CHILD SUPPORT….Mark Schmitt writes today that Republicans and Democrats worked together for more than ten years in the 80s and 90s to create a genuinely effective system of enforcement for child support payments. It passed in 1996 as part of welfare reform:
And it worked. In 2004, 51% of child support was paid. From 18% to 51% is a huge transformation. I doubt that anyone in the mid-1990s would have predicted that. One study showed that improved child support enforcement was responsible for a quarter of the reduction in welfare caseloads.
As Mark writes, getting this passed was hard work, a triumph of serious policymaking.
I imagine you can guess the rest of the story, can’t you? Serious policymaking is not in vogue in today’s Republican Party, which has decided to slash $4.9 billion from this program. And why not? It might be working great, but it doesn’t benefit the K Street business interests that fund the GOP, and that’s all that matters. Take that, family values.