i have had this argument before with people, and mostly what i end up finding is that the money thing is a fig leaf for the fact that most Republicans simply don’t think that poor people deserve help. their hackles rose at idea of giving people help — even when that help costs less than not helping — if they didn’t think the people in question deserved it, and they would actually rather spend more money to make sure that poor people who they have deemed undeserving never get a thing that they don’t “earn” as long as the poor person stays relatively miserable in their lot. Most Republicans are not actually fiscally conservative. it’s why they are willing to spend all kinds of money on tax cuts and credits and incentives for well-off people, but not on things that cost equal or lesser amounts for low-income people; why they hate “costly” regulation for businesses, but heap it on with welfare programs. in the end, it’s never about money. it’s about deserving vs. undeserving, and worthy vs. unworthy. pragmatism takes a back seat to the moralizing. maybe that’s not all republicans, but it’s the majority that push the policies.