October 19, 2010
Donald Hubin, Ph.D., Chairman of Fathers and Families of Ohio’s Executive Committee, appeared on the Scott Sloan Show on WLW AM 700 in Cincinnati on Monday to discuss SB 292, a new Ohio bill that will raise child support. The next day Sloan had the bill’s co-sponsor, Senator Bill Seitz (R-Cincinnati), on his show and asked him in detail about SB 292.
Hubin has written a response to some of Seitz’s comments in defense of SB 292. He says:
Senator Seitz seems to think that if the numbers in the basic child support schedule is in dollar amounts rather than percentages, then the table doesn’t respond to inflationary pressures. However:
1) The tax tables are in dollar amounts. Certainly nobody thinks that a person earning x dollars in 2010 should pay the inflation-adjusted amount of income tax that a person earning x dollars in 1992 would pay. This is similar.
2) General inflationary effects are handled by the child support tables because as people’s income goes up due to inflationary pressures, they get into a higher income bracket and, so, pay more in child support.
3) This is why there is a huge difference between a “hard coded” dollar amount for a poverty level etc. and a “hard coded” (dollar amount) in a table that links payments to incomes.
On the radio I said that the general inflationary effects are handled by the above mechanism–people moving to a higher income bracket as the value of money declines. It is true that some inflationary effects on child support remain, but they are relatively minor. They arise because lower income people spend a greater percentage of their income on their children than do higher income people. Therefore, the effect of inflation is to lower the percentage of income that people are assumed to pay at a given level of real (inflation adjusted) income.
If the increase in the tables were just based on the rate of inflation itself, then they would have to go up much more than SB 292 recommends. The fact that no one is recommending this is an admission that the reasoning that Seitz and others is using is flawed.
Only part of the proposed increase in the tables is attributable to the inflationary effect I mentioned above (#2). The rest of the increase results from the change in methodology used.
To participate in F & F of Ohio’s campaign against the bill, please click here.
To listen to the audio archive of the interview with Senator Seitz, please click here and click on “Scott Sloan 10/19/10 Hour 2.”