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This weblog is sponsored by the Colorado Union of Taxpayers (CUT), Colorado’s oldest taxpayer rights organization. The views expressed on this weblog are not the official views of the Colorado Union of Taxpayers. The authors speak for themselves only. For the official views of the Colorado Union of Taxpayers, please go to the CUT main website.

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1. Mark Anspach - July 17, 2008

What’s the difference between a fee and a tax? I’m finding that some local governments are taking to proposing fees instead of tax increases to get around taxpayer vote requirements of TABOR. In some cases, these fees provide no benefit to those paying it and even subsidize development (e.g., Larimer County’s Boxelder Creek Stormwater District; http://www.larimer.org/engineering/stormwater/boxelder/Boxelder_Home.htm). What’s the legal definition of a fee and how do you argue against them?

2. Steven W. Newell, M.D., Men of Valor, Inc. - September 12, 2008

RNC and DNC: Where is the discussion of fatherlessness and the importance of fathers???? Annual Public Cost of Fatherlessness, 100 BILLION dollars!! Please read the new study results from the National Fatherhood Initiative on the costs of fatherlessness and an obvious solution that does not cost a penny which addresses a prevalent and preventable cause of fatherlessness. Steven W. Newell, M.D. sends:
Fathers, as a group, were virtually ignored during the recent DNC in Denver. Yet fatherlessness is the unacknowledged elephant in the political parlor in America. A willingness to remove the barriers of preventable fatherlessness should at least be discussed.
National Fatherhood Initiative –
One Hundred Billion Dollar Man Study Released (all are Study quotes unless otherwise noted as-SWN)
The Annual Public Costs of Father Absence by Steven L. Nock, University of Virginia, Christopher J. Einolf, DePaul University School of Public Service
In early July, the National Fatherhood Initiative released its latest study examining the cost of father absence on U.S. taxpayers and families. The study measured the 2006 federal expenditures on child support enforcement and 13 means-tested benefits programs that serve father-absent homes. The results indicate the following:
• 34 percent of U.S. children currently live absent from their biological father.
• Father absence contributes to family poverty. In 2003, 39.3 percent of single-mother families lived in poverty, but only 8.8 percent of father-present families lived in poverty.
• The Federal Government spent at least $99.8 billion providing assistance to father-absent families in 2006 through the Earned Income Tax Credit, TANF, child support enforcement, food and nutrition programs, housing programs and the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP).
• The presence of fathers in one third of the current father-absent homes would pay for the entire federal food stamps program.
It is estimated that this amount of money is only a fraction of the cost father absence has on society. Research continues to show that children living in father-absent homes are two to three times more likely to use drugs, to be victims of child abuse and to engage in criminal behavior than children living with two parents.
Through one on one mentoring, life skills training and parenting education, our community access funded programs are helping fathers of at-risk families become more engaged in the lives of their children, therefore decreasing the costs of father absence on Colorado taxpayers and improving the long-term development of our children.
Please consider: Just on the fiscal side of the equation: this $100 BILLION dollars is just the tip of the iceberg. Programs included in the calculation were:
o Earned income tax credit
o Temporary Assistance to Needy Families
o Child support Enforcement
o Supplemental Security Income (children)
o Food stamps
o School Lunch
o Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)
o Medicaid (children)
o SCHIP (single parents)
o Head Start
o Child Care
o Energy Assistance
o Public Housing
o Section 8, Rental Subsidies

My (SWN) note: On the “plus” side (?!), $100 BILLION dollars provides a lot of jobs!! Entire industries are built on fatherlessness and its sequellae.

My (SWN) note: This $100 BILLION dollars does not factor in the legal (attorney) costs of new divorces or custody related filings over the lifetime of these dependent children. For instance, each year in Colorado, the legal (attorney) costs just for new divorce filings with children in the home are conservatively estimated to be 1.25 billion dollars (see attachment). Much of this money is spent by the father desperately struggling to remain in his children’s lives so their children will not become (court imposed) fatherless.

Note: The $100 BILLION dollars “leaves out 3 significant but hard to measure, sources of costs: (from the report)

• Federal benefits programs that benefit whole communities, or that benefit individuals regardless of income.
• Indirect costs related to the poor outcomes of children of single-mother families, such as greater use of mental and physical health services, and a higher rate of involvement in the juvenile justice system.
• Longer-term costs in reduced tax income due to the lower earnings of children of single-parent families, and long-term costs due to the higher incarceration of children of single-parent families.”
• My (SWN) insert: nor does it include the costs of incarceration for fathers, nor the increased costs of law enforcement, perhaps related to these fathers’ perceived injustice of being deprived of access to their families, being falsely accused of “domestic violence,” or being incarcerated for non-payment of unreasonable child support that they truly cannot afford to pay in this economy.
• My (SWN) insert: factoring in the enormous legal costs, law enforcement, penal system, court associated costs, could the annual public costs of fatherlessness easily exceed 200, even 300 Billion dollars? This figure approaches the federal education budget and is not far below the defense budget. FATHERLESSNESS is big business, indeed!

My (SWN) insert: On the “negative” side, the tax burden to support these sequellae of fatherlessness is borne by all of our citizens. WAKE UP AMERICA!

My (SWN) insert: Solution.
• Yet there is an obvious, affordable, workable, and humane solution to fatherlessness.
• Remove the barriers of children access to fathers and of fathers to their children that both our legislation and courts have imposed. Enacting equally shared parenting (time) following divorce laws is a critical first start. Promoting awareness of and supporting passage of (future resolutions or bills) similar to the 2007-2008 federal Joint Congressional Shared Parenting Resolution (Equal Parenting U. S. House Congressional Resolution 241, and U.S. Senate Resolution 59 (2008) are important.
• Remove the incentives to fatherlessness that supports the “need” for fatherlessness (longstanding legislatively induced social programs that place a bounty on fathers being absent so that (financial) program benefits can start flowing to the mothers and children).
• Bring back the fathers! Not the federally funded father surrogate programs. The fathers!

3. Margaret Stapleton - March 5, 2009

Any new news on a gas tax legislation in Colorado?

4. Junie Franculli - July 14, 2012

Angry Birds Makers “Amazing Alex ” Hit No 1 games Again|


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