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A popular word being used in recent years by politicians is entitlement. What is an entitlement? When I look the word up in my dictionary it gives three definitions, but they do not seem to fit how it is being used today.


They say Social Security is an entitlement, but how can that be? Each payday during my working days a percentage was taken out of my paycheck and sent to the government. A percentage was also paid by each of my employers. When I worked independently, I sent to the government a percentage similar to the combined percentage of an employee/employer.

We all think that the government was to manage this money and invest it for growth and to be used in retirement years.

Of course back in the 1960s there was a large pot of money and the politicians used it for purposes other than what it was intended for. So now the politicians say we have to make changes.

For many years the government has also been saying that individuals should save for retirement and invests a percentage of their paycheck in IRA’s, 401K, 403B and other retirement plans. These moneys are sent to a wide variety of financial institutions to be invested in our individual accounts, to grow and provide income when we do not receive a paycheck. When these funds are mismanaged the government takes legal action against the financial institutions or individuals that used poor judgment.

So we have two similar programs to provide income in retirement years, both of which individuals contributed a percentage of the paychecks. So now I have to ask: are all those IRA’s, 401K, 403B, and other retirement plans also entitlements as the word is being used today?

Kent Rees


Sarah Nelson
Sarah Nelson joined the Brainerd Dispatch in April 2010 and works as a online reporter, content editor and staff writer. She is a world traveler, accused idealist and California native now braving the winters of Central Minnesota. She believes in the power of human resolve and hopes to be part of something that makes history by bringing an end to injustice in the world. Sarah has worked as a criminal background researcher, high school civics teacher, grant writer, and contributing writer with Causecast.org — tackling every issue from global poverty to bio-degradable bicycles. Her favorite thing about living in Minnesota is July. Sarah left the Brainerd Dispatch in April 2014.
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