To the editor:
If you can remember or are a student of political history, you'll recall that during the 1980s (the Reagan era), Congress was seeking a way to avoid raising taxes and balancing the budget.
They were looking for a large pot of money that they could get their hands on. They saw that huge pot of gold in the Social Security trust fund. The fund had billions of dollars in surplus and was sitting there waiting to be used to pay benefits for retirees. Estimates at that time revealed that the trust fund had enough money in it and, together with future interest earnings, would be able to pay full benefits for present and future beneficiaries for the next 200 years.
The the Washington politicians came up with a scheme that would allow them to use all those billions of dollars for budget consolidation and not have to worry about paying it back for several generations.
To make a long story short, when the time came near that the money in the trust fund was running low and might have to be paid back, the term "entitlement" was coined, thus giving the impression that Social Security benefits were a freebie and you didn't really have a right to receive benefits. Propaganda was put forth to blame retirees and the disabled as moochers who didn't save for their retirement and would have to wait until they were beyond normal retirement age to get reduced benefits. Thus, workers who paid into the Social Security trust fund for 20, 30 or 40 years were told that cuts to the program had to be made and the budget problems were more important than their need for a solid retirement benefit.
Even though Social Security has never added one dime to the deficit, Congress now wants to destroy the program. Why? Because they don't want to pay back the money they stole from workers during the last 50 years. The word entitlement is a smoke screen to blur the truth as to why the program should be privatized.
We need to demand fairness and truth as to why those fools in Congress want to end all social programs so that tax breaks can be given to people who really don't deserve them.
Freedom to practice your chosen religion and the right to vote are entitlements. Social Security is an earned benefit that we have paid into for many years - you have earned it.