One party, with a few exceptions, really doesn’t care much about the poor. The other party wants to convert the poor into a permanent constituency of hopelessly dependent and utterly demoralized nonproductive consumers who vote for the hand that feeds them. Both parties want to feel good about it.
The former party, with a few exceptions, touts an ideology which holds, in effect, that not caring much about the poor is the meaning of encouraging their moral character. The latter party touts an equally damnable ideology which holds, in effect, that destroying their moral character is the meaning of compassion. The latter party wins.