Socialism isn't bad, but America is already socialist enough.
The original socialist impetus was moral as was made clear to me in my reading of George Orwell. His excellent book 'The Road to Wigan Pier' made the case for socialism in Britain. Essentially in those days before the advent of the supermarket, when more people farmed with oxen than tractors, a few oligarchs could conspire to restrain their investment in an industry and actually starve people. This was proven in England's coal mining industry. The plan for socialism was generally simple which was to gain control of such industries and compel investment so towns like Manchester would not be devastated. The demand for socialism included things we take for granted today, like standardized hours, overtime pay, educational stipends, investment matching and workman's compensation insurance for injuries on the job. In other words 'benefits'. But the larger idea was of 'scientific socialism', ie a vision of how technology could benefit the working class.
Today we have benefits and we have a larger number of capitalists and corporations than ever. It cannot be said that a half dozen privately owned companies control entire industries such that a collusion between them to go golf instead of invest in job creation will actually starve whole cities. Markets have become more global and open. If American capitalists don't find steel an attractive investment, Indian capitalists will buy the mills at a discount. In short, the deprivations of capitalism are not as deadly as they once were before WW2 when the average worker didn't have electricity.
Today 'socialism' in America means neoliberalism. It used to be fashionable for employees to own their companies here in the states, but benefits have advanced so much and unions have declined in influence that 'the people owning the means of production' is not considered to be a deciding factor in whether or not employees are well cared for. Neoliberalism takes the socialist model and essentially applies it to people on the fringes of society, and from all big businesses and the public through taxation. So now that the average workers have benefits and social welfare from the average employer, Leftists seek to extend benefits to the unemployed. For example, candidate Bernie Sanders wants to tax businesses and the public to pay for free college education. This has nothing to do with the moral case for socialism which was to put bread on the table and a chicken in every pot, this is more like a lobster dinner for people who have declared themselves gluten intolerant.
This critical difference between providing basic social services for the infrastructure of society and not working people to death in sweatshops and unsafe factories, and looking at the whole of GDP and raising taxes so that the government gives out more esoteric benefits to workers and non-workers alike, to citizens and non-citizens alike is the moral difference between true socialism and neoliberalism.
The essential problem with Progressive's neoliberal agenda is that it is unsustainable. It seeks an ever higher standard of living on the basis of 'inequality' and to flatten society. That goes beyond the reasonableness of socialism towards collectivism and communism, and yet it is soft-peddled as 'socialism' or 'democratic socialism'. The American standard of living has already met the moral requirements of proper socialism. What we are now witnessing is nothing more than the greed of the activist Left.
Neoliberalism has a good chance in America because they can always claim underdog status. They cannot be held responsible for the bankruptcy of their ideas because they are too clever in their manipulations of regulatory and tax law. They will bleed that which is profitable to fund that which is wasteful without ever actually taking charge. They can always claim that 'too many' people are homeless and corporations and the public are 'not doing enough' to justify their policies. But they will never use their own money and power to solve the problem. They merely push and push in the same direction with other people's money using the force of new laws they are always pursuing. If the policy fails, they claim there was never enough commitment and money. If the policy succeeds, they move on to expand their influence in another area. But you'll find no original private models - everything gets dumped to the responsibility of government.
So in direct answer, American 'socialism' is neoliberalism, which taxes everyone as much as politically possible and tries to turn government into a benefits factory in every direction. This is exactly what contributes to making politicians only responsive to money. It is not so much steal from the rich and give to the poor as make government the broker for more and more of American life, by stealing the moral argument of socialism when what is actually happening leans more towards state control. And in that way American trying to vote themselves rich is the road to serfdom as it will put more power and money in government hands and out of the hands of the people.