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Social Security is not 'free stuff'

MedicareCivil and Public Service

I object strenously to Thomas F. Schaller's column in which he called Social Security "largest welfare program in history of planet" ("Older, wealthier get plenty of 'free stuff,'" Nov. 14). This is just wrong. We octogenarians have paid through payroll deductions into FICA (Social Security) since its inception during our working life — mostly mandtory deductions.

I worked in private industry for a few years and then became a civil servant. As a civil servant, I was required to pay into the Medicare pot. And now in retirement years, Mr. Schaller calls these entitlements welfare.

We paid tor these benefits! I do call them entitlements because having paid into the funds, we are entitled to the payments. Further, Medicare is not free — we pay a monthly premium in addition to our contribution during our working years. Yet the benefit does not adequately cover medical costs. We pay a lot out of pocket for health care.

It is my opinion that as a teacher of political science Mr. Schaller needs to go back into history and study the beginning of Social Security, its purpose and evolution before he can be the judge of what we senior citizens receive free.

Claire Underwood

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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