam
  • Freddie... Rusty B... 2011/09/04 19:38:28
    Freddie Reis
    The Social Security Trust Fund is totally separate from the federal budget and food stamps, etc. aren't paid out of it. Sorry, but you are misinformed.
  • Rusty B... Freddie... 2011/09/04 19:45:14 (edited)
    Rusty Bubbles
    I basically said that, but perhaps I could have said it in a more focused manner......

    The point I was trying to make is that handouts have been (wrongly) lumped into the "entitlements" catagory
  • Freddie... Rusty B... 2011/09/04 19:52:00
    Freddie Reis
    Thanks for clarifying, Rusty.
  • Indepen... Rusty B... 2011/09/04 21:24:20
    Independent Lutheran
    Legally levied taxation is not by definition theft. We have a representative government we elect those who make these decisions. The courts have upheld these decisions. We are legally obligated to obey these decisions. There is no theft unless you are being forced to pay an illegal tax.
  • Rusty B... Indepen... 2011/09/04 21:30:33
    Rusty Bubbles
    "We have a representative government"

    We are supposed to have a representative government....But, do we really?
    This would make a good discussion over some.....Tea
  • Indepen... Rusty B... 2011/09/04 21:41:15
    Independent Lutheran
    I'm more of a coffee guy but always up for a reasonable discussion. I will state that of all the political rallies I have attended (not as many lately as I would like) the Tea Party was the most respectful and diverse. I should also add I am not a member of the Tea Party, and I find myself disagreeing with some of their talking points.
  • Freddie... Rusty B... 2011/09/04 21:44:36
    Freddie Reis
    Tea Party affiliation or not, I think we can all pretty much agree that "representative government" has become a polite fiction. What we really have is a plutocracy.
  • Rusty B... Freddie... 2011/09/04 21:59:04
    Rusty Bubbles
    We started a slow walk towards socialism ever since the voting public realized they can vote themselves "goodies" from the public treasury.

    But with Obama, I fear we're at a dead run
  • Freddie... Rusty B... 2011/09/04 22:06:07
    Freddie Reis
    I'd have to disagree. We don't have anything close to socialism -- government ownership of the means of production. We have plutocracy -- government by the rich.
  • Rusty B... Freddie... 2011/09/04 22:41:54
    Rusty Bubbles
    Re-read this part again............."We started a slow walk towards socialism...."
  • Freddie... Rusty B... 2011/09/04 22:49:13
    Freddie Reis
    I'm more fearful of the damage the plutocrats will do.
  • Rusty B... Freddie... 2011/09/04 23:00:38 (edited)
    Rusty Bubbles
    There's nothing US business can (should) do that doesn't happen with a wink and a nod by the politicians that are appointed to oversee the regulations.

    That's not to say that businesses don't pander, bribe, or even threaten politicians to vote their way, but that's our fault by consistently sending them back to Washington and one of the main reasons I've made up my mind that no smooth talking, political wind checking, professional politician will be getting my vote....(You hear me Mr. Romney?)

    I'm voting Tea becasue they seem to be everyday people who are politically raw, inexperienced, and they perhaps stumbled here and there while climbing the steps into the national spotlight. But, those are the very things I like the most about them and what I think is needed in Washington
  • Freddie... Rusty B... 2011/09/04 23:13:41
    Freddie Reis
    Well, from the looks of the debt ceiling fiasco, I don't know if we can survive a steep learning curve for the TPers. At the same time, there's no denying that Washington is totally corrupt, very largely because lobbyists are buying votes and actually writing self-serving legislation. Without term limits and campaign finance reform, there won't be a change. Unfortunately, Congress won't police itself and these 2 reforms don't stand a chance.
  • Rusty B... Freddie... 2011/09/05 01:42:47 (edited)
    Rusty Bubbles

    When did "Public-Service" turn into "Self-Service"?

    Here's something I wrote a year or so ago after a exchange with someone calling for a revolution ~~~~~~~

    Before "pulling the revolution trigger" ----
    Try making the changes as it was meant to be....with your vote.

    I know it's frustrating, those who depend on government will always vote for those politicians who promise them more. I also understand that no professional politician is going to allow term limits to become law; it's just not going to happen.

    Unfortunately, it seems too many voters are very comfortable with keeping the same highly polished, underachieving, smooth-talking, self-serving, political wind checking, professional politicians that currently infest our government like a swarm of cockroaches. (you hear me Mr. Romney?)

    I prefer the politically raw, inexperienced, down-to-earth, everyday type who perhaps may stumble here and there while climbing the steps into the national spotlight for the first time, but they have the visions, the dreams, and the hopes of the founders at heart and for those reasons I plan to vote for new blood.

    I support the Tea Party in hopes of a more constitutionally friendly Washington

    ………….and if that doesn’t work….it’s on!
  • Freddie... Rusty B... 2011/09/05 04:53:38
    Freddie Reis
    I guess I could fully support you if I had any confidence that elected TPers fully knew what are the consequences of their actions could be, or if current experince doesn't show, as it does in Wisconsin, that many of them are more interested in grinding axes than in actually making things better.

    I wonder, too, if the anger voiced at the few town meetings that happened this summer might not be the harbinger of a backlash against the TP come Nov 2012?

    I don't really have a dog in this fight, just a lot of concerns about a very unpredictable development.
  • Rusty B... Freddie... 2011/09/05 10:31:46
    Rusty Bubbles
    Yea, I know what ya mean.

    Most are greenhorns without the "connections" and I'm sure the political veterans will attempt to take advantage of their inexperience.

    The tea may well be a shot in the dark, but I know we will never get significant change with either the democratic or republican party
  • Freddie... Rusty B... 2011/09/05 13:03:21
    Freddie Reis
    Couldn't agree with you more. There's a rot at the heart of our political (and financial) system that isn't going to self-correct. The foxes are in charge. We're in for bad times if there isn't basic reform, even radical reform.

    I know it's a forlorn hope, but I wish something like No Labels could get a head of steam. Anything that could counter the hyperpartisanship that's got us treading water when we should all be paddling like mad.

    Oh, well, this Labor Day finds me in a very pessimistic mood....
  • Rusty B... Freddie... 2011/09/05 14:41:56
    Rusty Bubbles
    and that reminds me


  • Freddie... Rusty B... 2011/09/05 15:09:00
    Freddie Reis
    Hey, thanks Rusty! Same to you.

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