Thursday, July 15, 2010

The Cost of Dead-Beat Dads on the Federal Budget

Here's an innovative way to reduce the federal deficit.  Make sure you and everyone you know pays their child support on time.  It sounds crazy, but listen to this.

I was looking at some of the accounts that the OMB labels as "Other income security".  One of the accounts that stuck out was "Payments to States for Child Support Enforcement and Family Support Programs" which cost 4.35 billion dollars in 2009.

Just by reading the title you can probably guess one of the main functions of this account.  It makes sure that people pay their child support.  I was surprised by how much the fed spends to enforce child support payments.  However, what about that "and Family Support Programs?".  How much of that 4.35 billion dollars is spent on Child Support Enforcement, and how much is spent on "Family Support Programs"?

Fortunately, the Administration for Children and families has a breakdown of that.  Page 8 of the Congressional Justification of the  Child Support Enforcement/Family Support Programs(pdf) has the info.

There are 2 other programs that the account covers that combined are a legacy Social Security program to territories(33$ million)  and a "Repatriation" program that covers sick or disabled Americans coming back to America (1$ million).  The rest of the outlays go towards Child Support Enforcement.  The federal government spends 4.3 billion dollars making sure people pay their child support.  With that money...
CSE agencies locate non-custodial parents, establish paternity when necessary, and establish and enforce orders for support.
So, to all you dads (and moms!) out there who might not be paying your child support.  Not only are you hurting your child, you're costing the rest of us tax payers money too.  So start paying your child support, ya deadbeats!
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