Trump is ‘directing larger benefits to richer families than poorer ones’
via Flickr user (cc) Gage Skidmore
To help lift his terrible poll numbers with female voters, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump released a new policy proposal today that claims to provide affordable child care for working families. Although costs vary significantly depending on location and type of care, according to the National Association of Child Care Resource & Referral Agencies the average cost of center-based daycare in the United States is $11,666 per year or $972 a month.
Trump’s plan to help working families pay for child care:
— Working parents who earn less than $250,000 annually ($500,000 if filing jointly) will be able to deduct care expenses from their taxes for up to four children and elderly dependents
— Lower-income taxpayers will get rebates worth up to $1,200 through the existing Earned Income Tax Credit
The plan also would provide six weeks of paid maternity leave to any mother (sorry dads!) with a newborn child whose employer does not provide the benefit. For the six-week period, the mother would receive the same amount they’d get in unemployment benefits.
After a close look at the numbers, the plan is fantastic for rich people. Married couples that bring in $499,999 a year will have their child care expenses reduced by 39.6 percent. Meanwhile, if you are a middle-class family making $37,000 and child care costs take up a much larger chunk of your monthly income, you will save less than 15 percent. Through Trump’s plan, if a wealthy family and a working-class family pay the same amount in child care, the wealthy family gets 2.6 times more money back.
If Trump’s goal is to reduce costs for working families, he completely missed the point. But if his plan was to saddle Americans with another huge tax break for the rich, they’ve succeeded perfectly. After the policy was released today, Michael Linden, an analyst at The Hub Project and former adviser to the U.S. Senate Health Education Labor and Pensions Committee, did an excellent job at explaining Trump’s failure.
After Trump’s policy speech, the Hillary Clinton campaign released a statement calling it a “regressive and insufficient” policy that is “out-of-touch, half-baked and ignores the way Americans live and work today.” In contrast, here’s Hillary Clinton’s childcare and maternity leave proposal:
— Cap child care costs at ten percent of a family’s income by government subsidies and tax cuts
— 12 weeks of paid maternity leave (for mothers and fathers) guaranteeing at least two-thirds of their salaries