Is government aid charity? Is having the government forcibly take from someone to give to someone else wholly of their choosing, charity?
This is not to question the safety net factor. There is certainly nothing wrong with having in place government programs which help those in true need. If you cannot feed yourself or your family under your current circumstances, if indeed you do need health services which you cannot provide for, then it becomes rational for the government to offer aid when, if, or as necessary. Even that is rife with peril, however: it can (and has) lead to dependency and the sense of entitlement, and it can lead to the government deciding who gets what. A simple look at Ethiopia during the 1980s shows what government control of resources can lead to in the extreme. Don't think for a moment that that can't happen here. It may be in the far future if at all, but it can happen here, with the distribution of food, and with health care and many other things too, quite honestly.
So is government aid charity?
Well, is it charitable to vote for people to take money from people who are not you in order to help people who are not you and who you do not know? Or is charity something you are supposed to do for the sake of others who cannot, at a given time, help themselves? This is the problem with liberal and Democratic voters. They believe that they are doing their duty towards society by making someone else do their charitable work. Yet however good that work might be in itself, its morality becomes questionable when it is supposed to be your work. Demanding that the government do your work is not charity. It is at worst lazy and, at most, theft of the wages and resources of others.
So, finally, is government aid charity?
No. Charity is when you do your duty, not having someone else do it or something else done in your name. When we accept that, you might be surprised how many charitable people are out there.