Thursday, July 24, 2008

Article: Financial Incentive To Create "Deadbeat Dads"

Normally, we don't get into child support issues, but here was an interesting article where a government consultant had a financial incentive to create the guidelines used in most jurisdictions to ones that would generate profits to his firm. Does anyone see a conflict of interest here?


"The gravy train is so rife with such temptations it might appear to have been created for that purpose. In fact, this is precisely what it was. It turns out that the creator of the child-support system used in most jurisdictions is also the founder and primary owner of the nation's largest private collection company which directly profits from the system.

Dr. Robert Williams was a paid consultant with HHS from 1983 to 1990 where he helped establish federally-driven uniform child-support guidelines that significantly increased obligations, according to James Johnston, a member of the Kansas Child Support Guidelines Advisory Committee. One year after joining HHS and the same year the mandatory federal guidelines were created, Williams started Policy Studies Inc. (PSI).

Like the federal, state, and local bureaucracies that employ him, Williams has an interest not only in making the child-support levels as high as possible to increase his share of the take, but also in making them so high that they create arrears for him to collect. In short, he has a financial incentive to create as many "deadbeat dads" as possible."

American Spectator online edition, 20 August 1999.