Arizona’s right-wing governor is making political hay on his approach to dealing with so-called deadbeat dads. These “deadbeats” are men who are so evil they will not pay court-ordered child support. The governor plans to shame them by publishing their names on social media along with amounts owed. He created a Twitter hash tag, #deadbeats,” to serve his cause.
I do not mention the governor’s name because I see this maneuver as a shameful attempt to further his national political ambitions. He has picked an easy target. Who has a kind word, or even a nod of understanding, when it comes to the deadbeat dad? If the governor could run on that issue alone, he would no doubt receive and ungodly percentage of the vote for president of the U.S.
We Americans are great at stereotypes. Deadbeat dads are all the same in our eyes. They are routinely called losers, scofflaws and worse. But, really, what is worse? A father who fails to pay money so his former partner can ostensibly raise his child or a mother who takes child-support money and spends it helter-skelter on anything she so chooses.
It is a rotten system.
Mothers, particularly after they remarry, should be held accountable for how child-support dollars are spent. If you are a “deadbeat dad,” nothing galls more than the idea of subsidizing a deadbeat step-father. And then to think the child, in some instances, assumes the stepfather’s surname without legal adoption. The mother’s new family may see good reason in that. Doing the right thing, adopting a young child, would perhaps legally cut off or lessen income for his family. In some cases, the new father-figure may resent his step-child and make demands on the child’s money.
The thing is this. We don’t know if the child receives any part of the mandated payments.
Accountability and fairness, all the way around, just not on the father’s part, should be the rule of the land. As it stands now, the law assumes it is the man’s fault a marriage fails and he alone should be penalized for it.
There are deadbeat moms too.