When it comes to concern about those on the bottom rung of the income ladder, Republicans are no match for Democrats with respect to rhetoric. But when it comes to actually doing something to reform the institutions that persistently fail the poor Republicans seem to be the only ones willing to act.

Nine times out of 10, Democratic politicians are the reliable allies of the people who work in the health, education and welfare bureaucracies rather than the people who are supposed to benefit from these services. Where ever you see true reform under way, either a Republican is in charge or it’s a Democrat who is acting like a Republican.

What are the failing institutions? At the top of the list are the public schools, Medicaid and the welfare system.