Apr 29, 2013
To many onlookers from foreign countries, the U.S. is land of the free and looks like a place full of prosperity and opportunity. While this may ring true in comparison to those lands, the U.S. is not without problems. When you attune yourself to the issues, the realization materializes that the U.S. has many issues that may make the seemingly attractive destination not look as attractive. Just looking at the news this year, we have seen panic over the fiscal cliff, gun control, education, health care and many other problems. The government has a responsibility to repair and maintain any potential issues the country may face. This is handled almost primarily through public policy. In the text, public policy is defined as "any decision-making done on behalf of or affecting the public, especially that which is done by the government." (Cropf 9) There may be other interpretations of what a public policy is, but primarily it will be judged on the positive or negative impact it has on the constituents. There are many public policies that affect the public and need to be addressed such as child support, disability, immigration, homelessness, social security, unemployment and poverty to name a few. In the forthcoming essay, I will discuss and analyze the scope of the child support policy and its affect in the U.S. I will address the following questions: Who are the stakeholders and affected constituencies? Is this child support policy issue one that is faced by the federal and state governments? What political institutions are relevant to the policy discussion about this issue? How much does the public policy issue cost Americans? How much would it cost to address the issue? If the costs are unknown, why are they unknown? I will also prepare three proposed policies that address the issue of child support. I will also recommend a solution to the policy concern from those proposed.
The child support problem in the U.S. is one that has a legal framework in place to ensure that children are still taken care of financially in the case of an absentee parent. As it stands now, the state determines the obligation of the paying parent, also known as an obligor. The person who receives the support payments is known as the obligee. There is no gender restriction on who pays child support, although many of the policies detractors will say that it is tougher on its male participants. Throughout time, the sum of support paid has been at the will of the judge and it is based off of two factors: the ability of the obligor to make payments and also the needs of the children. The biggest five biggest problems with this system have been that: many of the parents entitled to receive a child support award, did not receive one at all. Second, many of the parents who do receive support have been awarded inadequately. Third, the awards awarded have been very inconsistent across the board. As a result of this, obligors have developed a disdain for the child support process and have not paid at all in some cases. Lastly, no one could predict what a court will order in a child support ruling. This leads to neither side being willing to settle on a decent agreement, which leads to a contentious co-parenting situation in most cases. These issues put problems affect the federal government, because they are responsible for families whose support is not adequate. If some of these problems can be alleviated, that would save the federal government some funding to use elsewhere.
In the child support policy, who are the stakeholders and affected constituencies? In the business dictionary, a stakeholder is defined as "A person, group or organization that has interest or concern in an organization"(Business Dictionary) It goes on to state that "Stakeholders can affect or be affected by the...