When it comes to giving taxpayer aid to poor households, I think that people favor a combination of means testing and behavior testing. [UPDATE: between the time I wrote this and the time I posted it, Bryan Caplan expressed similar ideas.]
Means testing follows the principle that the more you can earn on your own, the less aid you get. Contrary to appearances, a basic income grant works that way, assuming that there is an income tax operating in parallel. See my explanation of the equivalence of a basic income grant with a negative income tax.
Behavior testing follows the principle that the more that your poverty is your fault, the less aid you get. Somebody who is mentally and/or physically handicapped deserves more aid than someone who is able-bodied and able-minded.
My view is that the Federal government has a comparative advantage at handing out means-tested aid, while local governments and charities have a comparative advantage at handing out behavior-tested aid. So I would like to see the Federal government provide a small basic income grant and have local governments and charities supply behavior-tested aid.