I am not equating Democrats with Socialists - but I thought I would put the left parties of both the US (Democrats) and Europe (Socialists).
Now don't get me wrong - I don't make a ton of money, own stock options or any kind of property. I am currently a Restaurant Manager at one of the most successful fast food chains, and got there actually having started as a crew member. I am grossly overqualified for the position given my education, but I still treat it with respect, and the company that offered me my job with gratefulness.
I have never been bitter towards people richer or more successful than I. I don't get people attacking others with better work and more pay. Nor do I understand by what logic someone who earns more should pay a higher percentage of his wages as taxes. If both the person making 50,000 a year and the person making 1 million pay a 25% income tax, the person that earns a million still pays 20 times more taxes. What kind of warped logic is it when the person that earns the million is forced to pay 40%?
I also do not get social programs that countries cannot afford anymore. I mean... States are now staring at the abyss because they refuse to cut back programs they can no longer pay for. My wife and I receive 180 euros per child (we have two). But why? If you cannot pay for your children, why should others do it for you? Why should others be taxed so that you can make children? Never mind that some categories of people (the poorest and least educated) see those 180 euros as a significant sum and will therefore reproduce in order to get the money. Is that really desirable?
I am for things like universal health care (obviously paid from your wages), education (with free primary and secondary, and then the option to either take a vocational and professional path or a universitary one) and a VERY limited (in time) form of unemployment benefits. I am also for some forms of important services (postal services/train transit/transport infrastructure) remaining in the hands of the state. My logic here is that small villages that lose their train station and post office/bank simply die out. The state should also have a monopoly of violence and law enforcement (police/the military).
But that's it. All other programs are superfluous. Long term unemployment benefits are poison. Look at Belgium and its unemployment rate. You should have six months of unemployment benefits. And that's it. After you either start digging in your savings or pick another job. And believe me, working in the industry I work in, we have a LOT of free positions. But people would rather not work and get a bit less instead of working, paying taxes, and doing their part. And they can do that because our states are stupid enough to hand them money. It's not that there are no jobs available - there are tons of crappy jobs out there ripe for the taking. Just the people turn up their nose at them.
Even at the state level I am baffled. I live in a federal republic; the town in which I live is one of the few to still be completely debt free. In fact, they had some money stashed away, and therefore we had free parking (instead of paying 1 euro per hour like neighboring towns). Now they have run out of money, and have had to start charging 50 cents per hour. I have to bring my cut greenery to the special trash in my car - they don't collect. You need to clean your part of the pavement in front of your home yourself (and will get fined only if you fail to). It all makes sense to me.
And then I turn around and look at the towns close. Hugely indebted, and still taking on more debts. Politicians freely promising things they cannot pay. And people irresponsible enough to vote for them. Obviously always the "poor people" voting for the Socialists. Let the "rich" pay. Not understanding that the rich slowly but surely move away, until the tax base is so depleted that entire cities turn to shit. Look at Duisburg or Charleroi.