The intention behind wanting government to step in and care for the poor may be noble indeed, but those who call for such action seldom look beyond mere intentions. There are deeper implications to consider.
Penn Jillette, entertainer and avowed atheist, wrote an article last year for CNN.com that touched on this issue:
When seen from that perspective, all the talk about government doing more to help the poor takes on an entirely different meaning.
People need to be fed, medicated, educated, clothed, and sheltered, and if we're compassionate we'll help them, but you get no moral credit for forcing other people to do what you think is right. There is great joy in helping people, but no joy in doing it at gunpoint.
People try to argue that government isn't really force. You believe that? Try not paying your taxes. (This is only a thought experiment -- suggesting on CNN.com that someone not pay his or her taxes is probably a federal offense, and I'm a nut, but I'm not crazy.) When they come to get you for not paying your taxes, try not going to court. Guns will be drawn. Government is force -- literally, not figuratively.