Entitlements are exactly why democracies fail and why our founders gave us a republic. Of course, they took it almost for granted that we would remain a moral citizenry. They expected that much from us.
As much as I loath to bring up anything to do with China, I believe it's a Chinese proverb that says, "Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach a man to fish and he will eat for the rest of his life." Very true words.
The strong entitlements system has been alive and doing well in this country at least from the 60's, yet it has failed to lessen the problem. On the contrary, the problem has grown and will continue to do so until it collapses this once strong country or the majority of the citizenry return to being moral people