Want to cut welfare? Get serious about enforcing child support

Montana Rep. Art Wittich (R-Belgrade) declines to sponsor your fun run.

Montana Rep. Art Wittich (R-Belgrade) declines to participate in your knock-knock joke.

I will never get tired of this picture of Art Wittich. The 2015 session of the Montana legislature is his time: very conservative Republicans control the House, and they are putting forward all manner of thrilling ideas. Wittich is head of the House Human Services Committee, which last month subpoenaed state aid workers to share anecdotes about fraud and abuse, so you know he’s looking for ways to cut welfare costs. He can have this idea for free: if you want to spend less on welfare, make people pay child support. The majority of TANF recipients are single mothers, and 40% of food stamp beneficiaries in Montana are children of single mothers. Only 41% of single parents receive their legally mandated child support payments each month. That amounts to a massive shift in financial responsibility from parents to the state—not by welfare moms, but by deadbeat dads. Stronger child support enforcement should appeal to both parties: if more single moms actually got their child support, fewer would need welfare to get by. And if there were no financial advantage to abandoning their children, fathers might do it less. What we have here is a moral solution to a budget problem. It supports traditional family structures and saves the state money. Republicans in the Montana legislature should jump on this idea with both feet. You can read about it in this week’s column for the Missoula Independent. We’ll be back tomorrow with Friday links. In the meantime, consider who is a bigger drain on society: welfare moms or the dudes who left them?

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  1. My concern is the hypocrisy. I would be willing to bet there is a high correlation between those you quoted and pro life stances. That is fine but the hypocrisy lies in the fact that if you are going to force women to have children you then have a responsibility to take care of that child. It is sacred before and after birth isn’t it? And if you want the mother to work shouldn’t you provide child care so she can? And healthcare to the child? Instead some stigmatize the single mother even if though they might have i.e. Created her, so to speak. Contradictions within contradiction ad infinitum ad nauseum. If life is sacred from conception that doesn’t stop at birth seems like a logical rational conclusion and mothers of any kind should be treasured along with the child. This is where I obviously part ways with so many of the far right whose beliefs are mostly a scattered mass of perceptions and feelings blowing in the wind Without anchors. If they ever get their beliefs aligned and extrapolate them beyond simple lashing out, then real change might occur. Oh and don’t get me started on the far left paving the road to hell with good intentions and their own sets of contradictions. Vote moderate people and find some real practical solutions. It is our only hope. There will be a reckoning.

  2. Mtavern,The original assertion was that al Qaeda was progressive, despite the fact that the values and goals of progressives and al Qaeda are dilertmicaaly opposed. The evidence introduced to support this manifestly absurd proposition was that both al Qaeda and progressives opposed the “evil white west”.Any statement is true about the elements of an empty set. Al Qaeda may very well not even exist, for all I know.

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