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With the shutdown behind us, the next two months will be spent on negotiations of the infamous "grand bargain," which to the Village insiders means cuts to social security and medicare.  We must fight this, and we should start with the word "entitlements."  These are social insurance programs, but they're more than that.  They are retirement and medical funds that are really reimbursements to those who invested.  Some will get back more than they put in, others less.  But people do not receive them because they feel "entitled."  They are open to anyone eligible.  I don't believe benefit cuts are necessary in either program, but many do, including President Obama, so it's going to be a tough battle.

Let's fight the "E" word!  No more cuts in Reimbursement Programs!

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Comment Preferences

  •  people don't receive them because they (7+ / 0-)

    feel entitled to them, but because they are entitled to them once they've met the statuttory requirements.  hence the language in the Social Security Act:

    Every qualified individual (as defined in section 210) shall be entitled to receive....
  •  Everyone wounded while fighting in our wars sure (8+ / 0-)

    is entitled to compensation, likewise an elderly lady who has never worked but now she's a widow, or somebody born blind or people who make too little or ....

    Instead of worrying about words maybe we should put some tax fairness into a grand bargain. Continue the graduated increases for couples over 300K. Maybe time for making a million a year to pay more as a percent than those making half a million.

    “Conservation… is a positive exercise of skill and insight, not merely a negative exercise of abstinence and caution…” Aldo Leopold

    by ban nock on Thu Oct 17, 2013 at 04:31:09 AM PDT

  •  Right you are (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DRo, PhilJD, caryltoo

    We are in for another grand bargain fight.  Sadly PBO thinks passing one would be a great accomplishment.

    We are a long way from where we need to be on these sort of discussions.  

    "The real wealth of a nation consists of the contributions of its people and nature." -- Riane Eisler

    by noofsh on Thu Oct 17, 2013 at 04:33:08 AM PDT

  •  "entitlement" is a dysphemism (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hlsmlane, Sandino

    It stands for rights, specifically rights to material things which satisfy people's human needs and which other people don't think they need unless and until they've gone down on their knees.

    Even property rights, never mind human rights, are a challenge because ownership, which is how they are manifest, actually implies an obligation. What is it that people, whose claim to assets and resources is honored by the community as a whole, owe in exchange for that accommodation? I'd say that, at a minimum, they have an obligation to use the property well and, in the event it produces a surplus, to share. That's a challenge because not a few people perceive ownership as a license to do as they please, even to destroy at their leisure.
    Why destruction might be a source of pleasure is a puzzlement, but it obviously is.
    Sometimes it almost seems as if property rights are nothing more than predatory destruction rendered symbolic.

  •  I prefer "earned benefits," but I want to be clear (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    caryltoo

    that I am "entitled" to what I earned re my Social Security benefits. I've made the max contribution every year since 1992, save for a terrible 2011 and 2012.

    I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do, because I notice it always coincides with their own desires. - Susan B. Anthony

    by pajoly on Thu Oct 17, 2013 at 06:05:09 AM PDT

  •  I get it, but... (0+ / 0-)

    the word is just a symbol. All of its meaning lies in the associations people have with it. For example, I'm a bleeding heart, n*gger-loving, tree-hugging liberal. I welcome those words, dripping with contempt, because they show the world what those who speak them feel about empathy, equality, conservation and freedom.

    My goodness, I even think I'm entitled to food. To me, running from the word is running from the fight.

    One good thing about music, when it hits you feel no pain -Bob Marley

    by Darwinian Detritus on Thu Oct 17, 2013 at 06:58:12 AM PDT

  •  Other Entitlements (0+ / 0-)

    How about adding farm subsidies (especially to corporate farmers) and carry interest to the list of entitlements to be cut back?

  •  Why are we so obsessed with semantics? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jon Says

    It IS an entitlement.  Each of these programs has a set of criteria which, if you meet them, ENTITLE you to receive benefits.

    You are entitled to them.  They are entitlements.

    And to try and say that using a word tilts the policy debate in favor of the GOP a) contains an underlying assumption that the American People are fucking stupid and b) gives the strong impression that your side of the argument is so weak to begin with that you need to dither over word choice.

    People know what it means.  People know what they are.  People know what they want.

    Its a policy debate, and an important one at that, not a word game.  Act accordingly.

    Красота спасет мир --F. Dostoevsky

    by Wisper on Thu Oct 17, 2013 at 07:13:26 AM PDT

    •  Some segments of America are f***ing stupid. (0+ / 0-)

      There is one part of the right-wing world, the part where the morons continually vote against their own best interests, where entitlements mean welfare and food stamps and things that free-loaders get. I truly wonder how many of them know that social security and medicare are the entitlements their heroes and, unfortunately, the president, are gunning for. After all, these are the folks who in the run-up to the ACA wanted goverment to keep its hands off their medicare.

  •  The president has been trying to cut our (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    caryltoo

    Social Security and Medicare for years.  Let's hold our Democratic Senators accountable for holding the line on our social insurance.
    We need to be talking more about what our Democraticpoliticians are saying and doing instead of the continuous railing about the Republicans.  I think this must be some kind of propaganda ploy to get Liberals to ignore that our Democratic politicians keep moving to the Right with government policies.

  •  Obama is now in a position to demand (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    caryltoo

    lifting the SS cap, then if they want to fiddle with entitlements it won't matter.

    taxing the wealthy

    push the ole transaction tax

    Yep GO FOR IT!

    •  Lifting The Cap (0+ / 0-)

      Makes SS solvent for perpetuity.

      It means contuing to pay SS after the first $113,700 of income.   I prefer lifting the cap over means testing.  Means testing could penalize people for a life time of frugality.

      Without music to decorate it, time is just a bunch of boring production deadlines or dates by which bills must be paid. ~ Frank Zappa ~

      by NCTim on Thu Oct 17, 2013 at 11:51:31 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Earned Benefits Indeed (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    caryltoo

    Having paid into social security for over 37 years, I would consider any negative changes a breach of contract.  

    Without music to decorate it, time is just a bunch of boring production deadlines or dates by which bills must be paid. ~ Frank Zappa ~

    by NCTim on Thu Oct 17, 2013 at 08:40:35 AM PDT

  •  Listen to the pundits... (0+ / 0-)

    ...and you can hear the sneer in their voice about us little people and our "entitlements."  Semantics are important.  Rush Limbaugh constantly rails against entitlements because they are, in his view, "things people feel entitled to take."  In truth, they have been earned, paid for, etc.  Before the word took on a negative connotation, it simply meant a part of the budget that wasn't determined in advance by a set appropriation.

    I think we should use different terms if we want to win the argument over the future of Social Security and Medicare, which are way more important than defending a definition.

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