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The Stalking Horse:
Does Child Support Really Support Anything but the Government?

By Ernest Partisan

Can't say I agree with every word of this one. But this angry father knows whereof he speaks. And he brings up issues that should be honestly examined.

Imagine if you will that a foreign power was to conquer America. That as a part of a socialist re-education and indoctrination scheme, children were routinely taken from their parents and the parents coerced into working for the oppressors. The coercion is by imprisonment and threats of imprisonment and violence. Imagine organized bureaucracies and special extralegal court systems being imposed to implement this scheme. Imagine the parents' earnings and wealth being taken by organized bureaucracies dedicated purely to the empowerment and growth of their agencies and the suppression of peaceful resistance.

Imagine that such a system were cloaked in the pseudo-legitimacy of codified law, which was designed specifically to evade our allegedly still important Constitutional protections. Imagine if this stolen work and wealth were allegedly for the care and well being of the children, was taken under false pretenses and that no accounting was allowed for knowing the disposition of the extorted earnings and the whereabouts of the children. Imagine further that there was specific and obvious proof that the children for whom this was claimed to be a benefit were instead being abused and neglected by the millions.

Would this be an act of war and would rebels against it be seen as heroes and patriots?

Unfortunately, such a system does exist in the USA today and has existed for decades. It is yet another favored Clinton policy which has also been quietly favored and hugely expanded by alleged conservatives and the self-professed religious. It is a system hailed by conservatives, liberals, and moderates for a variety of reasons, and it has the broad demographic appeal which unpopular or demonized minorities have learned to view with alarm, anger and dread.

It's euphemistically called child support, and I suffer under its yoke of slavery along with tens of millions of other honest and innocent American men.

What myths and propaganda have gone into the creation of this monster? And why should libertarians, conservatives and people of faith be concerned about it? There are many excellent reasons, some of which I'll delve into here.

The first red flag is the myth that it's "for the children." This should raise the hackles of every freedom-loving American today. "For the children" has become a catchphrase excuse for continual incursions and erosions of civil liberties. It has become the standard and ultimate emotional appeal when an issue or policy can't stand up under the bright white light of skepticism, reason and logic. We must lock up and give up our guns "for the children." We must submit to no knock searches and random roadblocks "for the children." We shouldn't drive large vehicles "for the children." And we must allow the war on drugs whatever powers it wants "for the children." Our economic lifeblood must be let on the altar of rabid environmental fascism "for the children." Ad nauseum.

The second myth is that there are millions of Lothario "deadbeat dads" out there intentionally fathering children by inflicting themselves on defenseless young girls. This must be true -- since we've seen it on the TV. The talking heads on the evening news say it's so. The docu-dramas show how evil men are and that they routinely and without reason abandon their women and children. And of course the soap operas -- these are the best illustration of actual male behavior of all. The fact that very few people have ever actually met such a creature is conveniently ignored. That men and women both desire sex is of course generally true, but outside the proper bounds of wedlock, or at least absent a commitment, it seems reasonable to assume that sex is simply recreational -- what Robert Heinlien called sweaty exercise. And in most situations, the decision as to whether a sex act will occur logically and biologically falls to the woman -- the female of every species chooses whether to deny or permit access. The exceptions to this are obvious -- forcible rape, either party being immature or incompetent to consent, or intoxication of either party.

Another myth is that our welfare tax burden is increasing because of these irresponsible men, and that it's simply not rewarding enough for a young woman to choose unwed motherhood. Well, the typical "child support" award is on the order of $400/month. This is tax-free income to the mother, and it's just the beginning. Because she's an Official Victim, she'll get free housing, food stamps, utility vouchers, and the rest of the things free that real Citizens have to earn. Remember, she doesn't have to account for spending that money on the child -- by law. The details vary somewhat from state to state, but I'm unaware of any state where the mother has to account for how she spends her windfall. I know from personal experience that the child may be in foster care for years and the mother will continue to get her "child support" entitlement. Also remember, welfare mothers are statistically unlikely to have just one child. This aid and assistance will be rolling in for two, three and often more kids. And as for the hardship of her giving up a career, be mindful of the fact that she usually has made her own choices not to get educated and have a career. So she has the choice of getting married and being part of a two-income family netting a small and insecure income by working, or having it given to her, guaranteed, without the hassle of keeping just one man around. Meanwhile the "irresponsible" man is paying 40 percent of his gross income in direct taxes that support the welfare state, and having 15-40 percent of his net income taken afterwards. (Actually, the law allows "child support" judgments in excess of net earnings -- over 100 percent, and it is not unknown for men to be jailed for not paying it!).

Then there's the notion that a woman has the "right" to choose between abortion, adoption, and birth, but the man has a "duty" to pay "child support." Equal justice under the law? I oppose abortion on moral grounds, but there are choices for everyone -- is it unreasonable to ask that you pay only for the direct and verifiable consequences of your own actions? (Careful how you answer this- if you answer in the negative, you're approving of gun control, the tobacco lawsuits, the gunmaker lawsuits, and mandatory state enforced child support). It may very well be in the long term interests of the child to have the mother unable to provide for him/her rather than enabling that mother to keep the child.

Another myth is that men are routinely not paying these claims. Sadly, it's very difficult to peacefully protest this system of injustice by not paying. Those of us trapped within this evil system already know what the rest of the populace is soon to learn -- those databases are ugly things to deal with, and designed to hassle, shackle, and harvest from the honest and productive. Note that like gun control, these laws have no power over actual criminals and dishonest people, but do tend to create crimes in and of themselves when honest men either get tired of being robbed blind, or are made criminals by the incredibly lax and corrupt bookkeeping of the bureaucrats, or do something unprecedented like being out of work for a few months.

As with many such systems, there were solid and functional legal systems in place to deal with actual problems decades or centuries ago. However, when the socialists and feminists began to meddle with these systems in the 1960's, they somewhat predictably screwed everything up. Before the modern welfare state, there were two conditions where "child support" could be collected. The first was where a marriage had ended in divorce, and an enforceable contractual obligation already existed. The second was when a man was judged against by a jury in open court, where the character of both parties came into question. The alleged flaws in this system were claimed to be: 1) The laws forcing men to pay weren't "tough" enough, 2) The women and children were suffering while the men lived like kings, 3) The ease with which men were allowed to get off was contributing to bastardy, and 4) Men were likely to get off scot free if the woman was not of sterling character and the man was reputable.

The problem is that these "flaws" are as much propaganda as anything else the government has put out in the last hundred years. The laws forcing a man to pay are no tougher in effect than they have ever been, they have simply gotten meaner -- in the schoolyard bully sense of the word. They have short-circuited the right to due process by providing legal staffs to prosecute and harass, and ignored the fact that working men can seldom afford a lawyer to defend them when they're in the right. The government has allowed such claims to be somehow bankruptcy proof, and put no time limit on when a claim may be made. They routinely impose interest on old claims even when no claim has been made or service of process done. They routinely jail men for not paying in civil contempt proceedings, where the right to jury trial is ignored. They have denied (or at least attempted to deny) the right to drive, buy a gun, and work in a profession by claiming these things are licensed privileges which may be withheld at the whim of the state, (ignoring the Constitutional and Bill of Rights prohibitions on federal and state governments granting of privileges and titles).

The claim that women and children were suffering while men lived like kings is at best grossly overstated and a distortion. A man working for a living is entitled to his earnings. A frugal man saving and carefully planning has a right to profit by it. The dependent party has a right only by contract or judgement to the basics of life -- not to top of the line new clothes, cable TV, and restaurant meals. Any other interpretation is classical socialism -- from each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs.

The idea that men got off easily or free in some cases is reasonable and good -- there are great societal benefits to this process in encouraging honesty and discouraging skullduggery. The character of both parties should come into question in an illegitimacy case. If a man is known to be honest and forthright, and a woman is known to be sexually aggressive, promiscuous, or even a rapist, or vice versa, these facts should certainly be considered by a jury. If a single woman chooses to have and keep an illegitimate child at someone else's expense, she at least opens the question of fitness to make decisions and be a parent. If the facts bear it out, the man may be found liable, the woman may be found liable, or both may be found liable. The man may be liable for none, half, or all of the costs of the prenatal care and the birth- but not necessarily any and not by entitlement. And whether he's liable for the child for 18-21 years is yet another question even less reasonably answered in the affirmative.

Finally, these alleged reforms, and getting tough with men, must be judged in the true light of result. Sadly, the means are constitutionally and morally suspect, and the ends are obviously even worse. Illegitimacy has exploded in this country since these "reforms," to the point of seeming, well, legitimate. Teenage girls now routinely have children and proudly return to high school -- not realizing that they've done grave damage to three lives directly and thousands by example. Graduation announcements with baby pictures, which once would have been considered outrageous and offensive, are now common and acceptable. Announcements with only a mother in the births section of the newspaper, once rightly considered shameful, are now also common. The stigma of poverty once conferred by illegitimacy has been ameliorated, permitting and encouraging such behavior. Meanwhile men, often with legitimate families, are being jailed, robbed, and having their reputations and credit ruined. Good men stigmatized, vilified, and abused by the system throw their hands up in disgust and say,"To hell with it -- you can steal my money, but you can't make me that kid's father." And the child loses again.

The costs of jailing a man are far higher than just forgetting about the manufactured debt he's being punished for not paying. Various figures put the cost of jailing a man at $50-200 per day. They seldom consider the loss of $50-500/day of attacking a productive member of society- it's simply important "for the children" to get that $400/month and "alleviate" the welfare burden from the (other) taxpayers. One of the many signs of tyranny is when laws pass beyond proscribing "bad" behavior into prescribing "good" behavior.

Laws like the UIFSA ("Uniform Interstate Family Support Act") make a mockery of justice by allowing men to be punished interstate without ever seeing the inside of a courtroom. Rather than respecting jurisdictional boundaries and due process, this efficient and illegal law allows a man to be sent to jail for contempt in Minnesota for a ten-year-old previously unclaimed and never tried claim from California. And he can't fight or negotiate it in Minnesota! This is a double jeopardy violation, among other things, and properly handled only by extradition proceedings. I challenge everyone to look through the amendments of the Constitution and see how many are ignored by such practices.

Child support laws are a stalking horse. For those who are unfamiliar with the concept of a stalking horse, a little background might be in order. Game animals which have been hunted by two legged men for generations have developed a natural wariness to two legged critters which smell like gun oil. They stay far enough away to be safe from that which they know is out to get them. However, if that two legged critter gets on the back of a four legged horse, the game will usually perceive another 4 legged critter. Much of the wariness goes away, and the hunter may stalk much closer to the quarry. The targeted game, the quarry, accepts that the stalking horse is like it or at least not a danger, and allows the hunter close enough to kill it.

The stalking horse is all about misplaced trust. Note that improved "child support" collections is the excuse being used to implement national ID, at-birth social security numbering, further expansion of IRS power, and a veritable cornucopia of similar lovely and fragrant usurpations. That's why I call it a stalking horse -- it's so useful for tyrants to have a villain to persecute because the gullible and complacent will support them in their efforts. So the next time you hear "deadbeat dad", realize it is an offensive term properly in the same category as "nigger" and "faggot" -- you may have the right to say it, but don't be surprised if someone punches you in the nose for using it. And the next time you hear the "deadbeat dad" run down on the evening news, or a story of a farm or business seized (stolen) and a father imprisoned for not paying support, start thinking about the other side of the story. There always is one. Someday it will be you, or your son or your brother.

When that day comes, I have a few words of advice. If this is happening to you- evaluate your situation carefully. The enemy is strong and well armored. You can't take him with a frontal attack. If you choose to evade them -- don't take half measures. Change everything, disappear, leave the country while you can. (Once they declare their debt on you, you won't be "allowed" a passport in your name.) If you're foolish enough to choose a lawyer fight, remember that the stolen resources they have to work with are essentially unlimited, and that the deck is stacked in every detail. Your best hope is a jury or that rarest of creatures, an honest judge. If you have a life and a family which weighs heavily with you, your choices are dramatically limited -- get poor, and get off as lightly as you can (but remember -- they know your bank and investment info, your wages, and your personal property in almost all cases in more detail than you expect. And you can't bargain with them- they have no incentive). As with the rest of the government's oppressors, however, they are vulnerable. In whatever case, your self-respect demands vengeance for this slight on your honor, and they've set up a system which you must strike from the shadows. Good luck.

© 1999 Ernest Partisan

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July 30, 1999