Back in the days when I used to discuss politics with my liberal friends, I made this same argument, without effect

It's conservatives who are the compassionate party: Democrats let them suffer, because they don't care, and engage in token virtue signaling in order to keep their political power with unions and coastal elites. 

Walter Russell Meade: The Cruelty of Blue".

Years of false promises, years of “compassionate government”, years of ignoring arithmetic, comes to this: Puerto Rico in the grip of a massive, man-made disaster.
This could have been avoided by sensible and timely cuts, by turning a deaf ear to public sector union demands for wages and salaries, by a series of small but definite steps away from the blue model, welfare state governance. But the press, certainly including the NYT which is now reporting the disaster, would have attacked any politicians taking these steps as “harsh”, or “cruel to the poor”.
Now Puerto Rico is in a deeper hole, with much more suffering than any of the moderate cuts would have imposed.
Unfortunately, a number of cities and states on the mainland are walking down the Puerto Rican highway toward bankruptcy and disruptive adjustment. There, the liberal press is still hailing the politicians who are willing to plunge their cities and states into chaos for the sake of popularity: the press often calls them bold, innovative and visionary. They have a lot of ideas about the things they want to do with other peoples’ money, while people who insist that budgets must be cut, and that pension obligations be met, are still being attacked for everything from racism to sadism.

Conservatives have long argued for policies that would lift the poor from poverty, while Democrats have encouraged the break up of black families, the total destruction of inner city schools (85% of Buffalo's high school graduates - not the drop outs, are functionally illiterate, according to the NYT), wrecked public housing and bankrupted their states by devoting most of their revenue to union pensions and payrolls. And the media cheers the on.