Letters to the Editor

Definition of entitlement depends on point of view

Entitlement means right, prerogative, privilege. Social Security and Medicare are entitlements. Those in dire circumstances are entitled to Medicaid, food stamps and low-income subsidies. But consider those who feel entitled to cheat the U.S. Treasury and the American people. TV ads boast, "I owed the IRS $100,000, but only paid $7,000." Thousands of American taxpayers hide their wealth and cheat those of us who pay a fair share of taxes, yet they feel entitled to do so. Corporations feel entitled to make bigger profits by sending jobs overseas, punishing American workers, but stockholders are delighted. That entitlement philosophy enriches their bank accounts. John worked hard for his comfortable position, and the luxuries he and his family enjoy are proof of his goodness and righteousness. Betsy worked at the desk next to John, but life didn't always swing her way, as it did for John. She made less money because she was a woman. John felt he was entitled to more as he was the breadwinner of his family. Her husband's job went to India. Betsy was diagnosed with cancer and left her job. The family became dependent on "welfare entitlements." Conservatives feel entitled to misrepresent the meaning of small business in their party patter by not revealing small-business owners include lobbyists, lawyers, investment brokers, accountants, real estate agents, even sports figures and entertainers. Remember, "entitlements" span prosperity extremes, both right and left, and include manipulators at both ends of the economic spectrum. Which "entitlement" would you outlaw? Sherry McKnight Bluffton

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