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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

May 11, 2009 at 4:00 PM

Broder on entitlement reform

Programs are investments, not entitlements

Having finished reading the latest David S. Broder column [“Nation ripe for entitlement reform,” Opinion, May 10], I am reminded again that he remains a stalwart spokesman for the “establishment” and he continues to distort reality to the bent of those in power. He has no concept of how those of us in the dwindling middle class really think.

The first and most obvious distortion is in the title of his article — America is ripe for entitlement reform. I would contend that Americans are ready for reform, but the most immediate need for reform should be directed at our broken financial system and always-growing military-industrial complex, both of which serve to enrich the wealthy and powerful and take from the average taxpayer. Significant reform in these areas would be a real benefit to America.

The other, more subtle distortion is in the word “entitlement.” To the best of my recollection, I and others like me have been paying into the Social Security and Medicare systems all of our working lives. Not only have we funded those systems for ourselves, but we have also propped up those of the previous generation. This is not my definition of an entitlement; it is an investment.

Do not tell me now that I am ready to cut my benefits and that I should work to an older age. Instead, we need to shift our national priorities to policies that benefit the working people.

— Todd Ramsey, Brier

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