This morning I sent the following e-mail to Neil Cavuto of Fox News.
I hear commentators on TV - even on "Cavuto on Business" this morning - speak of government "handouts" many times. Social Security benefits and Medicare benefits seemed to be lumped into that category by one of your commentators. (You were absent on that show)
The other day I was shredding old pay stubs. I was shocked when I saw that I was paying several hundred dollars in Social Security and Medicare taxes every two weeks. That does not even include my employer’s matching payments. I worked for over 40 years and had no choice but to pay these taxes.
There are many appropriate examples of handouts. My favorite one is the earned income credit where one who qualifies does not pay income taxes but gets a check back from the IRS. (better called welfare) Social Security payments and Medicare benefits are not examples of handouts.
Characterizing these payments as "handouts" is like calling a person who saves their hard earned money in a bank, a bank robber, when they draw out their own money.
Now that I receive a very modest Social Security payment, (now taxed as income), and find that my wife and I must pay several hundred dollars a month for Medicare Part B, characterizing such benefits as "handouts" is adding insult to injury.
PS - I watch your afternoon show almost everyday. Please consider addressing this in one of your editorials.