The Corner

Rubio vs. Poverty

My new Bloomberg View column takes a look at the senator’s proposals, and finds reasons for both cheer and caution.

Rubio’s second idea is a “flex fund” that would hand over most federal antipoverty money to the states to manage. Maybe this reform will work, but he should be wary of romanticizing the states. He presents the welfare reform of the 1990s as a triumph for the principle of state management when in fact the central feature of that law — the one that made it successful – – was a work requirement imposed by Washington.

Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.