Weather Forecast


Letter: Evaluating entitlements

In early December I met a retired Majority Leader in the Minnesota legislature. This was the same day as the dismal financial outlook for the state was announced.

Almost the first words out of his mouth was "we need to look at entitlements."

We had a most pleasant dinner conversation, but the conversation never did get back to "entitlements." I've thought about the topic frequently since then.

The operating definition of entitlement seems to be "a government program providing benefit to members of a specified group; also funds supporting or distributed by such a program."

The definition seems to have been hijacked by those who wish to attach it only to programs for people like the poor or disadvantaged, the worth less.

But there is, I think, a more all-inclusive definition, especially pertinent now.

For quite a number of years those in high income categories claimed an entitlement to lower taxes, and in the process enriched themselves. This was true at the state and federal levels.

There has been, and is, a big social cost to this huge entitlement.

Those who reaped the benefits of government largesse in the past years need now to step up to the plate and contribute to those who have little, or nothing, and deserve their meager benefits from our society.

Dick Bernard