Letter: Speaking of Entitlements
To the Editor:
We are told that Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid are entitlements — yet another clever political conceit. In other words, our soon-to-retire workers, having supported the system all their working lives, are hopelessly irresponsible for thinking they are entitled to the benefits, certainly not on the same scale as their parents and grandparents. Why then, in the name of our deficit, aren’t we looking around for even more of these pernicious “entitlements”?
Shouldn’t we consider corporate welfare an entitlement — you know, all those tax loopholes (breaks, credits) and government subsidies? How about children who inherit a fortune that they never worked for — is that an entitlement? Are semiautomatic weapons an entitlement? How about knee-jerk corporate bonuses and bailouts without accountability? Surely the carried-interest tax break enjoyed by some of the very rich is one. Because the rich have always protected their wealth using a legion of tax lawyers and lobbyists, aren’t low tax rates a redundant entitlement? It sure helps explain their prodigious and ever-increasing piece of the American economic pie.
Ultimately, the most entitled people of any society are the rich and powerful. In Washington, their entitlements will always be the last to reach the bargaining table.