Define what deserves help first.
"Deserves" is inherently a subjective term, and cannot be defined in any seriously consistent way unless some additional metric is defined. I do not think that it makes a functional starting point.
Because we can disagree about how much we can help people. If you bracket everyone poor as "social leach that does nothing", then you're probably very unwilling to help anybody that isn't being genocided by rapewolves. On the other hand, if you ask questions like: Do needy people deserve food if they can't afford it? Housing? Heated homes? Higher education? And then comes the other questions, like is it worth it? Social security and medicare are expensive, but why are food stamps and subsidized housing put on the same chopping block as the entitlements? Lastly, why are you so afraid of taxes on the weathly? Do you believe you're rich and are afraid of the taxes? Because you're not rich. You will never be rich, ever. How do I know you're not rich? Because you pay the majority of your taxes, and don't care about how to minimize your tax burden to your heirs.
What exactly does "deserves" mean if it is not related to issues like "is it worth it"?
Sure, I'm not rich. But I like living in a functional society, and am capable of considering social classes other than my own. However, from a purely self-interested perspective, which you seem to alternately demand and abhor, I observe that various "tax the rich" efforts do result in increases in tax brackets that are directly relevant to me. Pick the altruistic viewpoint or the self interested one, it matters not to me.
And yeah, if I was rich, I probably would try to minimize tax burden for my heirs. Pretty much everyone, rich or poor, tries to help their kids and what not out. Rich people just have bigger piles of money and stuff. However, as I lack kids or enough wealth for death taxes to matter, my caring from a self-interested perspective is minimal. However, I can observe that as a practical matter, the death tax brings in very little money, and is far above average in cost to enforce vs the amount it brings in.
You're kind of all over the map on this reply. None of these topics appear to be strongly related, and you still haven't answered the question about what a safety net keeps one safe from, if not for poverty? Leaving aside the question of where the poverty line is defined, what else does this term mean? DoD isn't described as a social safety net, so obviously, the term is not discussing national defense. Police are not described as a safety net, so it cannot be talking about law and order. Leave aside rambling discussion of rapewolves, and it seems clear that the term "safety net" means "program that keeps me safe from the effects of poverty".
Soooo....safety net spending of (# of people below poverty level) * (enough money to get them out of poverty level) should suffice to end poverty. That defines adequate resources to solve the issue, if allocated to the problem.
Since we are spending more than that, and still have not ended poverty, it follows that one of those assumptions is not being followed in real life. It seems extremely obvious that the issue is that "safety net spending" is often not being allocated to the poor. After all, the rich get SS too. So, is SS really a safety net at all? Do we actually have much of a safety net, or is that term hollow puffery for projects intended to accomplish other ends?