Donald Trump, with help from his daughter, Ivanka, unveiled his new plan in Pennsylvania to address the issue of affordable childcare. It is a pertinent and vital issue to American workers, as the cost of childcare in many areas of the country has now exceeded the average cost of rent.
Trump’s plan is not particularly innovative or revolutionary; the Trump “Childcare Affordability Plan” would benefit mostly upper to middle-class parents.
“The [plan] would allow parents to deduct child care expenses from their income taxes, guarantee six weeks of paid maternity leave, and create new ‘Dependent Care Savings Accounts’ to help finance items ranging from childhood development to elderly care.”
The plan doesn’t offer much in the way of lowering the day-to-day costs of child care and Trump mentioned no subsidies or assistance for those who earn very little and are unable to save money while trying to survive on poverty wages or hold their finances together until tax filing time when a deduction could mean a higher tax return.
Six weeks’ paid maternity leave is definitely a good start and is certainly better than the United States currently offers new mothers. The U.S. is currently the only country, with the exception of Papau New Guinea, which mandates no paid maternity leave to its workers. Six weeks is not much time, though, and only takes into account a small number of the healthiest pregnancies in its time frame. Women who have complications, as well as the 32.7 percent of women who deliver by Cesarean section, often need longer than six weeks to recover before returning to paid work.
Trump touted the plan as taking care of the only Americans who deserve any help from their government.
“It’s pro-family, it’s pro-child, it’s pro-worker. These are the people we have to take care of.”
Hillary Clinton’s camp, however, bashed the plan. Maya Harris, a senior policy adviser for Clinton’s campaign, said that:
“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 child care to his own employees.”
Trump does have quite a history of disrespecting women, and a very public one, at that.
Trump’s past statements have come back to haunt him in many ways, but his views on women, childcare, and pregnancy in the workplace will definitely come into play here. Despite the fact that Trump has five children of his own, he’s proven through interviews and casual statements that he has very little respect for the women voters he claims to want to represent and help.
For instance, the man who says he’s employed “thousands” of American workers, told Dateline NBC in October of 2004 that, as an employer, pregnancy is little more than an inconvenience.
“[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.”
Indeed, the daughter who is encouraging Trump to develop a childcare plan in order to appeal to women voters has proven to feel the same way. The firm that develops Ivanka Trump’s clothing line offers no paid maternity leave to its employees and only offers the bare minimum that it is required to by law, which is 12 weeks of unpaid leave.
Donald Trump also explained his views on childcare in a 2005 interview on the Opie and Anthony show. That stuff is just for women. Men don’t concern themselves with childcare, or at least not in Trump World.
“I mean, I won’t do anything to take care of them. I’ll supply funds and she’ll take care of the kids […] 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… I’m really like a great father but certain things you do and certain things you don’t.”
A man who sees pregnancy as an “inconvenience” for employers and providing childcare as acting “like the wife” since it’s women’s work is now the champion of American women who wants to rescue them by helping provide for one of their greatest needs: childcare.
These are statements that will surely come into play as Trump continues his campaign to appeal to women voters.
See Trump’s full speech below:
Featured image screengrab via YouTube