Ivanka Trump is one of her dad’s not-so-secret weapons in his run for the White House. The smart, poised accomplished woman helps humanize the sometimes overly brash billionaire-who-would-be-President.
Ivanka is currently engaged in an effort to convince mothers that a Trump Administration would take very specific steps to ease the sometimes-crushing financial burden of childcare. Federal policies on work and family life were most recently updated 65 years ago, before two-job households became the norm, according to Ivanka. Her father’s plan, she wrote in The Wall Street Journal, will recognize the new realities of family life.
Among the plan’s key provisions:
Childcare tax deduction. Working and middle-class taxpayers would be allowed to deduct the cost of childcare for up to four kids. The deduction cap would be based on the average cost of childcare in the taxpayer’s state. Low income Americans, who don’t’ pay income tax, would receive this benefit through the Earned Income Tax Credit. Upper income earners would not be eligible for this break.
If one parent stays home to raise the children, that couple can take the same deduction as a family that pays for childcare for the some number of kids.
Dependent Care Savings Account. Similar to a Health Savings Account, this proposed vehicle would incent people to save for childcare and elder care costs by offering tax-deductible contributions and tax-free appreciation over the years. This money could be used for childcare, tuition, after-school programs, in-home elder care and long-term care. The government would match the first $500 contributed each year to a DCSA by low-income Americans.
The Trump Administration would create incentives for businesses to offer on-site daycare, which would benefit them by reducing absenteeism and boosting morale, according to Ivanka. Details on those incentives were not forthcoming.
Trump would also ease regulation on “informal daycare,” such as cases where a stay-at-home mom watches her kids and a couple other children. Ivanka claims, without offering details, that the government is biased against such operations in favor of “institutional” care providers.
Finally, the Trump childcare plan would mandate six weeks of paid maternity leave, which would be accomplished by modifications to current unemployment insurance requirements for employers.
That’s an ambitious agenda, and one that would certainly help a lot of families. Is it achievable? Don’t know. It would likely cost billions in tax revenue, and that’s never popular with Democrats. On the flip side, Republican lawmakers might be loath to pass anything that puts added burden on business or smacks of a new social benefit.
Nevertheless, this is a good reminder that elections matter. Issues that affect us in every aspect of our lives, including money and retirement, could be affected by the November outcome. Are you up to speed on those issues? Everything you need to know is in my free Retiree’s Guide to the Presidential Election 2016. Sign up HERE and be the best kind of voter – an informed one.
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