President Clinton has proposed a $1,000 tax credit for families caring for elderly or disabled relatives and a $46 million dollar program to identify, investigate, and prosecute deadbeat parents.
The $1,000 tax credit is designed to help families who are struggling to pay for expensive services such as adult day care and respite care, and to help families cope with financial strains caused when one or more family members is forced to work fewer hours in order to accommodate care giving. Clinton’s proposal also would require the federal government to offer private, long-term care insurance to its employees and retirees, a program to educate Medicare beneficiaries about their need for long-term care coverage, and would allocate $625 in grants to agencies which provide support for care givers or refer individuals to help.
President Clinton also announced new crackdowns on deadbeat parents designed to further improve rates of child support collection, which have increased by 80% since President Clinton took office, from $8 billion in 1992 to $14.4 billion in 1998.
Under Clinton’s new proposal, the Department of Health and Human Services would establish five regional offices across the country to identify deadbeat parents and collect evidence to prosecute offenders at a cost of $12 over five years. State child support offices would be encouraged to refer their most egregious cases to these offices, which are designed on a highly successful model of law enforcement which boasted an eighteen-fold increase in federal convictions and collections in five states. Finally, the proposal also calls for the hiring of legal support personnel to aid in fact-finding, legal research, and preparation of court documents necessary for prosecution.