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Thursday, December 15, 2011

Social Security and Medicare Aren't Entitlements

 Politicos in Washington D.C. keep telling citizens Social Security and Medicare are "entitlements" and if they keep repeating this lie often enough people might start to believe it.

Fact is these are "EARNED BENEFITS".  Every working person who collects Soc. Security and Medicare had money deducted from their pay over their entire working careers.  The amount each person collects is based on how much they paid into the system.  Medicare was also deduced from each persons pay and those on Medicare pay about $100/month for straight Medicare Part B and more if they opt for an Advantage Plan with a private insurance company.

All the people now receiving their earned benefits had no choice in the matter of enrollment for these programs during their working years.  I was more than a little shocked to see how much was deducted from my pay when I got my first job.  I got $1/hour which was the minimum wage back in 1963 and was dismayed at how little was left after deductions.  I got past all that in time and accepted it as something that would  be there if I lived long enough to actually retire.

Medicare was first approved in the Kennedy Administration back in the early 1960's. The running joke at the time was if it didn't pass muster with Congress everyone needed to try and stay young.  Older people before Medicare either had the cash to pay for medical care or they simply died from neglect.

Most people end up paying Social Security and Medicare over what usually is a 40+ year working career.  When I hear Congress and the President calling Social Security and Medicare "entitlements" it really strikes me as an outright lie to people who have paid into these two "earned benefit" programs.  The root of the problem is the fat cats in Congress spent the money and are now trying to weasel out of the loans made to the government via these two non-optional programs.


  1. In my opinion we would have a lot more people out on the street if we didn't have Social Security. I hated the fact all that money went out of each check every payday. Now my wife and I get a modest amount of money each month we can count on to be there to cover expenses. We saved and invested our money over the years but we have not recovered from the crash of the stock market. We now wonder if the money will run out before we die. We thought we were taking care of our future but saw it disappear and it has not recovered yet.

    In the meantime I have yet to see any of the bankers who caused this mess indited or go to prison. The only thing worse is our do nothing Congress who call Soc. Sec. and entitlement program. I would like to see them get paid for what they are worth.

  2. Aren't you just talking semantics here? Those who paid into the system and are eligible for the support are in fact "entitled" to receive them.

  3. In a casual sense, the term "entitlement" refers to a notion or belief that one (or oneself) is deserving of some particular reward or benefit[1]—if given without deeper legal or principled cause, the term is often given with pejorative connotation (e.g. a "sense of entitlement").

    Congress is using the PERJORATIVE use of the word "entitlement" when the speak of Social Security and Medicare and frankly it makes me angry too. Next time I see any of the "gentlemen from Idaho" I intend to question them on the use of entitlement.

  4. I'll try and be more "casual" with regard to the definition of words from now on.

  5. If these folks cannot afford the lifestyle they have created maybe they should should sell their houses and move closer to where the work is rather than drawing payments from the government. Pull yourself up by your bootstraps boys and get a better job instead of whining about how little the government can help you.

    1. If you have an actual job you would feel like the millions of workers that have Social Security and Medicare taken out of there checks it is a slap in our face to say this is an Entitlement. If this is the case then stop taking it from my check, I am entitled to keep my hard working earned money in my own pocket.

      And you have your nerves saying to move and get a better job, obviousely you must not have ever received a pay a check a day in your life to see a $1,500.00 dollar bi-weekly check deminish down to $850.00 after state/federal taxes, retirement and those so called entitlements. And yes I am entitled to money I worked for idiot.

    2. The facts about old age are not pretty. There are advertisements from ING Financial Services showing people carrying around numbers representing their retirement nest egg goals. I am someone in retirement and can tell you those numbers are real. You get old before you get smart about retirement. Planning for retirement should start as soon as you start working otherwise you will face a rather bleak old age.

      Social Security is not an entitlement program it is a debt owed to participants. I do think we need to have a serious conversation about medical heroics of Medicare. Life ends at some point in time and keeping people alive just because we can do it with modern medicine makes no sense. I have no issues with the notion of death but the quality of the experience is something I think about frequently as I am well into the last Qtr. of life if you believe the statistics.


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