8 votes

The stimulus bill punishes parents behind on child support. Now is not the time

3 comments

  1. [2]
    ThyMrMan
    Link
    It is incredible how the more I learn about this stimulus bill, the more terrible it ends up being. Would think it is rather simple to just give people money, but somehow the government is...

    It is incredible how the more I learn about this stimulus bill, the more terrible it ends up being. Would think it is rather simple to just give people money, but somehow the government is screwing that up as well.

    4 votes
    1. hungariantoast
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      Oh, I absolutely agree. If we look specifically at the stimulus payments being sent to people: It is a small amount of money ($1,200) It provides for a small amount of time (one month) It excludes...

      Oh, I absolutely agree. If we look specifically at the stimulus payments being sent to people:

      • It is a small amount of money ($1,200)
      • It provides for a small amount of time (one month)
      • It excludes millions of people who can be claimed as dependents (doesn't matter if they are or not, think college students)
      • It excludes thousands of people living in areas with a high cost of living
      • It is going to take months for physical checks to go out, maybe longer (get your direct deposit info to the IRS, now)

      A fucking joke, honestly. Does it help? Yeah, probably, but I doubt this is going to have any significant impact in the long run.

      Of course, this stimulus payment idea was not conceived to alleviate these troubles in the long run. The idea for payments was conceived under the impression that this pandemic would go away soon.

      If the idea for payments had been considered realistically, they would at least be monthly, and hopefully in greater amounts, with basic rules for qualification.

      For instance, as I said in another topic, qualifying should be vastly simpler than it is: Sixteen or older? Here is a check. Under sixteen? Slide $500 (or more) to the parents. Easy.

      (Almost like I've heard of this idea before?)

      5 votes
  2. MimicSquid
    Link
    ... ...

    Child support enforcement is a vital system for many working- and middle-class parents for facilitating economic contributions from noncustodial parents to custodial parents and their children. However, as the most economically vulnerable among us face growing financial precariousness, the collection of child support will make low-income child support payers increasingly at risk for a host of actions that will simultaneously undermine their ability to navigate this global crisis and support their children after it ends.

    ...

    Importantly, these noncustodial parents—mostly fathers—are more likely to be paying child support as reimbursement for welfare benefits paid to the custodial parent. Welfare reform passed in 1996 allowed states to order child support to repay their expenditures of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, or TANF, and other means-tested benefits.* This means that low-income custodial parents and children see very little of the child support paid by the noncustodial parent. Almost half of child support debt belongs to low-income parents who are paying back the state for the cost of TANF benefits. In a time of great economic precariousness most acutely affecting the economically vulnerable, repaying the state for welfare benefits does not seem like a high priority. Therefore, we urge state enforcement offices to discharge all outstanding child support debt owed directly to the state.

    ...

    As a country in crisis, we must consider how existing policies may exacerbate existing conditions for the poor. While lawmakers take steps to lessen the economic and social impact of COVID-19, alleviating the financial and psychological stress of child support obligations increases parents’ ability to emotionally support their children during this time when it is the most needed. In light of this ongoing national emergency, we implore states across the U.S. to seriously consider these recommendations, which we believe would be in the best interest of those individuals and families who are most economically vulnerable, now more than ever.

    1 vote