TheTimesTribune.com, Corbin, KY

October 4, 2012

Using ‘entitlement’ in a derogatory manner


The Times-Tribune

CORBIN — I was going to write this open letter to all politicians a few weeks ago but decided to wait until I heard all the rhetoric coming from both political parties at their conventions.

I started to pay attention to presidential elections in 1956 only because my fourth grade teacher explained to us why the street was plastered with “I like Ike” banners and why our “Howdy Doody show” was pre-empted by a bunch of old white guys speaking in boring monotones. Back in those days, we only had three networks and PBS was just getting off the ground. After listening to 15 presidential elections, I feel I have somewhat of a unique insight on these matters.

One thing I’m really upset at is the use of the term “entitlement” in a derogatory manner. The simple fact is that every single dime that the government collects is an entitlement that should be paid back to the people in one form or another. In return for paying taxes we are entitled to national defense, maintenance of the infrastructure, police and fire departments, education, social programs for the common good and a reasonable political presence in world politics.

We certainly are not entitled to unpaid foreign wars put on the country’s credit card. Think of where you would be if you ran up trillions of dollars on somebody else’s card without permission. It works out great for the “military-industrial complex,” but not so good for the rest of us. It doesn’t work out very well for the thousands of young people who came home in body bags. I get incensed watching TV and having my choice of donating $19 tax deductible dollars a month to a abused animal, or a maimed vet who did his or her job and got forgotten by the same system who put them at risk. I commend the good people that recognized this omission by our government and the military industrial complex and are taking up the slack. Our troops that served should have all our gratitude and help. The problem is never with the troops, it’s with the leaders who promote questionable objectives.

Politicians are entitled to their pay if they do their jobs. Obstructionist politics does not solve any problems, it only creates divisiveness that should not be an issue in this day and age. I wonder how things would change if we, as the voting populace, had control over legislators’ paychecks. I bet we would get more response.

I understand that political rhetoric is most times biased and overblown by folks blowing their own horn, but come on, lets just quit telling out and out LIES. It’s time to grow up and quit acting like schoolyard kids who  never learned any manners. We have a lot of problems with the economy and the infrastructure that need solutions rather than pointing fingers.

Lastly, don’t you dare call my Social Security and Medicare an entitlement in a derogatory manner. I worked and paid in to the system my whole life and, yes, I am entitled to it. It certainly isn’t a free ride. Every month I have to pay $550 for Medicare and the required supplemental for my wife and I. That works out to $6,600 a year and I hear politicians saying that they might add another $6,009 to it. I don’t think so. I pay $200 more a month than I ever paid for a mortgage or a car payment in my life. So much for the “Golden Years,” it seems more like “Tarnished Brass.” I’m lucky, because when the bottom fell out of everything, I had very little debt and was “right side up” on my mortgage. There are a lot of folks who lost everything through no fault of their own.

In closing, I urge everyone to go out and vote their conscience this November. Keep in mind that you are in economic “chains” of one sort or another unless you happen to be fabulously wealthy or are fortunate enough to have various offshore accounts or the ability to write off $76,000 on your fancy horse. Anyway, everybody knows you put the dog in the bed of the pickup or in the back seat with an open window or riding “shotgun.”

Myself, I can’t spell Switzerland without spell-check.

Roman Nakonechny,

Corbin