I commend The Island Packet for its opinion page, especially for offering commentaries from faraway places, such as New York City. For example, columnist Paul Krugman seems to think that us "po" people in the South are confused. That we don't even understand what a government entitlement is. He goes on to say that if we did understand, we would not be voting for candidates who want to cut entitlements. In addition, he says people like Mitt Romney are just going to confuse us Southerners even more.
In the beginning, the U.S. government created Social Security and Medicare. They determined the average citizen was too ignorant to handle his or her own retirement savings. So they elected to become our investment bankers for Social Security and Medicare. In return, we were promised they would give us our money back when we were old enough to know how to spend our savings. And if we live long enough, we might even get some interest on our investment, too.
People who have paid into Social Security and Medicare for decades are certainly entitled to get their money back. It is not the government's money. It is our money. It is not a government handout. It is our handouts that we want back.
Somehow, I feel that 40 percent to 44 percent of us (to use Krugman's figures) define entitlements in a different way from his definition, and that is why he is so confused about us.
Never miss a local story.
Edward H. Hopson