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In a political context (especially in the United States), the word "entitlements" refers to non-discretionary benefits -- i.e. benefits which must be provided regardless of budgetary considerations.

In this sense, it is an argument-in-a-box against the idea of earned benefits and other social safety-net compensation. It uses guilt by association to imply that recipients have have a sense of "entitlement", and have had benefits bestowed on them undeservingly and inequitably, rather than those benefits having been earned or in some other way deserved.

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