ENTITLEMENTS

March 5, 2014


Unless you are new to my postings, you know that I rarely (very rarely) do politics.  I think politicians are fascinating only because I think all people are fascinating.  Culture, background, ethnicity, language, etc. all intertwine to produce a mosaic that essentially defines who we are individual. We are one of a kind. There is no one like us.   I also think the act of being political is a huge impediment to progress.  One example, Congress. In my lifetime, I can never remember such a contentious and mean-spirited group of losers.  The “us versus them” mentality is alive and well.  If I hear the word “brand” one more time or the phrase “appealing to my base”, I think I just might scream.    Adding to my disgust was the following cartoon in this Sunday’s paper.  It really hit a sour note; a very sour note indeed.   

Entitlements & Military (3)

 

The sargent on the left is the emodiment of the entitlement mentality.  The little guy on the right is the United States military.  The entire article addresses cuts in spending for the DOD, specifically the reduction in benefits to men and women who serve in uniform.

Merriam-Webster defines entitlements as follows:

  • Noun—“The condition of having a right to have, do, or get something”
  • “The feeling or belief that you deserve to be given something, such as a special favor”.
  • “A type of financial help provided by the government for members of a particular group.”

The Declaration of Independence, signed July 4, 1776, addresses our unalienable rights and states these rights are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  This marvelous document in no way indicates we are entitled to anything over and above these three rights.  In looking at the first ten (10) admentments to the Constitution, we are guaranteed the following: 1.) Freedom of Religion, 2.) Freedom of Speech, 3.) A Free Press, 4.) Freedom to Assemble, 5.) The Right to Keep and Bear Arms, 6.) Freedom for Unreasonable Search and Seizure, 7.) Security in Personal Effects, 8.) Freedom from Warrants Issued Without Probable Cause, 9.)  Indictment by a Grand Jury for any Capital or “Infamous Crime” and 10.)  Guarantee of a Speedy, Public Trial with an Impartial Jury; and Prohibition of Double Jeopardy. These first ten admentments are called the Bill of Rights.  Please note: nowhere  in the Bill of Rights are we guarenteed “free stuff”.  It was assumed by the creators of the document that the average individual would accomplish in accordance with his or her abilities and would strive for personal improvement in the process.  Allowances such as Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, in my opinion, do not fall under the term entitlements.  These services have not been free.   They are paid for by withholding from income.  This is how we pay for these benefits.  Free mobile phones, food stamps, subsidized housing and many others were not comtenplated by our founding fathers.  I feel certain they would be rolling over in their graves if they had an inkling as to where we are in this country.  Please don’t get me wrong, there are those individuals who need help from their federal government from time to time BUT cutting benefits for our military is JUST WRONG when these cuts are done to provide additional entitlements.  OK, reduce “head count”. Shrink the force. Cancell or mothball weapon systems but don’t alter benefits.  Don’t freeze pay grades. Don’t cut commisary access.   Don’t reduce insurance.  Don’t raise the grocery bill for the uniformed military. Don’t alter training due to cutbacks in spending.  Having been in the Air Force for four years, I can tell you it is not always a picnic.   The monthly income is not why we serve.  This can be borne out by the fact that a great many uniformed personnel are using food stamps.   I worked on ICBMs carrying nuclear pay loads.  No one at me and times were still tough due to very low comparable wages and long hours.  In my opinion, the uniformed military deserves decent pay for services rendered and some assurance benefits will be available at retirement.   The world remains a very dangerous place.  The United States will continue to engage, and that takes a strong, well-trained, optomistic uniformed military.  

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