Letters to the Editor: What Republicans should know before they cut Medicare

Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., arrives to speak during a news conference in Statuary Hall at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 12, 2023. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)
Speaker Kevin McCarthy won the gavel, in part, by reportedly promising budget cuts that many fear will target Medicare. (Jose Luis Magana / Associated Press)

To the editor: We should resist Republican efforts to cut Medicare and Social Security in the name of fiscal responsibility. ("Republicans want to cut Medicare. Here’s how real leaders would handle the deficit," Opinion, Jan. 12)

There are three reasons for large federal deficits, and none has a connection to overspending on so-called entitlements.

The first is the huge tax cuts for the rich during the George W. Bush administration. The second is the huge tax cut for the rich under the Trump administration. The third is the drastic underfunding of the Internal Revenue Service, which allows tax cheating by the rich (see the reporting on former President Trump's tax returns).

Do you detect any evidence here of Republican fiscal responsibility?

Thomas Alden, Palm Desert


To the editor: What upsets me whenever I read about lawmakers debating public healthcare (be it Medicare or Medicaid) is the fact that every member of Congress has access to a health insurance package funded by you and me, the American taxpayer.

Yes, the common citizen, by virtue of paying taxes, pays for the salaries and benefits of every federal employee, including members of Congress.

I see no reason why every American should not receive the same health benefit options as our members of Congress. Or, let them grovel for healthcare as they would have us.

Tom Brayton, Long Beach


To the editor: I always enjoy the perspective that LZ Granderson brings to his opinion pieces, but I need to school him on one thing. He's fallen into the trap of calling Social Security and Medicare "entitlements."

I retired in 2021 at 62 and have worked for these benefits since I was 16. People need to remember that they pay into these programs their entire working lives, so the benefits are hardly a handout.

Perhaps The Times should adopt a style guide exception that replaces "entitlements" with "benefits" any time these vital and valuable programs are referenced.

Mike Villano, Lake Balboa

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.