If one wants to improve the life of the poor , the most important aspects are educating and training the un and semi-skilled so they become skilled.
Education plus training plus experience = confidence. If one looks at those who found new countries, be it Greek City States and their colonies, Rome, Venice, Australia,Canada, New Zealand or the USA, a combination of education, technical skills, fitness, physical andmental toughness and a pioneering spirit created new countries. To sail to a new land, build homes and create farms and industries requires a multitude of skills and a pioneering spirit.
The problem is many of the white collar ruling class lack practical, technical skills and a pioneering spirit. Those in the ruling class have a proven ability to climb existing structures not a proven ability to create new organisations using their own abilities
Instead of creating block grant programs rife with cronyism and corruption, take decentralization one step further, enabling more tax credits so individual tax payers can decide among qualified programs. I have in mind the education programs in Arizona that are supported by tax credits. Yes, there could be abuse, but safequards can be incorporated to minimize this, and certainly the problems are far less than those cited in the article.
Defund the left: CDBG, UDAG, whatever you call it, it funds the Democrats with taxpayer money.