Politics & Title IV-D

“Those socialist democrats are at fault! The republicans created this!” (what the Facebook feed screams daily)

Title IV-D is not a partisan problem. Though it was originally passed by republicans (Ford) to reduce welfare spending, it has grown into a problem exacerbated by both parties over time. The right argues against it in that it is more bloated government, democrats are appalled about the encroachment of civil liberties (via incarceration) and equality, while the libertarians have a fundamental issue in that government has absolutely no place in family–it is a community issue. We all agree on the solution. We even agree on most of the methods of getting there. So when I read my colleagues in the fight against this proclaiming that a party is in a certain position for or against it, it is disappointing as it only serves to isolate and polarize the remainder of the community. Title IV-D is not a partisan problem. Both parties have failed to pass any meaningful reform in the last several decades.

In 2018 president Obama enacted an executive order that sought to limit child support based incarceration. When president Trump came into office, he was swift to remove as many of those executive orders as possible, but did in fact leave that order alone. In all fairness, for a politician to secure office they are at the mercy of the public at large and the opinions of the masses. Politicians will not touch this issue due to the effectiveness of the lobbies that actively promote monikers such as “deadbeats” and women’s groups who seek the ability to have men incarcerated without evidence. The attorney lobbies (the bar) have made this even more problematic, while the psychologists who greatly profit from this continue to support the current inequalities as well. This is what is preventing progress, not the political parties themselves.

In reality Title IV-D has spiraled so far out of control that no rational individual can support it given all the facts. A republican should be appalled at the amount of federal spending to support these state efforts, that serve no economic purpose in the grand scheme of things. No democrat would support mass incarceration, especially that of minorities, based on inability to pay. And certainly no libertarian would ever support this level of encroachment by the government into the family. No reasonable person ever should.

With that said, reach out to your local representatives, regardless of party. Hold each one accountable. Go to the town halls, present the issue and elicit a response. Do not let them avoid the question. Make appointments with their staff, sit down for one to one meetings and discuss your case, and how their role can impact change. For state level reps discuss state level issues, for federal level officials discuss Title IV-D and judicial accountability legislation. This is what we desperately need, not to be standing in our own way, isolated on our political islands.