Safety Net Programs vs. Entitlement jargon: What’s in a name? Everything…

Linguistic Cat says to call Medicare and Social Security Safety Net Programs. Enough with the "entitlement" jargon! Photo Credit: Untitled by gesika22 on flickr

Linguistic Cat says to call Medicare and Social Security Safety Net Programs. Enough with the "entitlement" jargon! Photo Credit: Untitled by gesika22 on flickr

Since When did we start calling Medicare and Social Security “entitlement” programs?

Have wordmeisters like Frank Luntz and Karl Rove hijacked the language to undermine Medicare and Social Security? It seems that way. Let’s start using the proper terms for Medicare, Social Security, Medicaid and other programs. They are social safety net programs or safety net programs. Calling them “entitlement” programs is just a means to get people upset. The unsaid subtext of this word “entitlement” is “who made you entitled?” Why are you entitled to this?

The other unsaid connection that folks like Cantor want to make is why should you be entitled when we have such a large deficit? They want to shame people. Why should you have these programs?

This word “entitlement” incorrectly mischaracterizes successful and necessary programs of Medicare, in existence since 1953, and Social Security, in existence since 1939. Certain factions within the Republican party want to dismantle these programs even as voters across all party lines tell politicians to “keep their hands off Medicare and Social Security!”

It’s time that we stopped calling these programs “entitlement” programs and call them what they are, “safety net programs” that our elderly deserve and need.

People who get medicare and social security have a right to these programs. Some right wing pundits and politicians say “entitlement” programs with a sneer and a denigrating tone of voice. Many of these people’s parents get social security and medicare. Are they against their parents receiving these programs?

It is time to reframe the issue of Medicare and Social Security and let people know that these programs insure that our elderly are able to survive and thrive in their golden years.

Safety Nets of All Kinds for American Citizens

Safety net one minute (06-15-11).wmv

Suzanne Durham’s Story About Federal Safety Net Programs

GRITtv: Tim Wise: Race and the Social Safety Net

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One Response to Safety Net Programs vs. Entitlement jargon: What’s in a name? Everything…

  1. Dreyfus Canine says:

    We made “payments” into Social Security from what we “earned” while we were employed; funds were deducted from our earnings throughout our working careers. Therefore, “our” money is just that — money we saved.We withdraw from “our” Social Security savings. This withdrawal is similar to a withdrawal taken from money “we saved” in a bank’s saving account, brokerage account, etc. The term “entitlement” was put into place to convince the younger generation that the older folks are robbing from them. Every printed and spoken word today is “laced” with the same subliminal message — those taking from Social Security and/or Medicare are bankrupting the country. It’s just not true!

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