Are you feeling “entitled?”

For many years, the Republican Party has been determined to change or end the so-called “entitlement” programs of Social Security and Medicare.  As early as 1984, I recall reading the Republican National Party’s platform which called for “starving the beast” that is big government by reducing taxes and cutting the federal budget to force the elimination of these so-called “wasteful” programs.   In the place of these social safety nets, Republicans proposed an emphasis on personal responsibility and faith-based initiatives. 

In other words, big business and the wealthy have no responsibility for those who are not as fortunate as they.  If someone loses a job, gets sick, or suffers some other personal tragedy, it’s his or hers own fault.  These people should have never allowed themselves to be in that position anyway.  And there are always church missions to make these people see the error of their ways, convince them of their own failings and set them on the road to success.

Of course, Republicans are also against any form of government regulation and collective bargaining.  There must be nothing to interfere with the forces of the “free” market. 

Given this backdrop, is it any wonder that Republicans have been having such a snit over health care reform, let alone a public option? 

And, in one of the most cynical and hypocritical tactics of all time, the Republican Party and its allies are actually using Medicare to scare the oldest (and most likely to vote) segment of our population into speaking out against health care reform.  They claim that the reform bill proposed by Democrats would drastically cut Medicare benefits.  Never mind that the cuts that are in the proposed bill only cut waste and duplication.  And never mind that the Republican Party would prefer to completely eliminate Medicare as part of its war on “entitlements.

All Americans would be wise to remember which party legislated Social Security and Medicare in the first place.  Here’s a hint:  It wasn’t the GOP.