Thursday, February 18, 2010

Mathematicrobatics

A few weeks ago the folks at Glenn Sacks' blog permanently closed their comment section in order to devote more time to their activist (because frankly maintaining a blog eats a lot of time even for folks like me who get very little traffic) efforts. Thankfully they are still posting taking requests in their Letter to the Editor section. Click here if you have something to share with them.

But that doesn't mean I can't keep linking their material and here's a nice one.

It would seem that Maryland law makers have been working on passing legislation that would increase the amount of child support awarded in custody situations. The rationale behind the increase? Inflation.
...politicians have been touting the bill with the claim that Maryland hasn't upped its child support standards since 1988. Therefore, since inflation hasn't stood still in that time, surely child support amounts shouldn't either.
There is something not quite right here.

Okay the line of thinking is that since inflation rates have changed (gone up) since 1988 then child support awards should go up as well. Now this sounds all well and good until you realize that in Maryland child support awards are based on the payer's income. But hold up aren't salaries already adjusted for inflation and more importantly here in 2010 people who are ordered to pay child support are not ordered to pay based on what their income is/would have been in 1988 so why the increase now?

Simply put if you are being ordered to pay child support its not like the court is translating your salary from 2010 dollars to 1988 dollars to get the number. No they are basing it on the 2010 dollars you are currently making. In short there is no need to "adjust" support amounts since they are derived from a number that is already being adjusted for inflation.

And it gets worse. What do you think is going to happen if child support payment amounts are increased on low wage earners who are already on the edge of not being able to pay? They are going to fail to make their payments through no fault of their own. And to add to that the custodial parents who depend on the payments of those barely able to pay could very well see their benefits go down.

"Best interests of the children" my ass.
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