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Personal Responsibility And Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act Of 1996 Versus Deadbeat Dads

1738 words - 7 pages

Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 versus Deadbeat Dads

I chose to review opposing positions on the implementation of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) of 1996. The act requires all employers to submit new employee information to a national database to be used by social services to locate individuals who are not paying child support to their eligible children.

The Department of Health and Human Services provided a typical governmental “talking paper” style of article explaining how the PRWORA would be implemented and utilized to improve the current management of the child support system. Jeffrey Asher, a concerned citizen, submitted the opposing view to the Gazette. His bottom line is that the act further inflicts the current trend of the court system discriminating against men who want to be good fathers. I located both viewpoints at web site

Jeffrey Asher claims that imposing the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (PRWORA) impedes on the rights and the relationship that complying fathers have with their children. He tries to persuade us that fathers, in general, want to support their children but the courts support the mothers who “reduce them to wallets”. He claims that “fathers support children as best they can when they are allowed to remain parents” but he seems totally oblivious to the fact that some men don’t.
Asher provides a purely emotive argument using some startling words to conjure up your support for his view to which credit is due. He is a creative writer who attempts to engage your emotional support for each of his points. Although he does not provide sources for any of his statements, he does deliver them with an emotional punch. Unfortunately, creativity does not establish his credibility. Describing children as “chattel”, the act as a legalized debtor’s prison and references to the feminist movement are just a couple of examples of this attempt to influence your emotions.

Asher makes an obvious assumption is that the act applies only to men and that it would never negatively effect a woman. He blatantly applied the act to men only, implying that women involved in these cases were gold diggers with an unfair advantage the legal system. His tries to paint a picture that all women involved in custody disputes are vicious, malicious, and vindictive, choosing to use the courts as a battleground with no concern for the impact on the children. Instead of sounding like a valid stand on the issue he began to sound like a chauvinist.

He claims “Ninety-five percent of all contested custody cases are awarded to mothers.” He claims that “research studies show that custody battles lead to parents competing…and incite resentment of the other parent.” Each unsupported statement drives home the point that men’s rights are being violated by the act. No mention is...

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