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Letter: Calling Social Security an entitlement wrong

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Note: The statements, views, and opinions contained in this letter to the editor are those of the author and are not endorsed by, nor do they necessarily reflect, the opinions of Daily Journal.

To the editor:

After reading Dan K. Thomasson’s opinion column (“Recent IRS scandal akin to ‘enemies list’,” July 14) it reminded of a piece of mail I received recently with a return address of the Democratic Party headquarters.

Inside was a letter from Rep. Nancy Pelosi asking for a donation to help them defeat the GOP’s efforts to destroy Medicare. Two things shocked me on this — the first being I am a registered Republican and the second is the Dems are the party that voted in “Obamacare” without a GOP vote and the bill is heavily funded through taking hundreds of billions from Medicare.

Does her letter make any sense? One of my pet peeves is hearing heads and congressmen and women refer to Social Security and Medicare as entitlements! We — and I’m speaking to all Americans — paid for these via a tax called FICA on our check stubs. Now that we’ve outlived the mortality tables we are receiving entitlements?

I for one will not apologize for growing old because if you are not there yet you will find out it’s not for sissies. Now a history lesson on Social Security.

No. 1: It begun by Franklin Delano Roosevelt as a voluntary contribution of 1 percent on the first $1,400 of their earnings. It is now involuntary and 7.65 percent — which includes 6.2 percent the tax plus 1.4 percent for Medicare hospital insurance tax — of the first $90,000.

No. 2: It started as a program that was tax-deductible as income — no longer is.

No. 3: It went originally into a trust for Social Security only — under Lyndon Baines Johnson, it was moved into the general budget, meaning it could be spent on any government program.

No. 4: The annuity payments were tax-free, but under the Clinton administration they started being taxed at 85 percent.

No. 5: Which party started payments to immigrants even though they never paid into Social Security? The Democrats when Jimmy Carter was president after they turned 65.

Now I’m not naïve enough to believe the corruption in our federal government is only on one side of the aisle, so everyone should read the chapter in “Griftopia” by Matt Tabbai titled “The Million Dollar Bandaid” — available in the local library. There you will see how “Obamacare” was passed and why the government won’t repeal the McCarren/Fergason Act, meant originally to be temporary and due to heavy dollars being given to congressmen for their campaigns for re-election.

I close with saying I’m a registered Republican, but I’m first and foremost an American, and I hate what’s happening to our country, and I give zero to the GOP and Dems, as I vote for who is best for the position.

Rich Veleta


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