, Gloucester, MA

May 6, 2013

Letter: Just whose entitlements should be cut?

Gloucester Daily Times

---- — To the editor:

We keep hearing about the necessity of deficit reduction by cutting something called “entitlements.”

Could these “entitlements” include the 15 percent tax rate privilege given to private equity and hedge fund managers, together with their derivative“entitlements” like the yachts tied up at St. Bart’s and the ski chalets in Aspen?

Could it be the astronomical salaries of our über entitled CEOs, that continue to soar like the perks of their entitled private jets, while they keep themselves busy shipping our jobs off to China?

Or might it be the wondrous world of corporate welfare — the billions for billionaires, the cornucopia of kindness to those in control?

Could it include the entitled right to mine for free on public lands; and could it mean the tons of tax breaks and tax escape hatches that make Capitol Hill the home of the Haves, and the Cayman Islands their financial parking lot?

No, it means cutting Social Security and Medicare at a time when workers’ private pensions are disappearing and benefits are being whittled away.

Politicians would like to avoid the political mind field of explicitly naming such deeply essential programs for cuts, hence we hear only about “entitlements.”

Let’s not allow them to get away with this kind of verbal camouflage. The first deficit to be cut should be the deficit in clear, direct language. Let’s economize on words and lose the euphemisms.

The 99 percent facing social insecurity are at least entitled to some honest expression.