Entitlements are not socialist programs

The letter that stated that Fox News was scaring viewers regarding socialism amused me [“Socialism is not scary authoritarianism,” June 25]. The writer described the existence of “socialist programs” like Social Security, Medicare, the military, police and tax programs for the rich.

Social Security and Medicare programs are entitlements. Social Security was created to combat unemployment. Benefits are paid to recipients who met the minimum requirement of 10 years of work and who have reached the retirement age of 62. Those who can’t work due to a medical condition or are disabled are also eligible to receive a benefit.

Most workers have Social Security and Medicare taxes withheld from their wages, and those who earn more than $200,000 must pay an additional Medicare tax of .9 percent. Employers must match employees’ withheld Social Security and Medicare taxes, but not the additional .9 percent.

Federal taxes are withheld from Social Security benefits and Medicare recipients pay a monthly premium based on their annual income. Medicare pays approved benefits at 80 percent, which means the other 20 percent must come from the recipient’s pocket or paid by their supplemental medical plan. If these were truly socialist programs, everyone would be eligible for benefits with no work or age requirements.

The military and police are necessary to keep our country and communities safe. Tax programs for the rich are available to all.

Free college, forgiveness of student debt and Medicare for all are socialist programs to be paid by taxing the rich who haven’t paid “their fair share” and are proposed by those who have the “don’t touch my taxes” attitude.

Those who think socialism is a good thing should stop sipping the Kool-aid.

Lynda Dunaway


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