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Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Anti Family Republicans Against Personal Responsibility

In the Washington Post Jonathan Weisman reports that Republicans are finally trying to cut spending. It is no surprise at all that they aim to cut anti poverty spending not pork. The bridge to now where is sacred but irresponsible poor people are going to get a break along with irresponsible rich and middle class people.... What ? Aren't the Republicans for personal responsibility ? Well what about this

The House Ways and Means Committee today will begin drafting legislation that would save about $8 billion over five years, eight times the $1 billion target the panel was given in the spring. To do it, Chairman Bill Thomas (R-Calif.) would cut back federal aid to state child-support enforcement programs,...

Now child-support enforcement is an anti poverty program, so it makes sense that Republicans want to cut the federal contribution, but it is also an enforcement of paternal responsibility, a punishment for irresponsible fathering and an enforcement of one aspect of the traditional family, the obligation of fathers to support their children. Thus Thomas shows that he doesn't care about personal responsibility or family values.

I am convinced that anger about run away fathers is the driving force behind the "family values" movement. This is the only explanation of why they always use the word family. Also note the way the issue brings non political men to Washington to protest about non political men -- both the million man march and the promise keepers mega event only make sence if American men think the only issue that really counts is standing by their women and children.

Thus I recently proposed child support enforcement as a great issue for Democrats, since it unites helping the poor, holding people responsible for their actions and enforcing at least a tiny little bit of tradition.

Now that the Republicans have lead with their chins, I think it is a mega wedge issue. It clearly divides the interests of rich people who just want to pay lower taxes and connected businesses on the one hand from people who care about responsibility and family. The only problem is that the amount of money involved is so small that the money grabbers would be fools to try to grab money there. Fortunately they are fools.

I think the Democrats should make a huge issue of this. The Republicans' defence

Ways and Means officials said the child-support proposal would change the federal matching rate for child-support enforcement from a 66 percent share to a 50 percent share that would be more in line with other federal and state partnerships, saving $3.8 billion through 2010.

will make it easy to get Republican governors on board. No way a governor can simultaneously be for easing up on dead beat dads and shifting burdens from the federal government to State governments.

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