Hillary for America released a response to Donald Trump’s child care proposal. Senior policy advisor Maya Harris released the following:
“After spending his entire career — and this entire campaign — demeaning women and dismissing the need to support working families, Donald Trump released a regressive and insufficient ‘maternity leave’ policy that is out-of-touch, half-baked and ignores the way Americans live and work today. Instead of asking those at the top to pay their fair share, he’s robbing Peter to pay Paul by raiding unemployment insurance funds, and giving the most to the wealthy while providing far less relief to middle-class and working families. The lack of seriousness of this proposal is no surprise given his history of disrespecting women in the workplace and the fact there’s no evidence he ever provided paid family leave or childcare to his own employees. Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton — who has a lifelong record of fighting for women and families — has a comprehensive plan that will support 21st century families.”
TRUMP MATERNITY LEAVE CLAIM: “The Trump plan will guarantee six weeks of paid maternity leave by amending the existing unemployment insurance (UI) that companies are required to carry. The benefit would apply only when employers don’t offer paid maternity leave, and would be paid for by offsetting reductions in the program so that taxes are not raised.”
- Trump’s plan will undercut women in the workplace and depress their wages. Trump’s plan casts women as the sole child caretaker and actually encourages employers to discriminate against women. Studies have shown that providing paid leave to new mothers, but not to new fathers, negatively affects women’s return to the workplace, can discourage employers from hiring or promoting female employees, and can increase the gender pay-gap. By only providing leave to new mothers, Trump’s plan also undercuts working dads, including gay couples and single-fathers.
- Trump’s plan is paid for on the backs of Americans most in need of support: those who have recently lost their job. By cutting unemployment insurance – rather than asking the wealthy to pay their fair share – he’s putting working families at risk.
- Trump’s plan would provide no relief to many working families. Unlike comprehensive and effective paid family leave proposals, Trump’s plan does not guarantee workers a portion of their wages while on leave, rather workers would receive an undefined percentage of unemployment insurance. In Florida, for example, this means a mother would only receive, at most, $275 per week.
- Trump’s numbers simply don’t add up to a real paid leave plan. The absurdly low projected cost of his policy means it will not provide sufficient support for middle class families to actually afford taking time off to care for a child.
- Hillary’s plan for paid family leave is actually responsive to the needs of working families in the 21st century. It would guarantee twice as many weeks of leave as Trump’s plan; ensure hardworking Americans get at least two-thirds of their current wages; apply to fathers and those who need to care for an ill family member; and is funded by making the wealthy pay their fair share—not by robbing recently laid-off workers of the support their families need.
TRUMP CHILD CARE CLAIM: “The Trump plan will rewrite the tax code to allow working parents to deduct from their income taxes child care expenses for up to four children and elderly dependents…Individuals who have no tax liability…will claim an expanded Earned Income Tax Credit, equivalent to half of their payroll tax contribution.”
- Trump’s child care plan gives at least twice as big a tax benefit to the wealthy than the middle class. After changing his child care proposal numerous times, Trump’s latest child care deduction remains highly regressive – Trump’s plan give around 43 cents on the dollar to 470,000 families with children in the top income tax bracket, and less than half as much to tens of millions of working families in the middle class. That’s because taxpayers in the top income tax bracket can deduct at their income tax rate of 39.6% plus around 4% for half of their payroll taxes.
- Trump’s child care plan gives 12 million hard-working families just 4 cents on the dollar. For the 12 million families with children who do not have federal income tax liability, Trump’s plan would give just a few cents on the dollar – half of their payroll tax obligations, or around 4 cents on the dollar. That’s almost 10 times less than the highest-earning families eligible for the plan.
- Trump’s plan could give thousands more to wealthy than working families. For example, in states like New York and Massachusetts where the average cost of childcare can be around $15,000, a family in the top bracket could get a $6,000-$7,000 tax cut by deducting at the top bracket rate of 39.6% (and potentially plus around 4% for half of their payroll tax obligations), compared to just around $200 for a family spending $5,000 a year on child care, and relying on Trump’s proposal to get a roughly 4% credit.
- Trump’s new child care proposal might offer families less than currently available tax credits. In fact, the more than 30 million middle-class families with children in the 15% bracket or lower might get less under Trump’s plan than under the current-law Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit, which offers a 20% tax credit against up to $6,000 in child care expenses, because under Trump’s plan, they might only be able to deduct up to 15%.
- Trump’s plan could actually bring down the quality of childcare for working families. By making child care less expensive for wealthy families, while doing close to nothing for millions of middle class Americans, Trump’s plan could actually increase economic segregation in the child care setting. Decades of early learning research shows the negative impact of such segregation on children.
TRUMP SAVINGS ACCOUNT CLAIM: “The Trump plan would create new Dependent Care Savings Accounts (DCSAs) so that families can set aside extra money to foster their children’s development and offset elder care for their parents or adult dependents. These new accounts are available to everyone, and allow both tax-deductible contributions and tax-free appreciation year-to-year.”
- Trump’s plan creates a new, regressive tax break for expensive private schools and nannies. Trump’s new savings account creates a regressive new tax break for nannies, private school and other spending for the most fortunate.
- Trump’s plan offers more to high-earning families than the middle-class. The highest-earning families, like millionaires in the top bracket, could deduct 40 cents on the dollar for spending on private schools, nannies and other expenses they don’t need a tax break for.
- Trump’s plan gives much more to high-income families than lower income families. For example, a high-income family putting $2,000 into a savings account would get almost a $800 tax break. A middle-class family who put in $2,000 might only get $300 if they were in the 15% tax bracket. And even lower-income families eligible for a match would get less than the highest earning families.
- Hillary’s plans will provide caregivers with real relief: Hillary will actually provide tax relief to families that need it most. She will offer a 20 percent tax credit to help family members offset up to $6,000 in caregiving costs for their elderly family members, allowing caregivers to claim up to $1,200 in tax relief each year.
BACKGROUND ON TRUMP’S DISMAL RECORD ON SUPPORTING FAMILIES
No Evidence Trump Provides Paid Family Leave to Employees
The Trump Presidential Campaign And The Trump Organization Did Not Respond To Questions About What Their Family Leave Policy Was. “The Daily Beast reached out to the Trump presidential campaign, the Trump Organization, and Ivanka Trump, to ask about the family leave policy at the Trump Organization. A representative from Ivanka Trump’s brand replied quickly to say that employees of the former model’s small fashion and lifestyle shop were provided with eight weeks of paid leave… ‘In addition, since we have flexible working hours with a focus on results rather than face time, we are supportive of all working moms who some days may need or choose to work from home,’ she said. ‘My colleague Melissa, cc’d, can advise on Trump Org.’ After three follow-up emails, Melissa from the Trump Organization wrote back: ‘We will have no further comment.’” [Daily Beast, 8/15/16]
Only One Former Trump Employee Of Nine Willing To Speak Recalled Any Family Leave Offered At The Company And It Was Unpaid. “As an alternative to the tight-lipped corporate communications department, The Daily Beast reached out to over 100 former employees to ask about the company’s family-leave policy…Of the nine ex-employees who were willing to speak, only one was able to recall any maternity leave—in this instance, it was apparently unpaid leave—being offered at the company, although none of them could say conclusively that no such leave was offered.” [Daily Beast, 8/15/16]
Trump Lied About Providing Childcare to Employees
Donald Trump Said He Provides Child Care For His Employees And It Was Very Inexpensive To Do So — “I Do It All Over, And I Get Great People Because Of It.” “Donald Trump doesn’t understand why so few companies provide affordable, in-house child care for their employees like he does at some of his companies. ‘It’s not expensive for a company to do it,’ Trump said during a town hall at a community college in this small town on Thursday afternoon. ‘You need one person or two people, and you need some blocks and you need some swings and some toys. You know, surely, it’s not expensive. It’s not an expensive thing. I do it all over, and I get great people because of it… It’s something that can be done, I think, very easily by a company.’” [Washington Post, 11/19/15]
“Trump Kids” And “Trumpeteers” Were Programs For Guests Of Trump’s Hotels And A Golf Club, Not His Employees. “But the two programs Trump cited — ‘Trump Kids’ and ‘Trumpeteers’ — are programs catering to patrons of Trump’s hotels and golf club. They are not for Trump’s employees, according to staff at Trump’s hotels and clubs across the country.” [Associated Press, 8/11/16]
Some of Trump’s Statements On Working Women, Mothers, And Caregivers
Trump Said He Probably Would Not Have Had A Baby If His Wife Had Expected Him To Change Diapers. “’Do you actually change diapers?’ host Anthony Cumia asked Donald Trump on the Opie and Anthony show in November of 2005. The then-59-year-old businessman, whose wife Melania was pregnant with his fifth child and her first, responded bluntly: ‘No, I don’t do that.’… ‘If I had a different type of wife,’ Trump said laughing, ‘I probably wouldn’t have a baby, ya know, cause that’s not my thing. I’m really like a great father but certain things you do and certain things you don’t. It’s just not for me.’” [BuzzFeed, 4/24/16]; Opie And Anthony Show, 11/06]
- Trump: “There’s A Lot Of Women Out There That Demand That The Husband Act Like The Wife.” “‘There’s a lot of women out there that demand that the husband act like the wife and you know there’s a lot of husbands that listen to that,’ Trump added.” [BuzzFeed,4/24/16]; Opie And Anthony Show, 11/06]
Trump: “I Like Kids. I Mean, I Won’t Do Anything To Take Care Of Them. I’ll Supply Funds And She’ll Take Care Of The Kids.” “‘Cause I like kids,’ said Trump. ‘I mean, I won’t do anything to take care of them. I’ll supply funds and she’ll take care of the kids. It’s not like I’m gonna be walking the kids down Central Park.’” [Buzzfeed, 2/24/16; Howard Stern Show, 4/05]
Trump On How Employers Could View Working Mothers: “She’s Not Giving 100 Percent, She’s Giving Me 84 Percent, And 16 Percent Is Going Towards Taking Care Of Children. So Maybe You Can Also Understand The Employer’s Point Of View.” BRZEZINKI: “So are we at the point where women employees who are mothers aren’t as valuable, because we have kids and we balance other things? Or does having children actually increase our value?” TRUMP: “I think the most important thing is the children, and frankly [caring for them means taking] time away, and an employer could say she’s not giving one hundred percent, she’s giving me eighty-four percent, and sixteen percent is going towards taking care of children. So maybe you can also understand the employer’s point of view.” [Mika Brzezinski, Knowing Your Value: Women, Money, And Getting What You’re Worth, p. 161, 2011; Huffington Post, 5/25/16]
Trump: Pregnancy Was “Certainly An Inconvenience For A Business.” “In an October 2004 interview with NBC’s Dateline, Trump said pregnancy is ‘a wonderful thing for the woman, it’s a wonderful thing for the husband, it’s certainly an inconvenience for a business. And whether people want to say that or not, the fact is it is an inconvenience for a person that is running a business.’” [NBC News, 5/26/16]
2011: Trump Called A Lawyer Who Requested A Break From A Deposition To Pump Breast Milk “Disgusting,” Before Ending His Testimony And Leaving The Room. “Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump once called a lawyer who requested a break from a 2011 deposition to pump breast milk ‘disgusting’ before ending his testimony and leaving the room. ‘He got up, his face got red, he shook his finger at me and he screamed, ‘You’re disgusting, you’re disgusting,’ and he ran out of there,’ Beck told CNN’s Alisyn Camerota on Wednesday morning, calling it ‘an absolute meltdown.’” [CNN, 7/29/15]
December 2015: Donald Trump Dismissed A Question About Child Care: “It’s A Big Subject, Darling… She Wants To Know My Thoughts On Child Care. Come On, We’ll Talk For About 10 Hours.” “When Trump was asked about child care late last year by a member of the women’s policy organization Make It Work, he mocked the questioner: ‘It’s a big subject, darling,’ he said. ‘She wants to know my thoughts on child care. Come on, we’ll talk for about 10 hours.’” [Vox, 7/21/16; Press Availability, Council Bluffs IA, 12/16/15]
UPDATE (9/14/2016): Today, Hillary for America’s senior policy advisor Maya Harris responded to Donald Trump’s new proposals:
“With 56 days left in this campaign, Donald Trump has finally decided to talk policy and it’s everything we’ve expected it to be: out of touch, half-baked, and ignoring the way Americans live and work today. His ‘maternity leave’ plan is demeaning and damaging as it’s only available to women, not sufficient to provide support to working families and paid for by raiding unemployment insurance. His so-called child care plan could only be the brainchild of someone living in the penthouse of Trump Tower, leaving millions of middle class and working families with no support or pennies on the dollar while carving out a regressive tax break to pay for nannies and private schools. The choice could not be more clear between Hillary Clinton’s comprehensive paid family leave and childcare plans geared toward the needs of 21st century families and Donald Trump’s 11th hour giveaway to wealthy families like himself.”
On the other hand, Hillary Clinton’s comprehensive child care plan and a family leave plan put children and working families first.
Here are three key take-aways from his maternity leave plan:
- Trump’s plan would not provide enough support to working families for them to actually afford forgoing wages and taking time off. Trump admits that under his maternity leave plan, a woman would receive “much less” than her “regular paycheck.” Unlike comprehensive and effective paid family leave proposals, Trump’s plan does not guarantee workers a portion of their wages while on leave, rather workers would receive an undefined percentage of unemployment insurance. In Florida, for example, this means a mother would only receive, at most, $275 per week.
- Trump’s proposal only covers women, which is both demeaning and harmful. Trump’s plan casts women as the sole child caretaker and actually encourages employers to discriminate against women. Studies have shown that providing paid leave to new mothers, but not to new fathers, negatively affects women’s return to the workplace, can discourage employers from hiring or promoting female employees, and can increase the gender pay-gap. By only providing leave to new mothers, Trump’s plan also undercuts working dads, including gay couples and single-fathers.
- Trump’s plan is paid for on the backs of Americans most in need of support: those who have recently lost their job. By cutting unemployment insurance to pay for his proposal – rather than asking the wealthy to pay their fair share – Trump would put working families at risk. Trump’s false claims to the contrary, Hillary’s plan to actually provide working families paid family and medical leave is fully paid for by making the wealthy pay their fair share and puts no additional costs on businesses.
Here are three key take-aways from his child care plan:
- Close to 80% of families might, at most, get only four cents on the dollar — and millions of these families could very well get nothing. As Trump clarified in a new fact sheet about his plan, Trump’s new plan requires “no double dipping” with “benefits already provided for child care expenses.” Under current law, working families are already eligible for a 20% (or higher) tax credit for child care expenses. Since families can’t “double dip,” the 76% of families (around 38 million in total) in the 15% tax bracket or below might not benefit at all from Trump’s plan. That’s because the 20% they can deduct under current law is higher than the amount they could deduct against their tax bracket under Trump’s proposal. And at best, the families within this category that don’t take advantage of the existing credit, would likely get a paltry 4 cents on the dollar from Trump’s plan (up to half of payroll tax expenses).
The example family that Trump cites might not actually benefit from his plan: For example, Trump’s plan states “For a family earning $70,000 per year in the 12 percent tax bracket with $7,000 in child care expenses, the deduction would reduce taxes by $840 per year.” However, this family could likely get a tax credit of $1,200 under the current law Child and Dependent Care Credit if they have two kids – meaning the family Trump is citing does not appear to benefit from Trump’s own plan.
- Trump’s plan could actually bring down the quality of childcare for working families. By making child care less expensive for wealthy families, while doing close to nothing for millions of middle class Americans, Trump’s plan could actually increase economic segregation by family income in the child care setting. Decades of early learning research shows the negative impact of such segregation on children.
- Trump’s plan creates a new, regressive tax break for expensive nannies, and other spending for the most fortunate. The highest-earning families, like millionaires in the top bracket, could deduct 40 cents on the dollar for spending on private schools, nannies and other expenses they don’t need a tax break for. For example, a high-income family putting $2,000 into a savings account would get almost a $800 tax break. A middle-class family who put in $2,000 might only get $300 if they were in the 15% tax bracket. And even lower-income families eligible for a match would get less than the highest earning families.
Reviews of the plan are in:
Esquire: Why Donald Trump’s New Child-Care Plan Is a Joke
“Donald Trump’s track considers breastfeeding—and Hillary Clinton’s bathroom breaks—’disgusting.’ It thinks a woman’s opinion is disqualified if she has ‘blood coming out of her wherever.’ In 1994, Trump said, ‘Putting a wife to work is a very dangerous thing.’ In 2004, Trump said a pregnant employee was ‘certainly an inconvenience for a business.’ Trump’s been barreling down that darkly lit tunnel for years. Then, when convenient, he flips on his high beams for a few seconds.”
Quartz: Trump’s childcare and maternity leave policy is unlike his actual treatment of and statements about women
“Once, a lawyer who was deposing Trump in a lawsuit over a failed real estate venture asked for a medical break to pump breastmilk for her 3-month-old baby. Trump and his lawyers insisted the deposition go on. When she put her pump on the table, Trump said to her ‘You’re disgusting,’ and stormed out of the session. In 1994, Trump famously compared his wives to buildings, and said he had mixed feelings about them working.”
Vox: Donald Trump’s plan to fund a paid family leave program is totally absurd
“Hillary Clinton’s plan to offer 12 weeks of leave at two-thirds of a worker’s previous salary would cost $300 billion over 10 years. Even assuming Trump’s is much less generous, offering six weeks instead of 12 and a smaller fraction of salary, there isn’t enough unemployment fraud in the United States to come close to paying for it.”
CAP: Don’t Be Fooled by Trump’s Smoke and Mirrors on Child Care and Paid Leave
“Unfortunately, Trump’s latest attempt to appeal to everyday workers is a new coat of paint on a tired message. Wealthy people like Trump and his children benefit the most, while working parents struggle to make ends meet. At face value, Trump’s plans appear to address the lack of paid leave and growing cost of child care. But when you look beneath the surface, these plans do not actually support working families. Trump announced four proposals.”
Salon: Trump’s child-care policy: A combination of the useless and the inadequate
“Donald Trump will stop by Aston, Pennsylvania, this evening to lay out a more fully developed version of the child-care policy he teased about last month. Going by early indications, it looks like the Republican’s proposal is a mix of useless and inadequate policies that won’t really fix the problem of wildly expensive child care.”
Huffington Post: Donald Trump Just Radically Broke With Republicans On Maternity Leave; But his proposal may actually lead to increased discrimination against women.
“By limiting this benefit to mothers, Trump is inadvertently incentivising employers to discriminate against women, said Carmel Martin, a vice-president for policy at the Center for American Progress. ‘Conservative economists have acknowledged that limiting benefits to mothers creates an incentive for employment discrimination and an increased gender wage gap,’ she said.”
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News Source: The Washington Post