What's been described as "New Deal Liberalism" and "Great Society Liberalism" and perhaps even "Eisenhower Liberalism", of the 1930s, 1940s, 1950s and 1960s. The FDR New Deal, the Eisenhower Highway System and the LBJ Great Society, this is not liberalism or Big Government liberalism. These are all Socialist Policy's, not Classical Socialist but Democratic Socialist. Building the Welfare State through the Federal Government to make society better, to make the union more perfect. Franklin Rossevelt was a Democratic Socialist on Economic Policy at least as President. He wasn't a liberal on anything other then Foreign Policy. Liberalism is not about the Welfare State, liberals believe in protecting the Safety Net for people who need it but not having it so people become dependent on it. President Eisenhower who I consider perhaps the last Conservative Libertarian America has ever had as President. On Foreign Policy, Social Issues and Economic Policy. He did create the Federal Highway System but that was the only Socialist Policy he had. Lyndon Johnson at least as President, was a liberal on Social Issues, we haven't had a better Civil Rights President since or before in my opinion. He was also a Liberal Internationalist on Foreign Policy. But he was a Democratic Socialist on Economic Policy, the Great Society case in point. Medicare and Medicaid government run Health Insurance programs. But with all of LBJ Big Government Great Society programs, he left the Presidency with a Balance Budget, because he paid for everything. Jack Kennedy another liberal on Social Issues, a little late to the party on Civil Rights but I think that had more to do with his political calculations then anything else. But his tendency's leaned to the left on Civil Rights. He was clearly a Liberal Internationalist on Foreign Policy but he has socialist leanings on Economic Policy except for his Tax Cuts. But he wanted to create Medicare and I believe a Single Payer Health Insurance program.
If liberals were in charged during the New Deal, the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s. There probably would've been some type of Social Security Retirement Insurance program. But it would've been a Welfare Insurance program but just for people who need and don't have any other Retirement Income. And there would've been a separate program for people to build up their own Private Pensions. Something like Social Security plus, that would have Private Retirement Accounts, that would be paid into by workers and their employers. That individuals would be able to manage on their own, to build their own Private Pensions. If liberals were in charge during the New Deal Unemployment Insurance would've been designed to put people back to work with education and Job Placement. Instead of just Unemployment Checks. If liberals were in charge during the New Deal, Welfare Insurance would've been designed to move Low Income people out of poverty, instead of just giving them Welfare Checks. If liberals were in charge during the 1950s, there would've been a National Infrastructure Bank, which is another blog. But basically a Public Private Partnership in building and repairing our infrastructure in America. Instead of the Federal Government being in complete control of it. If liberals were in charge during the Great Society, there would've been more choice in where Senior Citizens and Low Income people get their Health Insurance. Instead of forcing them to take government Health Insurance. And Low Income people would have more choice in where they live, instead of forcing them to live in Public Housing in bad neighborhoods and forcing their kids to go to bad schools.
Liberalism and socialism are two different ideology's not one in the same and socialism itself is a very diverse ideology and not just an Economic Policy. Liberalism is about Maximize Freedom and Responsibility for the individual in what they do with their freedom. And also holding them responsible for when they use their freedom to hurt innocent people. As well as Equal Opportunity for all, not Equal Benefits which would be collectivist a Socialist Value. Another part of liberalism is to use government not to run or manage others lives. But to empower people who are down, to get themselves up with a Hand Up not a Hand Out. Socialism is about using government especially the Federal Government to make the society better for the people, meaning the Welfare State. And its also collectivist, meaning using government make sure people don't have too much more then others. And taking from them when they do with High Taxes, to take care of others who don't have enough. Another difference between liberalism and socialism, liberals believe government should be used to empower people to take care of themselves. Socialists believe government should be used to take care of people who can't take care of themselves. Another big difference.
What liberalism and socialism does have in common is that they are both progressive, meaning using government to make society better and solve problems. But there are different approaches, liberals believe in empowering people to solve their own problems. Socialists believe in empowering government to take care of peoples problems. Two different Political Ideology's not one in the same.