‘Entitlements’

Letter | Let’s be precise when it comes to ‘entitlements’

May 9, 2014 

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Re: April 27 letter from Colleen Flanagan: “Get your labels straight; I paid for Social Security”

In response to Colleen Flanagan's letter on April 27th regarding entitlements, I would like to voice my own opinion as to the much abused meaning of the word “entitlements”.

The definition of the term “entitlement” initially meant something that a person was “entitled” to because they have paid for it during their lifetime. In the true sense of that definition, Social Security, Medicare, unemployment benefits, workman's compensation and many other state and federal run financial assistance programs are really “entitlements” because they were paid for by the recipient.

It is only in recent years that welfare and charitable programs such as SNAP, EBT, SSI and Medicaid have all been thrown into the same category as true entitlements. In my opinion these are purely governmental welfare and charity programs and should be looked upon as just that, welfare and charity, not as entitlements. Unfortunately, many of the recipients of these multi-generational programs have grown to a point that they now feel they are entitled to them.

I am not criticizing welfare and charity programs because I do believe in helping the less fortunate. I would, however, like to see a more distinct line drawn between welfare programs aimed at the less fortunate and true entitlement programs in which people like myself and the majority of the working class have paid into for their entire lives.

The writer lives in Little River.

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