Las Vegas Sun

April 20, 2014

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letter to the editor:

A battle against entitlement costs

I am entitled to Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, Tricare, base and commissary privileges, and military and disability pay as I am a retired veteran. These entitlements will be adjusted over time or when I choose to initiate them. I worked hard in the service and, after my career, even harder in the private sector.

Having said all that, by some definition, I am one big entitlement. The other day, I had a conversation with some of my friends and family. I opined that the recent budget deal is OK by me.

Since I am younger than 62, my cost-of-living adjustment being suspended equates to a loss of about $1.77 a day going forward — or about half a gallon of gas less driving a day, or about half a cup less of Starbucks a day.

I said, “What the heck? If everyone who is currently receiving some sort of government entitlement takes a 1.5 percent cut going forward, that should help the debt issue.”

My family and pals were aghast. “Never give up entitlements. You earned them. You were disabled in the service, you served in combat zones, you were separated from home and family. You deserve everything your country gives you.”

I said I understood their point of view, but I am OK with giving it up. We are in a war with entitlement spending. Can’t we all take a cut and have everyone suck it up a bit? Silence befell the room.

Well, can’t we?

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