I came across a 2013 article from the New York Times old Public Editor, Margaret Sullivan, about the paper’s use of the word “entitlements” to describe Social Security, Medicare, and other federal “outlays,” to use the more technical language that once drove coverage of tax policy. Sullivan agreed with a reader that “entitlements” is a partisan, sneering term for federal retirement benefits. It suggests that beneficiaries are claiming an unearned privilege.

So I looked into the word’s history in the New York Times, and it may not surprise you to learn when “entitlements” entered the political lexicon.

Continue reading “Entitlements”