If I plunk down a $15 at a movie theatre, I have a realistic expectation that I am entitled to see a film. What I don’t bargain for is the insufferable amount of advertising that comes with it, but that’s another story.
The same goes when I push the lever on the gas pump, no matter what the price; I am entitled to receive fuel for my vehicle. In a sense, I am vested in the process. I give and I expect to receive.
For reasons I don’t quite understand, too many people disdainfully spit out the word “entitlement” when they refer to Social Security and Medicare. Nothing can be farther from the truth. People, myself included, have paid into Social Security and now that I am eligible, I receive benefits I have paid into since I held my first summer job at the age of 14.
The Social Security Act was signed into effect by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1935. It was supposed to pay benefits to the worker who was making the contribution to the program. In 1939, the law was changed to add survivor benefits and benefits for retiree spouses and children.
Medicare began in 1966 and still isn’t free - at least to me. I continue to pay in $98.50 a month towards my medical care. I waited until I was 66 to collect social security, the legal age when I would receive my maximum benefits. It was a conscious decision and I am glad I was able to juggle until I chose to collect.
Merriam-Webster.com defines entitlement as:
"2: a government program providing benefits to members of a specified group; also : funds supporting or distributed by such a program
"3: belief that one is deserving of or entitled to certain privileges."
I looked for a definition to describe what it would be called when the federal government continues to dip into the social security fund and not repay it. No term was forthcoming. My description: “taking.”
So, entitlement is a right or realistic expectation and that goes to me and 70 million other people in the United States who expect to receive a Social Security check on August 3, 2011.
I am not entitled to my house, although I hold title but until I finish paying off my mortgage, my house is owned by Wells Fargo Bank and I am entitled to stay there as long as I continue to make timely payments.
For many years when my earnings were higher, I contributed to organizations whose missions I respected. Badly as I feel, I have had to make drastic cuts to my discretionary spending as my income has flat lined. I do my best to support the local organizations who try to take up the slack for those in need.
So after the mortgage payment, property taxes, gas and electric, insurance and homeowner’s fees, to name a few, I purchase food for me and the two pooches I have chosen to adopt. If after I have shelled out this amount of money I have anything left, I am entitled to purchase gas for my car and spend what I have left.
Those who know me are well aware that I take a deep interest in politics. I am also registered to vote as “Decline to State” – as I wish to vote on one’s platform and ability to get a job done rather than which political party they support.
The fact is there’s plenty of blame to go around in the two major parties as well as the up and comers. FIX IT - that’s why we elected you and if you don’t, we will keep voting people in and out until our electeds remember who they represent.
Meanwhile, I feel entitled to receive my Social Security check!