One ‘Entitlement’ Really Does Need Trimming

By:  Sam Pizzigati

Deck the halls, this holiday season, with scenes of hunger.A new report neatly exposes the monumental hypocrisy of America’s most politically active corporate leaders.

Struggling families all across America now have less food on their tables. Budget cuts that kicked into effect November 1 have lowered the nation’s average federal food stamp benefit to less than $1.40 per person per meal.

Austerity American-style is squeezing elsewhere as well. Seventy percent of local agencies that service seniors have had to cut back on Meals on Wheels deliveries. The “sequestration” federal budget cuts that began this past March have also shut out 57,000 preschoolers from Head Start.

More cuts are looming, as lawmakers on Capitol Hill near still another budget deliberation deadline, this one midway through December. The next federal program in the cross-hairs? Maybe the biggest of them all: Social Security.

Average Americans, of course, don’t want Social Security cut. Over three-quarters of Americans, polling shows, oppose any Social Security cutbacks.

If anything, average Americans have become even more committed to keeping Social Security whole — and for good reason. Social Security currently stands as America’s only retirement bedrock.

Not too long ago, pensions also used to deliver real retirement security. But the nation’s biggest corporations have cut back on traditional pensions. In 1980, 89 percent of Fortune 100 companies guaranteed workers a “defined benefit” at retirement. By last year, only 12 percent offered that level of security.

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