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NPO publishes blog articles to inform and to stimulate conversation about issues of importance to NPO's mission.  All blog articles express the opinions of the authors as individuals and do not necessarily reflect the views of National Parents Organization, its Board of Directors, or its executives.  

Los Angeles, CA--I appeared on the Al Rantel Show on KABC AM 790 in Los Angeles Monday night to discuss the horrific Danny Platt murder and the child support issue in general. I pointed out that the child support system has many flaws, chiefly its inflexibility in dealing with fathers who suffer drops in income or who get laid off.  Yes, there certainly are fathers who do not come through for their children, but the federal government's own data, as well as California's own data, show that the overwhelming majority of child support debtors and the child support get itself are owed by low-income men. To learn more, see my co-authored column New LA County Campaign Against ‘Deadbeat Dads" Unfairly Targets Low-Income Fathers Los Angeles Daily News (3/26/08). Often when I'm on radio shows discussing child support The Angry Lady calls in.  The Angry Lady always says the same thing -- her husband or ex-boyfriend is a deadbeat and I am wrong and evil, blah, blah, blah.  On this particular evening, The Angry Lady and I began with this wonderful exchange:
The Angry Lady: Everything Glenn Sacks has said here is wrong. Me: Everything? The Angry Lady: Everything! Me: Even my name? The Angry Lady: No, you got your name right. Me: Good--I'd like to think that counts for something.
She then launched into a "horror" story about her ex-husband who worked for Disney and was laid off during the latest round of layoffs. He went to court and got his child support reduced from $2,000 a month to $250 a month. I asked her "What is wrong with this?" He lost his job, his child support should go down. In fact, I wonder how an unemployed man is supposed to pay even $250 a month. The Angry Lady didn't seem to take that in at all and kept her claws out.  I feel sorry for this guy, whoever he is, and I have a hard time believing that this woman who is so angry at the man for being laid off is going to respect his relationship with his children very much.  I hope I'm wrong.

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