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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 9/24/12

The REAL "Entitlement" Programs Benefit the Rich

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Message Mike Kirchubel
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Memo to Mitt
Memo to Mitt
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Dear Mitt,   Thanks for letting us all know how you really feel about American workers.   Writing-off half of America, just before the big election, was an insanely bold move.   Personally, I don't feel I need some arrogant, rich guy, who had everything handed to him as a child, telling me to take "personal responsibility" for my life.   Most Americans are hard workers and don't "believe they are victims" or "the government has a responsibility to care for them."   Even if 47% of Americans don't pay federal income tax, we all pay taxes.   Heck, that minimum-wage, non-benefitted gal flipping burgers at McDonald's pays a greater percentage of her wages in taxes than you.   Unfortunately, many Americans have to rely on safety nets at some point.   Even your own father was on welfare, Mitt.   Was he a moocher too?    And I'd be careful; the states with the highest percentage of people not paying income tax are Republican states: Texas, Idaho, Arkansas, Mississippi, New Mexico, South Carolina, Florida, and Georgia.   Those are your voters.

I grew up in a working-class town, Fairfield, California, and got my first real job at 13, working after school at Evans & Pyle Hardware, downtown on Texas Street.   I have worked ever since, paying into Unemployment Insurance and Social Security since 1961 and into Medicare since it began in 1966.    As of 2011, my employers and I have paid $83,971 into Medicare and $253,224 into Social Security so yes, you and your rich friends are correct, I DO feel "entitled" to collect a few Social Security checks before I die.   This February, I intend to be on Medicare and part of the 47% of America that you will "not worry about."     So here's the deal: You don't worry about me; I don't vote for you.

Mitt, you act like Social Security, Medicare, and Unemployment Insurance are gifts from you and your wealthy friends to American workers.  You're wrong; they are insurance policies that we have paid for with lifetimes of hard work.   I am offended by your continual bad-mouthing of American workers and am disgusted by your party's repeated attempts to destroy our nation's vital safety nets.   

Real entitlement programs are ones where beneficiaries do not contribute, like when we working taxpayers pay bankers hundreds of billions of dollars "interest" on their reserves, or pay for puffed-up and no-bid government contracts or farm and oil subsidies, or pay pharmaceutical companies full retail price instead of negotiating discounts, or "borrow" money from the Federal Reserve bankers instead of our U.S. Treasury, or start wars to benefit defense contractors, or bail-out bankers, and spend trillions of dollars buying gutted mortgage packages from banks, brokerage houses, and insurance companies. We taxpayers are also paying hundreds of billions of dollars in corporate welfare, subsidies, and tax loopholes.   

Twelve U.S. corporations that made a collective $171 billion in profit from 2008 to 2010 got tax refunds of $2.5 billion and received $62.4 billion in subsidies.   Why, that's even better than your tax rate, Mitt.  

Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren stated, "Republicans say they don't believe in government.   Sure they do.   They believe in government to help themselves and their powerful friends."   

Economic researcher, James S. Henry adds, "Indeed, if there is a class that is truly dependent on government subsidies, handouts and protection that it doesn't pay for, it is this new American aristocracy. So it is no accident that we may soon come very close to electing a president whose sole passion and preoccupation is to serve and defend the interests of this ruling, avaricious, tax-dodging class."   Pssst, Mitt, he's talking about you.

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Mike Kirchubel writes a weekly Progressive/Economic column for the Fairfield, California Daily Republic and is the author of: Vile Acts of Evil, a look at the hidden economic history of the United States. Vile Acts of Evil almost wrote itself. (more...)
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