SNAP is not an entitlement

Some time ago, I had the idea to write a series of articles about language and how conservatives lose the argument by using the terms the left wants us to use.  The idea was to help foster a conservative philosophy of pushing back on leftist terms that are in and of themselves false to fact.

The first of these was about the misuse of the term "radical Islam," followed shortly by another on "racial profiling."

I had intended follow those with one  about "carbon pollution," but Selwyn Duke beat me to it with a very well turned article entitled "Let's stop with the carbon con already," where he forthrightly destroys the left's Baird and switch, substituting "carbon" for "carbon dioxide," also known as plant food.

This Sunday, in his article "How much did government entitlements grow under Obama?,” Rick Moran got my attention with yet another common misuse of terms that cedes ground to the leftists.  From the article:

As President Obama leaves office, one of his major legacies will be the huge increase in the number of Americans who receive benefits from entitlement programs. Food stamps, Social Security, Medicaid, and Medicare all saw large increases in beneficiaries

Mr. Moran, like many on our side, again cedes half the argument to our opponents.  Food Stamps (also known as SNAP) and Medicaid (emphasis mine) are certainly not entitlements.  They are public charity, pure and simple.

"Entitlement" comes from the word "title."  Title is legal ownership you gain for something  a car, house, or perhaps a military or civilian pension  by virtue of having paid for it via money or service.  You gain title to your home after paying off the note.  You gain "title" to a military pension after 20 years of honorable service.

"Entitlement mentality" – now, that's another story.  That's an attitude you come to have by receiving, without effort, the fruits of other folks' labor; you come to believe that you are entitled to that largess you didn't earn.

We, as conservatives, need to refrain from using the term "entitlement" when referring to means-tested charity funded by taxpayer dollars.  Whenever the term "entitlement" is used to describe Medicaid, SNAP, or other means-tested government charity, it demeans every other earned benefit and undermines property rights.

Mike Ford is a sometime contributor to American Thinker who is frequently edited by his lovely bride, a retired high school principal.

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