Shortcut Navigation:


'Proudly Taking Your Money'

'Proudly Taking Your Money'

I have a problem with the term “entitlements.”

The millionaires, 2-percenters and tea partiers on Capitol Hill are declaring with gravity that it’s time to “put entitlements on the table” to “fix the debt.” (You’ve heard of “Fix the Debt”? It’s a group of millionaire CEOs who have chipped in $35 million for a campaign to magically reduce the deficit by giving themselves tax breaks—which, come on, really begs the question: Why couldn't you just pay the damned taxes?)

The so-called "entitlements" are Social Security and Medicare—the ropes in the social safety net. But working people have a perfectly sound reason for feeling entitled to them: We’ve paid for our benefits since the first hour we worked.

Receiving Social Security and Medicare benefits after a lifetime of work—and knowing our families will get some help surviving if we die before our time—doesn’t make working people “takers.” It makes us investors in retirement security, not just for ourselves but for one another. It makes us job creators, because retirees who can meet their survival needs spend money that strengthens the economy and enables local businesses to hire. It makes us Americans—who believe in fairly sharing responsibility for the well-being of our nation and all its people.

So those who are willing to “put entitlements on the table” should at least use honest language. Their ads should say: Proudly taking what you’ve earned to make ourselves richer. Or: Honestly? We just want more of your money.

The email address provided does not appear to be valid. Please check the address entered and try again.
Thank you for signing up to receive our blog alerts. You will receive your first email shortly.

Related Stories

Take Action

Protect the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has done crucial work to safeguard Americans against the deceptive and abusive practices of big banks, student loan servicers, credit card companies and predatory lenders. Tell Congress to protect this important agency.

Sign the petition. »

Connect With Us

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • YouTube
  • Flickr

Get Email from AFL-CIO

Msg & data rates may apply. Text STOP to 235246 to stop receiving messages. Text HELP to 235246 for more information.


Join Us Online