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An entitlement is a government program guaranteeing access to some benefit, such as to welfare benefits or tax-incentives, by members of a specific group and based on established rights or by legislation.[1][2] The term may also reflect a pejorative connotation, as in a "sense of entitlement". A "right" is itself an entitlement associated with a moral or social principle, such that an "entitlement" is a provision made in accordance with a legal framework of a society. Typically, entitlements are based on concepts of principle ("rights") which are themselves based in concepts of social equality or enfranchisement.


In the United States, an entitlement program is a type of "government program that provides individuals with personal financial benefits (or sometimes special government-provided goods or services) to which an indefinite (but usually rather large) number of potential beneficiaries have a legal right...whenever they meet eligibility conditions that are specified by the standing law that authorizes the program. The beneficiaries of entitlement programs are normally individual citizens or residents, although sometimes organizations such as business corporations, local governments, or even political parties may have similar special 'entitlements' under certain programs."[3] Examples of entitlement programs at the federal level in the United States include Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, most Veterans' Administration programs, federal employee and military retirement plans, unemployment compensation, food stamps, and agricultural price support programs.[4][5]

Originally, the term "entitlement" in the United States was used to identify federal programs that, like Social Security and Medicare, got the name because workers became "entitled" to their benefits by paying into the system. In recent years the meaning has been used to refer also to benefits, like those of the food stamps program, which people become eligible to receive without paying into a system.[6] Some federal programs are also considered entitlements even though the subscriber's "paying into the system" occurs via a means other than monetary, as in the case of those programs providing for veterans' benefits, and where the individual becomes eligible via service in the U.S. military.[7]


In clinical psychology and psychiatry, an unrealistic, exaggerated, or rigidly held sense of entitlement may be considered a symptom of narcissistic personality disorder, seen in those who "[Freud said] because of early frustrations, they arrogate to themselves the right to demand lifelong reimbursement from fate."[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Entitlement. Merriam-Webster Dictionary. Retrieved 17 March 2014.
  2. ^ Entitlement. Dictionary.com. Retrieved 17 March 2014.
  3. ^ "A Glossary of Political Economic Terms" Paul M Johnson, PhD, Auburn University 1994-2005 Retrieved 17 Aug 2013.
  4. ^ On this, deficit committee members agree: "Time is running out." CNN Wire Staff. 18 November 2011. Retrieved 18 November 2011.
  5. ^ "A Glossary of Political Economic Terms" Paul M Johnson, PhD, Auburn University 1994-2005 Retrieved 17 Aug 2013.
  6. ^ What Is Driving Growth in Government Spending? Nate Silver. The New York Times. 16 January 2013. Retrieved 16 April 2013.
  7. ^ Entitlement Programs. City College of San Francisco. Retrieved 16 April 2013.
  8. ^ Otto Fenichel, The Psychoanalytic Theory of Neurosis. (London 1946) p. 499

External links[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Entitlement — Please support Wikipedia.
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Breitbart News

Breitbart News
Tue, 29 Jul 2014 13:37:30 -0700

In a classic Washingtonian political maneuver, both parties are prepared to introduce a massive new Veterans Affairs health care entitlement and force members to vote up or down on the entire package before they hustle off to their awaiting flights ...

Wall Street Journal

Wall Street Journal
Mon, 21 Jul 2014 15:58:25 -0700

This year's budget deficit of "only" $500 billion has brought some complacency on federal spending and deficits. It shouldn't. The Congressional Budget Office's long-term budget outlook released on July 15 shows a $40 trillion increase in debt over the ...


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Tue, 29 Jul 2014 00:07:30 -0700

WASHINGTON (AP) — Despite some good news, Medicare and Social Security still face long-term financial problems as millions of baby boomers reach retirement. Social Security's disability program is already in crisis as it edges toward the brink of ...

Irish Examiner

Irish Examiner
Mon, 28 Jul 2014 16:37:30 -0700

ONE word stood out from the judgment that sent Ivor Callely to prison for five months yesterday. Entitlement. The former politician had acted out of nothing more than a sense of entitlement. He wasn't in financial difficulties at the time he crafted ...

The Fiscal Times

The Fiscal Times
Wed, 16 Jul 2014 03:18:45 -0700

Here's more bad news for President Obama: The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office warned Tuesday in its annual budget outlook that unchecked spending on Medicare, Social Security and other entitlement programs is “unsustainable” and will ...


American Thinker (blog)
Fri, 25 Jul 2014 06:30:00 -0700

There is little doubt that Hillary Clinton has an extraordinary sense of entitlement. With no visible sense of shame, she demands and gets hundreds of thousands of dollars for speeches to fat cats while posing as an advocate of social justice. While in ...
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Tue, 29 Jul 2014 17:11:15 -0700

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Breitbart News

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Thu, 24 Jul 2014 06:52:30 -0700

Poverty is as endemic today as it was when President Lyndon Johnson inaugurated the War on Poverty, and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) is offering sensible proposals to change things for the better. He would offer states block grants to create programs that ...

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