Trump un­veils child care plans in break with con­ser­va­tives

Baltimore Sun - - ELECTION 2016 -

DES MOINES, Iowa — Don­ald Trump rolled out plans Tues­day to make child care more af­ford­able, guar­an­tee­ing new moth­ers six weeks of paid ma­ter­nity leave and sug­gest­ing new in­cen­tives for em­ploy­ees to pro­vide their work­ers child care, break­ing with con­ser­va­tive or­tho­doxy and wad­ing into top­ics more of­ten dis­cussed by Democrats.

Trump un­veiled the plans in a speech in a po­lit­i­cally crit­i­cal Philadel- phia sub­urb as he tries to build his ap­peal with more mod­er­ate, in­de­pen­dent vot­ers — es­pe­cially women. Child care is one of the big­gest ex­penses many U.S. fam­i­lies face, sur­pass­ing the cost of col­lege and hous­ing in many states.

Trump had said lit­tle about child care un­til his el­dest daugh­ter, Ivanka, sur­prised many at the Repub­li­can Na­tional Con­ven­tion in July by promis­ing to make it a cen­ter­piece of a Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion.

Dur­ing a rally Tues­day in Des Moines, Trump cred­ited Ivanka Trump for his ac­tion on the is­sue. “She is the one who has been push­ing for it so hard: ‘Daddy, Daddy, we have to do this.’ She’s very smart, and she’s right,” he said.

As part of his speech in bat­tle­ground Penn­syl­va­nia, Trump pro­posed guar­an­tee­ing six weeks of paid ma­ter­nity leave to em­ploy­ees whose em­ploy­ers don’t of­fer leave al­ready. The cam­paign said the pay­ments would be pro­vided through ex­ist­ing un­em­ploy- ment in­sur­ance — though it has yet to spell out how the sys­tem would cover those costs.

Demo­crat Hil­lary Clin­ton has called for 12 weeks parental leave for both moth­ers and fa­thers paid for by taxes on the wealthy.

Trump in Au­gust pro­posed re­duc­ing child care costs by al­low­ing par­ents to fully deduct the av­er­age cost of child care from their taxes. On Tues­day, he ex­panded the de­duc­tion to in­clude costs as­so­ci­ated with car­ing for el­derly de- pen­dent rel­a­tives.

The de­duc­tion would ap­ply only to in­di­vid­u­als earn­ing $250,000 or less, or $500,000 or less if fil­ing j ointly. But be­cause Trump’s pro­posal is a tax de­duc­tion rather than credit, its great­est ben­e­fits would go to af­flu­ent house­holds.

Over 40 per­cent of tax­pay­ers don’t make enough money to owe taxes to the fed­eral govern­ment, mean­ing they would not ben­e­fit from a de­duc­tion. Low­er­in­come earn­ers would re- ceive child care spend­ing re­bates through the ex­ist­ing Earned In­come Tax Credit, the cam­paign said.

Trump also pro­posed in­cen­tives for em­ploy­ers to pro­vide child care op­tions at work. But his pro­pos­als to prod busi­nesses and com­mu­ni­ties into pro­vid­ing child care and other ser­vices are anath­ema to con­ser­va­tive or­tho­doxy. Trump has pre­vi­ously touted sim­i­lar pro­grams at his ho­tels and golf clubs — but only to guests and club mem­bers, not em­ploy­ees.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.