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Thursday, March 7, 2013

MSNBC: Republican Presidential Debate- U.S. Representative Ron Paul: Entitlements Are Not Rights



The word entitlements is use to describe Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, as well as Unemployment Insurance. When as progressive columnist Jonathan Alter pointed out in Monday in his column, that these programs are really social insurances that people collect when they need them. Just because we pay into Unemployment Insurance, doesn't mean we'll ever see a dime directly from it. To use as an example and hopefully we would never have to. Medicaid would be another example of that even though it doesn't have a direct revenue source to fund it.

But we all pay for it through taxes even if we are never covered by it. Social insurance is exactly that it's insurance that people collect when they need it, which is how Social Security should be looked at as well. I would allow all Americans at any age level who pay into Medicare to be able to use Medicare as their main health insurer. And have the option before their senior years to pay into and collect Medicare as their health insurance. Instead of having to wait until 65-67.

I was for a public option as part of healthcare reform in 2009-10 that wasn't part of the final 2010 Affordable Care Act. But even then it's not an entitlement because under that plan non-senior citizens who collect from Medicare would still have to pay into it. Like they would pay premiums for other health insurance. But that doesn't mean we are entitled to Medicare, we still have to pay for it. We don't have a constitutional right for Medicare.

 Obviously there are different views to what Americans are entitled to in America. There's a liberal view which is what I share as a Liberal, there's a social-democratic view to what Americans are entitled to. There's a conservative or conservative-libertarian view of what Americans are entitled to. And of course there's a classical libertarian view to what Americans are entitled to as well. The view I believe in is that Americans are entitled to live in freedom and that it's the job of government to protect our freedom so we don't lose it.

The job of government is not to protect us from ourselves and treat us like their children with very little if any individual freedom for ourselves. But to protect our freedom and property rights. Protect our freedom for us to be able to live our own lives as we see fit, to be able to chart our own course in life. Ss long as we aren't hurting anyone innocent people with what we are doing. And for Americans who don't live in freedom who don't have the same economic and personal freedom that other Americans have, it's the job of government to empower those people to get the same freedom as the rest of the country has.

That Americans are entitled to freedom and an opportunity to live well in life. But at the end of the day we live our lives based on what we do with them. That nothing is given to us other than a good opportunity to be successful in life. The so-called progressive or social-democratic view to what Americans are entitled to is to live in security and to be protected. Not just as it relates to physical protection but economic protection as well. That all Americans are entitled to health insurance, a good pension, that we are entitled to make a good living, that anyone who works shouldn't have to live in poverty and so-forth.

Social Democrats/Democratic Socialists believe that no matter  the skills set is and so-forth, that we are all entitled to live well no matter what we do with our lives and what our skills are and what we produce for society. Which is one reason why Socialists tend to be reluctant to means-test programs like Medicare and Social Security. Because they believe all Americans are entitled to those programs. And thats the big Democratic divide on the left in the Democratic Party what are Americans entitled to in a democracy.

Are we entitled to property rights and right for one to chart their own course in life and live as well as they possibly can as an individual. With government seeing that everyone has the opportunity to achieve that freedom for themselves. Which is where I come down as a Liberal Democrat who believes in liberal democracy and the individual freedom and property rights that come with that. Or are we entitled to a basic quality standard of living simple because we're human beings. Which is what Democratic Socialists even in the Democratic Party tend to advocate. Even if that means individual freedom both economic and personal are restricted. To see that everyone has what they need to live well and equally. That is the current economic debate in the Democratic Party.