THE ENTITLEMENT PATH TO VENEZUELA

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“The Republicans doth protest too much, methinks!”  During the past almost eight years, or “The Reign of Obama,” Republicans have whined and complained and wrung their hands about the national debt.  At nineteen trillion dollars and growing,  the debt has surpassed any possible happy ending.  We are well on our way to insolvency.

By the very definition of “entitlement,” I conclude that the only true viable entitlement program, a program which offers benefits to “entitled” people, is the Social Security/Medicare program.  In a free society, individuals are only entitled to the payout of that system to which they have contributed.   Aside from the disability crowd, which has prospered from Social Security benefits without paying adequately into the fund,  retired Americans are indeed “entitled” to their paychecks.

To the contrary, Welfare and Medicaid benefits are not funds into which the recipients have donated or sacrificed their wages.  The word “entitlement” as it applies to both Welfare and Medicaid is an erroneous description.  The beneficiaries of these programs are not “entitled” to anything.  They are the fortunate receivers of that which is not legitimately the product of their own work.

But for the sake of argument, I must  identify Welfare, Medicaid, Social Security, and Medicare as entitlement arrangements.  The entitlements are overwhelmingly expensive, and they are not self-funding.  They drive the federal deficits. They are growing at an alarming rate.  And factoring in the explosive expenditures from migrants and illegal immigrants, the system is on the fast track to Venezuela.

One of the most ignored features of our entitlement programs is our progressive income tax system.  Not only is the system manifestly unfair to the middle class, but it is an entitlement program which benefits both the wealthy and the lower income worker, with its tax deductions and earned income tax payouts.  When a selected group of workers receive a government check or so-called tax refund, which far exceeds the amount of tax withheld from their paychecks, we have another fine example of socialism once again raising it’s ugly head.

This week Ivanka Trump presented her father’s childcare/paid maternity leave proposal.  While the details are sketchy, the entire overture of the sales pitch is another entitlement scheme.  Once again, we have another special interest group, that being mothers or pregnant women, who perceive their needs to outweigh the needs of other Americans who have their own hard luck stories.  Other Americans, who have tremendous bills due to illness or other tragedy which are no fault of their own, are not privy to such luxury.  There are countless Americans with tragic stories about financial loss and hardship, and they have no special tax deductions

I am beginning to believe that either Republicans don’t truly understand the concept of socialism, or they are open to the suggestion as long as either they or their loved ones benefit from the social programs.  Wanting to help out pregnant mothers is admirable, but reality tells us that it is not feasible, and it is unfair to those Americans who have made choices and sacrifices for their maternity leave and childcare.  And does anyone really believe that this program would be self-funded?  Yeah, right!  It will be self-funded just like Social Security is self-funded.

I would think that any American, who is paying attention to the collapse of Venezuela, would be outraged at yet another social program for another special interest group.  The people of Venezuela are starving as food is not only hard to find but hyper-inflated thanks to the socialistic policies.  A dozen eggs in Venezuela can now be purchased for a measly $142.00.  Yes, that is one hundred and forty two dollars.

Venezuela is an oil-rich country, but socialism has resulted in the control of food distribution and consumption by the government.  The Venezuelan people sleep in lines outside of supermarkets hoping for a chance to buy some food.  The people have been eating their cats and dogs, while some have been breaking into zoos and eating the zoo animals.  The country with an abundance of oil is in shatters due to socialism.

And yet Americans, even Republicans who are supposed to understand the perils of socialism, mosey on.  Nothing to see here.  Socialism isn’t so bad until the wall comes tumbling down.

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