Published on -9/27/2012, 8:22 AM
Despite the efforts of some to make "entitlements" a dirty word, we have always been an entitlement society. The Declaration of Independence says just because we are human beings we are entitled to "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." Jefferson wrote "to secure these rights (one also could call them entitlements) governments are instituted among men." Here is one example of how our government protects our entitlements.
My uncle recently had a pacemaker installed, an expensive operation that was largely paid for by a government "entitlement" program, Medicare. Should he have felt entitled to this benefit? He is a citizen of the United States, a veteran of World War II, the father of now-grown, productive children, a participant in his community and church. But, most importantly, my uncle is entitled because he paid for his benefits. Social Security and Medicare are financed through payroll taxes he paid his entire working career. Is he a freeloader dependent on government handouts; a person who will not take responsibility for his own life? No way. He is a person, a citizen, a veteran, a taxpayer; you bet he is entitled, in just the same way you are entitled.
We have joined together to form a government that secures for its citizens rights that are not always available in other countries; like freedom of religion or freedom of speech. Mr. Obama is not attempting to create an Entitlement Society, he is trying to preserve what we always had. Mr. Romney would change us to a society where entitlements are available to only a certain social and economic class.