Most of the programs enacted during FDR's terms as president were designed to provide a "floor" for those at the bottom in order to maintain a certain level of living standards. Programs like Social Security, Minimum wage, Medicare/Medicaid, Unemployment, along with Pre-school, Planned Parenthood, Welfare & Food stamps are all well meaning.
The debate has always been over how our taxpayer dollars are spent in addition to making people "dependent" on welfare/food stamp programs in particular.
Some people consider (all money) given by the government to be welfare/entitlements including Social Security, Medicare/Medicaid, unemployment and veterans benefits.
Many of these benefits are now seen as "sacred cows". Funding these programs was not much of an issue as the next generation was able to support the elderly. In some ways Social Security is sort of a federal ponzi scheme that relied on new people coming into the system to pay SS taxes. However with the "baby boomers" the largest segment of the population approaching retirement age the concern is there are not enough younger people to support the system. There has been talk of raising the retirement age to 70 or allowing folks to invest their own money anyway they want . Nevertheless historically most people do not save for retirement. If such a system would have been in place during the "great recession" when the stock market went belly up and real estate came crashing down a lot of the elderly would not have gotten a monthly income and would have lost almost everything.
I don't think that these programs have made America worse. Signing bad trade agreements, fighting two wars for over 10 years, and corporations shipping manufacturing jobs to places like China and customer support jobs to India have had more of an effect.
According to Factcheck.org federal tax rates had fallen to their lowest rate in 30 years in 2012! Theoretically according to those that believe (lower taxes is the key) we should be having a great boon! Unemployment is below 6%, home loan interest rates are low, and the stock market is at record highs. And yet few people don't (feel) good about the economy. Reducing or eliminating programs from "The Great Deal" won't bring back manufacturing jobs.