More than heartbreaking

To the Editor:

As I was growing up, my parents epitomized the American work ethic, both working full time (or more) into their late 60s. They worked hard, paid their mortgage, paid their taxes, paid into Social Security, Medicare, and into their employer-based retirement plans. They did everything that they perceived any hardworking citizen should do.

During the economic down turn in 2007 and 2008, the bulk of their retirement nest egg was decimated. Now, in their mid-70s, with my father in declining health, they are increasingly dependent on their Social Security income, and my father’s care is increasingly dependent on Medicaid and Medicare benefits.

For me to hear my parents categorized as people “… who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you name it. That, that’s an entitlement. And the government should give it to them …” – to basically be labeled as bums and freeloaders, makes me angry beyond my ability to articulate it.

For me to observe my parents as they hear this accusation, to see the hurt and incredulous frustration in their eyes, to know that dependence upon government programs is painfully their last resort, is more than heartbreaking.

Mark Perkins

Barrington

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