What is the Best Definition of Entitlements?

I’m in the process of “discussing” what the meaning of “entitlements” is. The person I am discussing this with thinks it simply is welfare. As I was explaining that it is Social Security, unemployment, veteran benefits, etc.,I got to wondering if there is some federal statute that actually uses the word, or if it is just political jargon. And does it even include welfare? I think the popular use of this word needs to be cleaned up.

This is a good place to start, maybe:

Thanks - I was on the wiki earlier. The wiki includes food stamps as one of the examples of entitlements, but it doesn’t mention welfare.

Interesting that the Republicans use the word “entitlements” in a pejorative sense, yet they are referring to benefits that usually have been “pre-paid”, so to speak, such as Social Security, unemployment. If we pay for something, aren’t we then entitled to receive it?

Oh I see! So in other words if a republican uses the word “entitlement” all of a sudden its pejorative and partisan? False equivalency much? Someone should have told you that moral relativism is not an argument that allows you to redefine a definition. Next time try not to rely on “Wiki” it discredits your argument altogether! I know cognitive dissonance sucks for people like you, but you should try getting out more!



uk /ɪnˈtaɪ.təl.mənt/ us /ɪnˈtaɪ.t̬əl.mənt/

[ C or U ] something that you have a right to do or have, or the right to do or have something:

pension/holiday entitlements

Managers have generous leave entitlement.

[ U ] disapproving the feeling that you have the right to do or have what you want without having to work for it or deserve it, just because of who you are:

a classic case of male entitlement

The meaning of entitlements is slippery, always seems to include Social Security and Medicare, others depend on the writer. In terms of the latest and greatest Republican offensive against the poor and needy, it can be any kind of transfer payment from the government to an individual.

The bigger the entitlements paid, the more the very rich will have to pay in taxes. Therefore, reducing entitlements is the best way to reduce taxes for plutocrats like Trump, the Koch Brothers, and the rest of the right wing elites.

And, yes, Social Security and Medicare are different, since Americans have prepaid for their benefits. Then the conservative pundits like David Brooks go on at length about how the benefits received far outweigh their contributions. Those calculations end up ambiguous because of the assumptions made, for inflation rate, for future benefits, for health care inflation, etc.

Thanks for bringing up the topic. I’m still mystified why this is always such a focus for the GOP.

A good example of what the Republicans consider removable “entitlements” can be found in the reduction of survivor’s benefits for widows (in most cases, women) of retired veterans who died of causes related to their service. In most cases the benefit was reduced to zero.

These benefits have been paid for by the the now-dead spouses, who opted for a 6.5% reduction in retirement benefits so that 55% of their pensions would continue to be paid in the event they died first.

Ever since the Vietnam War, Social Security has been lumped into the federal budget. At the time, it was an accounting violation necessary to pretend that the war wasn’t driving up the deficit. Now that deficit is blamed on Social Security.

In America all federal entitlements actually not within the legal framework of our Law but in defiance of it.

That the government levies a tax doesn’t make the related appropriations lawful, merely taxing doesn’t bestow any enumerated power to spend. People’s circumstances, wants, or even if they’ve been previously defrauded of their means to give illegitimate benefits to others are not amendments to the Constitution either.

Contrary to how the government operates “I Tax, therefore I can” is not constitutional.

To an educated person, an entitlement is something to which a person has a legal or granted right to receive or own.

To a freeloader, an entitlement is anything to which they think they have a right to receive or own.

The Income Tax was suppose to be temporary and therefore in of itself is illegal. It was created to help fund the Spanish American War during the Teddy Roosevelt Admin. Maybe that was what Yellow Journalism was for, as William Randolph Hurst was looking to sell newspapers so he started a war to which he created the impetus for unintended consequence “The Income Tax” only to be a victim of it in the end!

Today’s entitlements are nothing more than a redistribution of wealth .