If you’re raising a family, chances are you know that on Tuesday night Donald Trump outlined his new child-care policy proposals at a rally in Aston, Pennsylvania.
Calling his proposals “pro-child, pro-family and pro-worker,” Trump put forward — among other line items — six weeks of paid maternity leave, relief for families with one parent at home full time, even elder-care relief. The pundits and bureaucrats can and will stew over the budget details, but many American families are breathing a sigh of relief that someone’s finally thinking of them.
Ivanka Trump introduced her father with comments about a topic she is clearly passionate about: the welfare of the American family.
“I have three young children myself, and I’m grateful daily for the means to pursue two of my dreams — being a mother and investing in a career that fulfills me,” she told the crowd, which included such Republican lawmakers as Rep. Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee as well as former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani. “I recognize that far too few women can say the same for themselves, and that I am more fortunate than most.”
“This must change,” Ivanka Trump added emphatically.
She outlined the troubling realities that many families deal with every day.
“Today child-care is the single greatest expense for many American families, even exceeding the cost of housing in much of the country. It’s depleting the hard-earned savings of men and women across our nation, and it’s at the root of wage inequality by disproportionately affecting women.”
[lz_bulleted_list title=”The Essence of Trump’s Family-First Plan” source=http://www.donaldjtrump.com]Empower families to choose the care that is right for them|Create a dynamic market for family-based and community-based solutions|Incentivize employers to provide child-care in the workplace|Provide 6 weeks of paid leave to new mothers[/lz_bulleted_list]
Government policies on child-care and family have not changed over half a century, she noted.
“The federal policies that are in place to benefit families were written more than 65 years ago to serve a primarily male workforce that no longer exists,” said Ivanka Trump. “Dual-income families were not the norm in 1949, when the current tax code provisions regarding families were written.”
“That was hard to believe,” said Suzy Burris, a mom of three and regional school reading specialist from Floyd, New Mexico. “With all the legislators we have, no one else has thought to bring these policies current with society as it is now — today? No wonder so many families are struggling while fat-cat lawmakers clearly aren’t.”
Women represent 47 percent of the labor force, noted Ivanka Trump, and in two-thirds of married couples, both spouses work outside of the home.
“This is not a woman’s issue. It is a family issue. It’s an American issue,” she said. Then she drove her remarks home: “Safe, affordable, high quality child-care should not be the luxury of a fortunate few.”
One Boston, Massachusetts, mom who supports Hillary Clinton listened closely to Ivanka Trump’s remarks on Tuesday evening. “I have to admit, she makes a lot of sense,” this mother told LifeZette. “And it is nice to hear that someone who is as powerful and wealthy as she is has any sort of clue about the lives most of us are living. In a crucial state for them politically, they offered common-sense plans. If they were trying to attract moderates tonight, they probably did.”
Donald Trump outlined his family-friendly policy proposals, showing an understanding of the plight of too many American families. “Many Americans are one crisis away from disaster — a sick kid, a lost job, a damaged home,” he said.
Businesses would receive tax incentives to provide on-site child-care facilities.
“We have to reject the arrogance of Washington, D.C., that looks down on everyday, hard-working people,” he also noted. “Too often those who have power have disdain for the views, beliefs and attitudes of those with no power.”
The core components of Trump’s proposal include allowing working parents to deduct the average cost of child-care expenses from their income taxes, for children from birth through age 13. This is also applicable to elder-care, said Trump, capped at a $5000 deduction per year.
Trump said his plan also honors and recognizes the vital contributions of stay-at-home moms, “to their families, and to society.” Under Trump’s plan, families with a stay-at-home parent will be able to fully deduct the average cost of child-care from their taxes. “It’s a big thing,” acknowledged Trump as the crowd applauded.
Trump also laid out plans to create “dependent care savings accounts” that would allow families to set aside money to care for their children or elderly parents. The accounts would allow tax-deductible contributions and tax-free appreciation and could be used to pay for child-care, enrichment programs and school tuition.
To assist lower-income parents, the government would match half of the first $1,000 deposited per year.
Trump is also guaranteeing six weeks of paid maternity leave when a new baby comes home, something that few companies offer. Currently, federal law guarantees only 12 weeks of unpaid leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act for most employees.
“Now that is exciting,” said John Brubaker of Hampton, Iowa, a truckdriver and a new grandfather. “What an opportunity for parents to bond with their babies — and the bills are still getting paid.”
A New York mother of two recalls what a struggle it was for her family when each of her children were born. She and her husband pieced together all kinds of vacation time and other time off to extend her maternity leave as much as possible — as a nursing mother, she didn’t want it any other way. “Trump’s proposals on Tuesday night acknowledge the importance of family time,” she said. “It’s refreshing that a politician has put this forward. I hope and pray ideas like this become policy.”
Businesses would receive tax incentives to provide on-site child-care facilities. The plan would simplify rules and regulations to make this more attractive to employers.
On Hillary Clinton’s website, she touts a lifelong dedication to fighting for families. But Burris, the reading teacher from New Mexico, is skeptical when hearing this. “It’s easy enough to say you care about children — we all do,” she told LifeZette. “But like so much of what she touts, what has she really done?”