I hate the word, so I try not to use it at all, but allowing myself to indulge in using it, no, FDR wasn’t a socialist.
And my fault for being flippant.
Are you saying that you are using the word “welfare” to refer to programs that are somhow similar to New Deal programs? Is that what the word as used by everyone else means? Are New Deal “welfare” programs all that different from earlier “welfare” programs?
Social Security is not often grouped with welfare. People will talk about how they’ve “paid into” it and will distinguish it from TANF, WIC, and so forth.
I’m more interested in rules than I am in welfare, UHC, and the like. Maybe I’d be okay with it, depending on the details. Maybe I’m actually more favorable to Scandinavian programs. I’m undecided on the matter.
This isn’t my argument, but the most sophisticated response to this from the people that this is told to is that it sweeps the question of distributive justice under the rug. If we have a person who favors various programs like universal healthcare or a basic income on the grounds that the magnitude of the difference between the top and the bottom is immoral, then relying on possessors of wealth to give it away is non-starter.
Their position would be that the money/wealth/resources that can be directed toward poorer people through charities should actually be in the hands of the poorer people right NOW and that waiting on charity means permitting an unjust distribution to exist.