Every civilized nation that is not a "third world" country has some social programs. Each country seeks to establish a "floor" or (minimum standard of living) for it's citizens.
Some people are in favor of eliminating Social Security, Medicaid, Medicare, meals on wheels, Welfare, Planned Parenthood, Minimum wage, Unemployment insurance, public schools, and any other thing where taxpayers dollars are spent on the less fortunate.
According to the U.S. Census 1 in 5 people receive government assistance of some kind which is the equivalent of saying 8 out of 10 or 80% of the people do not.
The vast majority of people want far more out of life than what the government provides.
Very few people on welfare are truly living middleclass lifestyles. Taking a drive through the South Side of Chicago or any impoverished neighborhood of any city it's doubtful anyone would consider those areas to be "middleclass".
Sure you might see some of them with large flat screen TVs, the latest iPhone, and other consumer items which do not appreciate or build any form of (true wealth) but that's a far cry from living a middleclass life. It's not likely anyone in the middleclass would swap places.
A large percentage of people receiving assistance are (children) whose parents are receiving aid ideally to assist them. In other instances it's elderly people, some living in nursing homes, or the mentally ill or physically disabled people.
When we say "the government" we're really talking about (ourselves).
Everyone's tax dollars are in the "proverbial pot" whether you pay income tax, sales tax, gasoline taxes, or property taxes. The debate is over how that money is spent. It's been collected.
If given a choice to put a man on Mars or provide food stamps to single mother with three children most people will opt to help the children of the single mother even though it may be her fault for making some bad choices.
Rarely is there an example of someone who can say it's because of "entitlement programs" for others that (I) can't get ahead.
Our anger is over the fact that we're working/sacrificing and (they) are not. It's not as if (they) are holding us back. We just hate the fact some people can be "content" with so little.
All of us have the "opportunity" to join them but none of us want to because (we) actually do want more out of life. Some people also view social programs as a way to curtail crime rates.
Higher poverty rates lead to higher crime rates.