Starting with Reagan, this system has slowly been dismantled (ripping out Carter's solar panels on the white house was only the beginning), with billions flowing from the public sector into defense (talk about a welfare program), war (to satisfy the NeoCon lust for oil and Empire) and tax breaks for the wealthy.
We've witnessed one of the largest transfers of wealth in the world - from the many to the few. Conservatives have gutted the government, hiding behind a romantic notion of local churches providing assistance.
In reality, the churches have never done this in totality, but always in conjunction with government. It isn't that the government has failed, but rather that conservative forces in this nation have gutted the government when it comes to children and families, not to mention our nation's infrastructure, water and air, and our food supplies.
Meanwhile painting the poor as lazy and dependent, wanting to be cared for; if anything, it's the rich who expect to be cared for, because of their social status.
Check the history of British Aristocracy, the model for America's wealthy - they all expect plenty of free stuff - I think Jesus said something about the best seat in the synagogue.
God has ordained in this world human and spiritual structures - to work together for the common good. What's needed is a partnership of the various spheres - Cain's line and Seth's line - government, church, mosque, synagogue, board room, Wall Street, and it's the government that can and should set the pace and lift up the Constitutional vision of a free and democratic nation, wherein the church is one of the players, but not the only player when it comes to the Good Society.
Abraham Kuyper's Sphere Sovereignty has some merit in this discussion.