The standard dictionary term for “entitlement” is to have the right to something that you earned, or otherwise have cause to insist that you are rightfully due. In government terms, it is a word to mean that you fit the guidelines for receiving money or tax credit from the government.
In America, the word “entitlement” covers a range of government give-aways, many of which do not meet with the same definition of the word – at least, not in most peoples minds.
The most familiar examples of entitlement programs at the federal level in the United States would include Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, most Veterans’ Administration programs, federal employee and military retirement plans, unemployment compensation, food stamps, tax credits, higher education assistance, and agricultural price support programs.
At the State and county levels, the most notable entitlements are Welfare, tax credits, or low income assistance programs for energy bills or child care.
Historically, there have been three specific reasons for entitlements, and that is to:
1) manage government ran benefit programs for gvt employees and military
2) take care of those who are unable to care for themselves or have reached the age of their golden years and society feels a sense of obligation to the elderly
3) as a temporary way to sustain able bodied individuals as they work toward self sufficiency.
A person who pays in to social security through a lifetime of work, *IS* entitled to receive their benefits at retirement. Any entitlement that relates to payouts after having payed-in to the system, is entitlement.
The problem with the word “entitlement” is its cross meanings and the way that receivership has increasingly viewed government hand-ups as hand-outs, and that such assistance should continue indefinitely, and at a level beyond the basic levels of necessity – that being food, shelter, and clothing.
A person who is not working is *NOT* “entitled” to certain amenities such as cell phones, television, cable/satellite TV, automobiles, brand new clothing, cigarettes, alcohol, drugs, gambling money, expensive foods, single family houses, internet access, toys and games, gameboys, nintendo, playstation, computers, brand new furniture, travel expenses, or excessive amounts of anything.
A person is *NOT* “entitled” to being cared for by the tax payers indefinitely, simply because they chose not to work, or chose to pop out a bunch of kids and don’t want to be burdened with family planning and figuring out how they will care for their offspring.
The aforementioned things are called “charity”, not entitlements. The tax payers have been very charitable, but we grow weary over the increasing attitude by a small subset of people who seem to think that they are entitled to live better lives than those who work, yet without lifting a single finger to improve their own financial situation.
By the time one adds up the free medical, free housing, free food, free spending cash, free amenities, etc, the avg welfare recipient lives at an income level as that of someone drawing a $55,000 a year salary.
Now, don’t get me wrong. There are those people who work hard, find themselves in a bad situation, and could use the help. They need and only really want (and sometimes not even want), temporary help until they can get back on their feet. I have no problem with that whatsoever. However, lets call it like it is – that is NOT entitlement, that is *CHARITY*, pure and simple. If they worked and payed in to a system setup up to provide such help when needed, great, give them the benefit.
However, to the career welfare bums, you are not entitled to a damn thing. Shut up!
And so, I suggest we change the word “Entitlement” to a more suitable nomenclature for certain types of handouts. Lets call welfare, lifetime salaries for politicians, and the like ‘Temporary Charity’, and then treat it that way.