When discussing Obama care and government benefits, some of my more left-leaning friends have stated that since they are paying in to social security and medicare, it isn't an entitlement. Here is one recent comment:
"It is annoying that people think SS and Medicare are handouts. We pay for those with every paycheck. Just makes me mad when people slam things as "entitlements" when I am buying them!" (name omitted to protect the guilty)
This is where that tough old math comes in to play. Look what happens when you actually crunch the numbers...
"No matter how much you pay into the system, whether you earn the average wage over a lifetime ($43,100 in 2010 dollars) or if you're in a two-income household where one earns a high wage and the other earns an average wage, you get back substantially more than you pay in." (more)
This means that social security and medicare ARE entitlements since people feel "entitled" to draw more out than they paid in. Let's put it this way... if you go out to dinner with a large group of friends and everyone pitches in $10 and then orders the $35 lobster platter, there's going to be a big problem when it comes time to pay the check.
A simple solution is to refund everyone's unused Social Security and Medicare taxes and totally disband those programs. Then let people do their own savings and pay directly for their retirement and healthcare needs. Sadly a radical plan like this will never fly. It relies on things in very short supply these days... the ability to add and subtract and individual responsibility.