The simple answer is no.
Capitalism does not need socialism, and if the two are going to co-mingle in an economy the latter needs to be kept in check. If it’s not then it will eventually erode the capitalist aspects of the system. Case in point, the Wall Street and Bank bail outs. Capitalist ideology says let them get as big as they want, and if they can’t manage themselves let them fall. Sure, in the short term it would hurt everybody, but in the long term the ups and downs would take us higher and higher.
You could describe it as one of those times when you’ve got to take the bitter to get the sweet stuff. You wants sweets all the time it’s not going to work out for you in the long term. If you disagree with that then think about reading up on your world history. Every communist state that rises, falls fast. Russia wasn’t immune and neither is China. It’s a ticking fucking time bomb, and the closer we get to a communist approach in the U.S. the closer we come to the same fate.
Essentially, socialism is a middle ground between capitalism and communism. So if you’re a socialist in a capitalist society (or at least one that aspires to capitalism), it’s not unreasonable for someone to call you a communist. It’s not hard to figure out why they would. When you’re living in a capitalist society, socialist moves in legislation and policies are moves toward communism.
(ref. Socialism Is…)
Don’t get me wrong either, I’m probably not nearly as much of a “right wing nut” as this point of view probably makes me seem. You can’t let socialist elements dominate or eclipse a fundamentally capitalist economy though. It starts as the bare minimum (public roads, public schools, etc.) and inevitably begins to flourish, to choke out the rest of the system like vines strangling a tree. The trick is to trim it back on a regular basis, or – in cases of neglect – to cut it back and hack it down. It’ll grow back again, you don’t have to worry about that.
Vines, weeds, ivy… they all grow back.
So we shouldn’t be afraid to chop most of it off from time to time. In the same way plants are resilient and often stimulated to grow, so to is everything else in life that people try to shape. If we cut back too much on welfare, there’ll always be another champion of the poor to resurrect it.
Usually stronger than ever before.
All to say… with a free market comes the freedom to fail.