Memo to Romney: It's the rich who get free stuff

November 16, 2012

Thomas Schaller, in his column, "Older, wealthier get plenty of free stuff" (Nov. 14), is right on the mark when he points out that the real receivers of undeserved entitlements in our society are not the truly needy, that is, the poor, sick, elderly and handicapped who depend on Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid and other social programs to survive as has been charged by many talk show blabbers and right wing pundits. The myth that many of these are malingerers who cheat and game the system is not supported by the facts. This myth was started by Ronald Reagan and continued by many Republicans in an attempt to undo the New Deal.

The real chiselers in our society with undeserved entitlements are many of our multi-national corporations, Wall Street manipulators and wealthy individuals. Many of our largest corporations including GE, Microsoft and others have avoided paying corporate taxes for years by sending profits to overseas subsidiaries. The oil and gas industries and large agribusinesses have enjoyed huge subsidies and tax write-offs and depreciation allowances. Pharmaceutical and defense industries gain contracts without competitive bidding, and broadcasters get free licenses from the public which allow them to earn billions. Finally, hedge fund managers, other Wall Street operators and wealthy investors pay tax rates capped at 15 percent while the rest of us wage earners are taxed at rates often over 30 percent.

If one feels compelled to express outrage at unfair entitlements, it should be at these undeserving corporations and wealthy individuals.

Jack Kinstlinger, Baltimore

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