A discussion of the role of “so-called entitlements” in the “Fiscal Cliff” debate:
JUDY WOODRUFF: Well, first of all, why shouldn’t Social Security and Medicare be part of the entire group of government spending programs that are being looked at to get — to deal with the deficits?
MAX RICHTMAN: Well, before I answer that, I was very interested in the way you characterized these programs as entitlements, so-called, you said, entitlements.
And we think that a better term would be earned benefits.
You know, I counted the letters in the word entitlement. There are 11 letters. But often people refer to entitlement as a four-letter word. And it’s a derogatory, derisive characterization.
These are earned benefits. People pay for them while they’re working, Social Security, Part A Medicare, the hospital part, 25 percent of the premium for Part B. So they’re — I wish we would switch from entitlements to earned benefits, first of all.