“Entitlements” – Piss Off Uncle Clyde!

When Barack Obama, the chosen leader, and other politicians refer to Medicare and Social Security as “entitlements,” it really pisses off my uncle, Clyde!  Why?  Clyde paid the maximum in social security taxes and medicare taxes for almost 40 years before he retired and collected any benefits.  And, now he pays a monthly premium for his Medicare benefits!  Clyde doesn’t think of his monthly social security check or his medical benefits as “entitlements” because he paid, in advance, for them over decades when he worked!!!  He thinks of those taxes as an investment (although not voluntary) he made for his old age.  Clyde thinks he entered into a contract with the federal government when he paid for services to be provided at a later time.  “Entitlements” have come to mean that you get something for nothing just for being you!  The public has been seduced by politicians into thinking that people who collect their social security and medicare benefits are somehow bilking the system and getting a free ride.  Nothing is farther from the truth.  Clyde paid, in advance, into the social security fund…..in order to collect  his paltry monthly government payment!!

The fact is that the federal government has done a TERRIBLE job in managing Clyde’s tax payments (his investment) over the years.  That is why the system is in trouble!  In an earlier post on March 1, 2010 (No wonder Social Security is in Trouble), I described how the system can be used to benefit people who never paid a single penny into the system!  And, while FDR in 1935 wanted social security to make everyone “secure;”  it was never intended to be the only source of an individual’s retirement.  It is a supplement, at best!

But, Clyde’s point is lost on most politicians.  He paid (invested) in social security; and he paid, in advance, for his medicare benefits.  These benefits are not government giveaways to Clyde….they are payments back to Clyde for “loaning” (his tax dollars) to the government to fund social security and healthcare.  The fact that the government has chosen to provide social security and medical benefits to a broader range of recipients is not Clyde’s problem.

Nevertheless, something has to be done.  Now all of us have to pay for the federal government’s mistakes….and that means more taxes!   Plain and simple!  The income ceiling for contributions to social security and medicare must be increased…probably to $200,000+!  Full benefit age requirements must, gradually, go up to accommodate the actuarial tables for the longer life span for Americans.

“Entitlements” are freebies, according to Uncle Clyde!  Social Security and Medicare are not “freebies” to my uncle!  Let’s try to maintain some prospective!  “Freebies” are payments made via Medicaid and other federal programs (food stamps, free mobile phones, etc.) for which the recipients paid nothing to receive!  Let’s keep it honest!!!

P.S.  Medicare is MANDATORY when you reach 65!   You are placed on the plan whether or not you want it.  And, you pay a monthly premium…even though you have paid, in advance, every month of  your entire, previous work-life!

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3 responses to ““Entitlements” – Piss Off Uncle Clyde!

  1. Right on! The federal government has made many mistakes handling tax dollars. This is just another example! When I vote in 2012, I will cast my ballot for the person who has the backbone to stonewall the growing federal budget. It is time to make a stand! Enough is enough!

  2. This is a hot button for me. We have been led to believe that social security and medicare are somehow freebies from the government. That is not true. I don’t think most people know how much money they and their employer pay for medicare and social security throughout their working lives. It is not free. Not only do you pay for medicare while you are working you also will pay a monthly premuim when you are eligible. It is taken directly out of your social security whether you want it or not. Medicare and Social Security is not an entitlement for those of us who have actually paid into the system our entire lives. It is an entitlement for those who have paid nothing and are eligible somehow. Benefits should only go to the person who paid in and his or her spouse. You should also know that if you make over a certain amount of money while taking your social security your benefits will be reduced. This is similiar to a “needs” test.
    This is not an entitlement it is a tax people and employers are required to pay to the government. I can understand having to make changes for future generations but changes need to be made gradually and not impact those currently collecting social security or those who will be eligible within the next 10 years. If not it is no better than Bernie Madoff’s ponci scheme. He went to jail but no one in the government will ever have to pay.

  3. Social Security is not an entitlement program except to those who are getting it without ever having paid into it. I have always been an entrepreneur, therfore, I have paid both my own percentage of pay each payday as well as matched that percentage as the employer . For every $100 I have made in take home pay, I have sent approximately $20 to the Federal Government for what they are now calling an entitlement to me. Thank you Bob for pointing very elegantly exactly what is being done to people who have worked all of their lives and paid into this system. I personally resent the Government giving my Social Security and Medicare/Mecaid payments to those who have not paid into the system. I also resent the Government for not safeguarding these funds to be used for the sole purpose they were intended. I have read these funds were added to the general tax fund and used for purposes other than Social Security investments and payments. I am with Meg269 on this issue. I will vote for the guys who have the backbone to try to get our debt and budget under control. Enough is enough.

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