People who think America is overextended on Social Security, Medicaid, and Medicare should give a listen to 83-year-old woman from Urbana. “Social Security is not bankrupt,” says Jean Burns.

“We have a $2 trillion-plus surplus. And so when you hear the pundits on television say, ‘Oh, it’s entitlements, entitlements,’it is entitlement. We’ve paid into it like an annuity, after you paid into it for all those years when you were working, you’re entitled to a certain pension, or whatever you want to call it. Entitlements? They’ve made it into some kind of a bad, pejorative word.”


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Burns joined U. S. Reps. Jan Schakowsky (D-Evanston) and Doris Matsui (D-Calif.) on a national conference call put on by an organization with a report defending the programs.

“Social Security, everyone acknowledges, has absolutely nothing to do with the deficit,” says Schakowsky. “Social Security, in a deficit discussion, should be completely off the table.”