Recession Caused First-ever Decline In Child Support Payments: Gao

Recession Caused First-Ever Decline In Child Support Payments: GAO

WASHINGTON -- Total funds collected for U.S. child-support programs failed to increase during fiscal year 2009 for the first time since Congress created an enforcement arm for such collections in 1975, according to a study released this week by the Government Accountability Office.Overall collections declined by 2.1 percent from the previous fiscal year, including the first-ever drop in collections automatically withheld from wages, long the primary source of child-support payments.

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    Jason Furman, chief economic adviser in the Obama administration, has recommended they be $1,000 for each individual and $500 per child. This seems like a good number to start. The payments should be 100% refundable—they should not be reduced at all for workers and families without income tax liability.
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