In another con from Donald Trump, the Republican nominee rolled out a paid maternity leave program last night in Pennsylvania with as much promise as a diploma from Trump University. Like any good conman, Trump has again over-promised and is certain to under-deliver. As with so many of his proposals, Trump has yet to provide a realistic mechanism to pay for his latest promise. Additionally, Trump’s focus on maternity rather than parental leave could harm women as economists argue that only offering leave to women can lower their chances
of being hired, promoted, or receiving raises.
Of course any plan must be also considered in light of the fact that Trump has described women are ‘fat pigs
‘ who should stay home and make him dinner
and change diapers
–because he doesn’t think men do that.
Donald credited his daughter Ivanka with pushing him to release the proposal. In his words, his 34-year-old daughter urged him, “Daddy, daddy, we have to do this
.” Despite evidence to the contrary
, Ivanka Trump has claimed
that the Trump Organization as well as her own company provide paid family leave. This deception from the Trump family isn’t new: Donald touted his company’s onsite childcare facilities, later revealed
as programs accessible only to guests, not his company’s employees. But “believe me,” Trump’s new paid-leave initiative is so dear to Ivanka’s heart that she chooses to have her fashion line produced by a company that doesn’t offer family leave to it’s employees. Inspiring!
Read more about Trump’s latest con that just doesn’t add up:
But Trump, 34, runs her own fashion line produced by a company that does not offer paid maternity leave to her own employees, like the employees who designed and made the dress she wore on stage at the convention that evening. The company, G-III Apparel Group, allows 12 weeks of unpaid leave, which is what the federal government mandates a company with more than 50 employees must offer new moms.
But for that appeal to succeed, Trump’s female critics will not only have to forgive the GOP nominee’s litany of crude, misogynistic statements, they’ll also have to pocket their calculators. Because Trump’s proposal to pay for his plan without increasing the budget deficit doesn’t add up.
It’s the latest in a string of Trump’s high-cost promises to voters that have been vague, or misleading, on how he plans to fund them.
The new recommendations contained a number of uncertainties, most notably how Mr. Trump would pay for them, and they still favor people with higher incomes. The candidate’s aides said his goals would be achieved through a change in the tax code to help pay for child care, to be detailed in another speech, probably this week.
There would also be child care spending rebates as high as $1,200 a year for families on the lower end of the income scale.
That is an amount that some critics called inadequate given that the cost of child care in some states is $10,000 to $20,000 a year.
Another proposal aimed at lower-income parents is a dependent care savings account, a version of a flexible spending account usually offered by employers. Such accounts would be universal and used for after-school or traditional child care, with a government match of $500 a year — a minuscule amount given the cost of such care, and given the difficulty that lower-income families have putting away money in such accounts.
Among the open questions are whether the deductions that working parents could claim would replace the existing earned-income tax credit, whether there would be an age cap for the children involved, and what the actual scale of benefit would be for people of various incomes.
The Republican nominee does not say how he would pay for any of this, with the exception of the paid maternity leave that his campaign estimated would cost about $3.4 billion a year.
As always, the big question is how to pay for such a major new initiative. Trump has said he’d cover the cost by rooting out unemployment insurance fraud. So the first question is how much Trump’s plan would cost — and the second is whether there’s enough fraud to pay for it.
A study published in 2013 by the St. Louis Federal Reserve found that unemployment fraud in 2011 totaled $3.3 billion, about 3 percent of total unemployment benefits paid out that year.
$3.3 billion is a lot of money. But given how much the government spends on unemployment, it’s not an astronomically high fraud rate: Worldwide, businesses lose about 5 percent of revenues to fraud. Even if Trump managed to drastically reduce unemployment insurance fraud, something he’s never mentioned a specific plan to do, he’d save a couple of billion at the most. Guaranteeing family leave would cost multiple times that.
Published: Sep 14, 2016