Once again, Republican budget cuts will result in hurting the children of Texas. This time its the attorney general's office. Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott says proposed state and federal budget cuts would take nearly $250 million out of the Attorney General's Child Support Enforcement Program. He says the program would have to lay off 1,800 of its 2,709 current workers.
Governor Perry has asked all agencies to cut 10% from their last budget. This would translate into a loss of $43.7 million for the program. The federal government, through the Deficit Reduction Act passed last February, would cut $196.6 million from child-support enforcement. The program currently serves 900,000 Texas families, and last year collected nearly $2 billion dollars for Texas children.
What are the Republicans thinking? This is a program that normally saves the state millions of dollars each year. If these children cannot get their court-ordered child support, many of them will have to go on welfare and other state programs. This ridiculous budget "cut" may actually turn out to cost the state more money. They are cutting more than 66% of the program's employees, so the program will not be able to collect as much as in the past. If the $2 billion in collections is cut in half, then the state will lose money. It would mean the $250 million cut would cost Texas children a billion dollars, most of which would have to be replaced with state-funded services.
The only reason we are in this mess, is because of the Republican penchant for kissing corporate ass. If the Republicans hadn't given corporations and the super-rich several outrageous tax breaks, we wouldn't have to be cutting programs that affect children [remember that last year thousands of children lost their health insurance coverage thanks to Republicans]. Evidently, Republicans believe that corporate greed is more important than American children. How long are we going to put up with this nonsense?