What is are these "entitlements" I keep reading about? Just today, Rupert's Wall Street Journal had a headline that stated, "White House targeting entitlement limits." This must be a good thing, because, really, feeling entitled is an unattractive trait. If applied to our tax dollars, a sense of entitlement is downright unpatriotic.
Are they the $1.8 trillion given to defense contractors since 2006, including $400-billion-and-counting for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, intended as as an "affordable" mass-production jet that is now 70 percent over budget? Are they the huge subsidies that the fossil fuel industries receive from American taxpayers? (Worldwide, burning up the planet is being subsidized at a rate of $2 trillion).
Speaking of entitlements, don't forget the $3.4 trillion in corporate profits that are allowed to be parked elsewhere. This allowed these companies to avoid paying taxes that maintain the commons which allowed them flourish in the first place. Public policy tilted to make the rich richer, rather than encouraging them to create companies and jobs? Don't forget carried interest for hedge-fund financiers. And it's not just the rich — our entire society is tilted to heavily subsidize sprawl and single-occupancy vehicles traveling on roads that do not pay for themselves in basic ciphering, much less their costs in climate change. Surely these and more are what is meant when we hear of "entitlements," "cutting entitlements" and "entitlement reform."