Government has a duty to provide defense. The extent of that defense is debatable (and offense much more debatable), but the role itself is not.
Government has a duty to build infrastructure. The extent of that role is debatable, but the role itself is not.
Government has a duty to uphold justice, and to refute the demands of those who co-opt the word 'justice' for their own corrupt schemes.
Government DOES NOT have a duty to give away freebies to any constituencies. Neither Wall Street nor their Occupiers, neither college students nor corporations, neither poor nor rich nor anyone in between deserve to have government steal from other citizens to satisfy their greed.
It is the role of charity to take care of the least fortunate. Charitable people do this first by taking care of immediate needs (food, medicine, etc.), then ideally by helping the recipient help themselves (job training, eliminating addictions, etc.) Organizations can only remain charitable as far as its members remain charitable, and are as prone to corruption as any other human organization.
Subcontracting the role of charity out to the government does several things:
- it creates a bureaucracy that - by its very nature - diverts funds from the needy to sustain itself,
- it makes fraud vastly more easy, by both cheating recipients and corrupt apparatchiks,
- it removes the personal contact between donor and recpient which might result in a sense of community,
- it rewards self-destructive behaviors that cause poverty (illegitimacy, drug abuse, etc.), negating any motivation for recipients to change,
- it gives more-fortunate people a sop to their conscience that they 'are doing something for the poor' without having to sully themselves with actually doing anything for the poor, and
- it breeds dependence on government, which - because of the money and power it gives them - is government's primary motivation for promoting the welfare state.
Again, I am agreeing that "all those crony capitalist fat cats" are a problem to America, but it's much more a problem of cronyism than of capitalism - as Whitewater and Solyndra demonstrate as well as Enron. Either way, the socialist (i.e. communist) fat cats are far worse. If you look closely, today's welfare state is being pushed by forces just as greedy and power-mad as any robber baron, yet more hypocritical because they pretend to be 'on the side of angels' and fool so many people into trusting a system that is essentially slavery.