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Wednesday, May 25, 2016
Tired of hearing that I get 'entitlements'

At age 73 and counting, I am tired of many things.

I am tired of watching television shows and reading news stories that tell me I need to have saved at least $1 million in order to retire with any assurance of having an adequate quality of life.

I am tired of hearing from those who retired to their hobbies and their travel itineraries at age 65 that I am somehow a fool for continuing to work through my 70s.

Most of all, however, I am tired of the word “entitlement,” which to many mean that I am collecting money that I do not deserve to collect.

Paul Ryan and his Tea Party compatriots use the word in a way that connotes something immoral, and certainly something slightly wrong with those who get entitlements.

Ryan wants to cut Social Security and Medicare, if not for people of my generation, certainly for my children and grandchildren.

His parents ought to spank him for even thinking about it.

The major entitlements he speaks about cutting are Medicare and Social Security, two safety nets that were put in place as a result of the Great Depression, which started with the stock market crash in 1929 and lasted until the beginning of World War II in the early 1940s.

The Social Security Act was passed in 1935.

I was born in 1939, and began to work and put money into my social security account in 1958, when I began to work part time in a small department store called Bargain Town in Lawrence.

I am still putting money into that account 55 years later. My latest pay stub at the Herald shows that I put about $50 a week into the account even now, when I have been collecting a Social Security check of about $2,000 a month for 7 years. To say that after putting money into the account for more than 50 years, I have no right to get some of it back in my older age gets my dander up, to use an archaic term.

You need 40 quarters of work experience to collect a Social Security check. I have 220 quarters of work experience.

And yet, Ryan and his conservative Republican buddies continue to talk as if I am somehow misappropriating public money every time my check gets deposited directly to my bank account or when Medicare pays my doctor’s bills and for my prescription drugs.

Then, there is Medicare.


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