Yes, that would be the ideal. But we don’t live in an ideal world with unlimited resources and endless political capital. We live in a world constrained by budget cuts, demands of accountability when taxpayer money is on the line, and the apathy of the general public, the vast majority of whom don’t care about the travails of other people when their own comfort and convenience are on the line.
And before you bring me examples of other countries that have implemented these kinds of programs and are successful with them, I ask you this: is there any other country like the United States? We are the richest big country and the biggest rich country. There is no other country comparable to us in terms of size, total population, wealth, and diversity of population. What works in other countries can very easily fail here.
The most infuriatingly impossible task is to try and help somebody who doesn’t want to help themselves. We cannot raise another person’s kid for them and we can’t always expect them to do things that are in the best interest of their own children.