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Letter to the editor: Welfare is an entitlement right

Tuesday, March 25, 2014 - 12:01 am

This is a correction more than a rebuttal of Cecil Bohanon’s guest column titled, “Entitlements are not rights at all” (March 6). This is a false claim.

Poking around, I learned that “entitlement” has its origin in lawyerly conceptions of welfare and became the precedent for the Supreme Court in the decision in Goldberg v. Kelly.

The source is a 1965 Yale Law Journal article by Charles A. Reich, LL.B., which stated: “The idea of entitlement is simply that when individuals have insufficient resources to live under conditions of health and decency, society has obligations to provide support, and the individual is entitled to that support as of right”

The supremes relied on Reich’s article to find that welfare recipients have certain constitutional rights with respect to their entitlements. And so it was officially established that welfare is an entitlement right.

As Bob Dylan said, “Know your song well before you start singing.”

The high court codified “entitlement” as of right. It’s not a matter of what liberals and libertarians, such as Bohanon, believe, it’s not a matter of their “parting ways” as he claims. It’s a matter of law.

B. J. Paschal, Ph.D.