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Ivanka Meets With Congress to Push $500 Billion Child Care Agenda

Ivanka Meets With Congress to Push $500 Billion Child Care Agenda

Meeting resistance on both the left and the right

At the Republican National Convention last year, Ivanka Trump stated:  “As President, my father will change the labor laws that were put into place at a time when women were not a significant portion of the workforce, and he will focus on making quality childcare affordable and accessible for all.”

Apparently following up on this promise, Ivanka met with members of Congress last week in order to sell them on her unfunded $500 billion child care tax credit.

The Portland Press Herald reports:

Ivanka Trump has urged lawmakers writing a tax overhaul to include a deduction for child care expenses, but with a price tag of as much as $500 billion over a decade she may have trouble finding support in Congress.

Members of the House and Senate met with the president’s eldest daughter in the Roosevelt Room at the White House last week to discuss her proposed child care tax benefit, according to a person with knowledge of the meeting. President Donald Trump said earlier this month that he would soon propose a comprehensive tax overhaul, without offering any details.

Ivanka Trump’s involvement in tax negotiations between the White House and congressional Republicans is a signal of her influence with her father despite having no formal role in his administration. Dina Powell, the former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. executive who is an economic adviser to the president, is helping Trump to ensure a tax overhaul includes both the child care benefit and a requirement that employers provide paid maternity leave, policies that she pressed her father to embrace on the campaign trail last year.

“Ivanka is really pushing that none of it gets passed unless it includes the child care tax plan,” said Sheila Marcelo, founder of, a website to find babysitters and other caregivers. “She and Dina Powell are really pushing to make sure it gets included.”

The plan, although not yet formalized, appears to provide child care tax credits based on income levels, as well as a federal mandate that businesses provide paid maternity leave.

Bloomberg reports:

The plan Ivanka Trump is pushing is broadly similar to the outline Trump released in September, with his daughter at his side. It would allow individuals earning less than $250,000 a year, or couples earning less than $500,000, to deduct the cost of child care expenses from their income taxes. Lower-income families without tax liability would get a rebate for their expenses in the form of a larger earned income tax credit.

The September proposal said the cost of the child care deduction could “more than be offset” by additional economic growth.

Trump said his plan also would guarantee six weeks of paid maternity leave by amending the existing unemployment insurance system. The measure would only apply to employers that don’t already offer paid maternity leave.

Ivanka’s child care tax credit proposal is meeting resistance from both the right and the left and for predictable reasons:  the right does not want yet another unfunded entitlement, and the left thinks it doesn’t go far enough and won’t help low income families.

Red State provides a good summary of the right’s argument against Ivanka’s proposal.

Forget about the ins and outs of the plan, the minutiae, forget about figuring out how this plan is going to be paid for and if the math really works out (although for the record, it doesn’t).

This isn’t us.  This doesn’t represent our party.  Or at least, according to the millions of alleged TEA Partiers who voted for Trump in the primaries, it didn’t until 2016. A sweeping regulation on employers mandating what benefits they have to provide their employees (and requiring them to pay for it in the process) is not a Republican concept.

Or, again, it wasn’t until people decided that whatever Trump said was ipso facto Republican. It used to be that one of the parties in this country stood for less government regulation and less Federal interference with the free market, and that party was the Republican party.

Referring to the plan variously as “completely ineffective” and “regressive,” the left’s argument, as summed up by the Week, is essentially that it is aimed at “the rich” and that it does not help the poorest families.

Wealthy families who can easily front the cash for a daycare or an au pair will get a nice fat tax reduction when their accountant files their taxes for them — and the richer they are, they more they will get, up to quite a high bar. The top half of poor families will get a few scraps, assuming they can navigate their way through the hellish paperwork to claim the EITC properly, while the poorest of the poor will get little or nothing.

Not only is it costly, but there seems no benefit to pushing through an unpopular tax credit.  The likelihood of both this unfunded entitlement moving forward and President Trump’s other unfunded proposal—a trillion dollar infrastructure plan—passing seems rather low.  Why waste political capital on something that has bipartisan disapproval?  Why squander political capital needed to push through an ObamaCare replacement or national security measures?


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Nice young Progressive lady that she IS, this is just who the New York Progressive T-rump daddy/daughter has always been, and it’s just stuff Der Donald has always supported.

Getting savaged by her coreligionists, yet still she believes.

Well, I didn’t vote for her.

A hundred billion here, a hundred billion there, pretty soon we’re talkin’ bout some serious money.

Actually, if properly capped and income limited and limited solely to monies already earned by the taxpayer, there is nothing wrong with a child care tax credit. After all, this would only allow a person to use their OWN money for a specific purpose, which purpose is becoming a normal business expense for the average worker. It would not require that governmental funds be given to anyone, as is the case with welfare.

Now paying a person for maternity leave is another story. The taxpayers or employer should not be required to pay for time taken from work for any activity which is not mandated by the government or the employer. This is truly an unfunded mandate, as it requires ANOTHER to pay the salary of a person who engages in the voluntary activity of childbirth. It would be no different if the government required that an employer or a government program pay a person for six weeks of vacation every year.

    healthguyfsu in reply to Mac45. | February 26, 2017 at 4:22 pm

    Why should those with children get a tax cut while I still pay for public (and possibly voucher) schooling even though I don’t have kids. Bullshit, if you choose to have children, you take on the responsibilities of the expenses of that endeavor.

      Well, we already allow deductions for work clothing, both purchase and cleaning, transportation for work, communications for work, etc. So, why not allow a deduction for child care so a person can work? Also, a deduction only allows a person to offset a portion of what is actually paid out for child care, as no one is in a 100% tax bracket. So, a taxpayer would likely recoup less than 25% of the outlay for child care.

      As for taxation to support public education, most of that burden is born by private real estate owners. And, education open to everyone has been a recognized public responsibility for the last 150 years. It is not nearly the same thing.

        healthguyfsu in reply to Mac45. | February 26, 2017 at 5:45 pm

        Actually, it is all the same thing. Specific “purposing” of taxes is a joke. Govt officials can repurpose money as they see fit (case in point, SS).

        Second, some of your deductions are not universal. I have to pay for my work clothes without deduction because they aren’t a uniform. I have to pay to commute because my vehicle is technically not used for business (even though I have to commute in order to do business). I don’t care that I can’t deduct these things, but I’m not the one asking for deductions. If someone gets a deduction, others have to pay for the slack as the govt siphons off private money for it’s functions (some of which are necessary). That is exactly why her proposal is failing to move either party (because someone has to pay for that).

        Straight across the board taxation for everyone like the fair tax is the best way.

          As to your fist point. In my state and county, school taxes are collected separately and directly from property owners. It goes for the school board’s use. If I do not like how they use it, I can vote the members out of office. It is the same in many locales/

          Now, if your clothing is required for your work, it does not have to be a uniform, and you do not wear it for any other purpose, then it can be deducted, to a degree. If your transportation is used solely to get you to work and back home and is not used for anything else, then you can deduct part of the operating costs. The same is true of your telephone, if it is used totally, or in some cases predominantly for business. And, of course, you only save a portion of those actual expenses, the percentage being based upon your tax bracket.

          Now, about this siphoning off part. That is the whole point. The federal government is spending an insane amount of money on things that they should not be spending money on. If allowing people to keep more of their own money for their own use means that we can’t spend 2 million dollars to measure the amount of methane released by cattle in the US or the same amount for AIDs treatment for people in sub-Saharan Africa and 10,000 other meaningless drains on our resources, this is fine with me. It is about time that we cut out social welfare programs, grants and other expenditures which serve only to drain the lifeblood of the citizens of this country.

          healthguyfsu in reply to healthguyfsu. | February 26, 2017 at 9:53 pm

          “As to your fist point. In my state and county, school taxes are collected separately and directly from property owners. It goes for the school board’s use. If I do not like how they use it, I can vote the members out of office. It is the same in many locales”

          So, the school’s in your state and county receive no federal funds? I highly doubt that.

          “Now, if your clothing is required for your work, it does not have to be a uniform, and you do not wear it for any other purpose, then it can be deducted, to a degree.”

          Why does it have to be all or none? Shouldn’t I be allowed to deduct the portion of usage as upkeep, wear, and tear on my wardrobe? Same with car? Wouldn’t it just be easier and just to tax everyone the same across the board and not try to pick winners and losers?

          “It is about time that we cut out social welfare programs, grants and other expenditures which serve only to drain the lifeblood of the citizens of this country.”

          This we agree on but I would include a lot more than just social welfare. Making education a public good hasn’t done much good and put the cost burden on everyone rather than just the consumers of this public good. Same thing for state universities and federal taxes paid by the blue collar workers that did not go to college. Why should they have to subsidize our education? We’d have more money to put towards our own education if the government stopped meddling and taxing.

      If I were you, I wouldn’t want to annoy the people who will be paying my Social Security.

My problem with this is demographic and I don’t have time to express it completely at the moment.

We have illegal aliens with girlfriends who don’t work, who stay home and have children. The girlfriend gets her medical bills paid by doctors, hospitals and taxpayers. The baby is an “American” anchor baby, and momma gets food stamps and medical care for free for that kid.

Our American moms are working themselves to the bone, having a baby then 6 weeks later back to work, paying obamacare insurance through the roof and paying for those food stamps and medical care the illegal aliens are getting for free.

Whatever you subsidize you get more of — millions of anchor babies and millions of socialist voters.

Whatever you tax, you get less of – fewer and fewer American kids…..more and more American families with only 1 child, because the parents are broke and exhausted from going from 6:3o a.m. until 7:00 p.m. when they pick up the kids from daycare.

Instead of all of this, if the PARENT is American, the Parent should be able to deduct every penny even remotely used to take care of that child: rent, food, baby aspirin, diapers, babysitter tips, etc. And we should examine what else we can do to incent having happy healthy American children.

So many American moms don’t make much more than it costs for the daycare. So many work, ONLY BECAUSE the government will pay for their daycare. This is insanity on an unbelievable scale.

So, you can pay for American moms’ daycare, but at the end of the day, they’re still so exhausted they don’t want to have more than one kid.

I firmly believe it’s better for Mom to raise her own kids, than some stranger. I believe it’s better for kids to grow up in neighborhoods with other American kids to play with outside, than to be inside by themselves, because there aren’t other kids to play with.

I mean, the ramifications go on and on. I’m certain Ivanka is well-meaning, but not sure she’s had the exposure or thoughtfulness this subject requires.

Welfare or tax credit. It will cost even more If we close the abortion chambers before revitalization, rehabilitation, and reconciliation, replacing redistributive change and Pro-Choice with self-moderating, responsible behavior and Christianity.

Gee, I wonder how businesses will pay for unfunded federal orders that they provide maternity leave? They’ll simply pass it on to customers, of course, including a large percentage of people who don’t have kids, or whose kids have long grown up.

This is pure progressivism. A ‘victim’ is identified – working people with kids they apparently can’t afford even at $250,000 per year income (!) – for whom this plan redistributes other peoples’ wealth by giving unfunded tax credits, and by creating the pass-along where businesses essentially ‘tax’ their customers on behalf of the government by raising their prices and fees to help pay for it.

Do Trump fans endorse this? How?

    The maternity leave provision is stupid. It is not supported by a very wide portion of Trump’s supporters. It was a campaign promise that Trump made in an effort to show that he had women’s welfare at heart. It should be abandoned as unworkable. Remember, not only would the mother of the child be able to take the leave, but, just as with the family leave act, the father, spouse or significant other would also likely be eligible. And it would fly in the face of Trumps promise to reduce regulations and drains on small business.

Before the 70’s women could afford to stay home and raise their kids, now it’s a 2 paycheck family situation for the most part. If your single, and you make $50,000 a year, childcare is extrodinarily high. It can be a thousand dollars a month. At some point, we as a society have to decide, do we want to help American mothers and children to maintain our population, or do we continue to open our borders because we can’t make it as a society secondary to our commitment to Medicare, SS, etc. because those two benefits are not going anywhere and yes, older Americans use to eat cat food before Medicare and SS to survive. I personally don’t want to go back there.
If men had to give birth and raise the children as women do, and go back to work at 6 weeks when your exhausted, your very real hormones are bonkers and hand your child over to a childcare worker and pray they take care of them in the least,we wouldn’t even be having this conversation.

    gonzo, you wrote: “If men had to give birth and raise the children as women do, and go back to work at 6 weeks when your exhausted, your very real hormones are bonkers and hand your child over to a childcare worker and pray they take care of them in the least,we wouldn’t even be having this conversation.”

    This is a standard (and quite tired) leftist argument that is based in the assumption that everyone is motivated by personal self-interest (just like progressives are). But that’s not the case at all.

    Some people, including men (gasp!), actually believe in limited government and individual liberty. Such people do not share your apparent belief that the government should manage every aspect of their lives by taking money from others to spread around and subsidize all human activity. Personal responsibility matters to these people, not handouts and welfare.

    These people are often called “conservatives” or “libertarians” or even “classical liberals,” but they are never to be confused with big spending, big government progressives working toward a cradle to grave nanny state.

      Close The Fed in reply to Fuzzy Slippers. | February 26, 2017 at 9:08 pm

      Condescending isn’t the answer. it really isn’t.

      Mexicans or muslims, you pick.

      If you don’t like either choice taking over america, then you must support an increase in Americans being born and figure out why it’s not and repair the problem.

    Henry Hawkins in reply to gonzotx. | February 26, 2017 at 7:30 pm

    If you can’t afford a Lexus, don’t buy one. If you can’t afford a child, don’t have one.

      Close The Fed in reply to Henry Hawkins. | February 26, 2017 at 9:09 pm

      As a friend of mine with two boys said, “If you wait to have a child until you can afford one, you’ll never have any.”

        Henry Hawkins in reply to Close The Fed. | February 26, 2017 at 10:01 pm

        I have six children and required not one dime of other people’s money to raise them. Just because a saying sounds good doesn’t mean it is good.

          Close The Fed in reply to Henry Hawkins. | February 27, 2017 at 7:14 am

          It’s not a “saying that sounds good.” His point was, that most people – you’re not most people – want to feel financially flush before you have a child, but the truth is, for most people, you’re waiting for a day that won’t come.

          I admire what you did, but again, that’s not the question. The question is, how do we create more Americans in America and fewer foreigners?

          Henry Hawkins in reply to Henry Hawkins. | February 27, 2017 at 8:39 am

          That’s not ‘the’ question, it’s your question, nonsequitous to the article or my post.

    snopercod in reply to gonzotx. | February 27, 2017 at 8:17 am

    I’m with you. I remember the days when the wife didn’t have to work to make ends meet. That changed for us during the Carter inflation and my wife took a part-time job during school hours. The way the economy is going, pretty soon families will have to put their children to work just to pay the bills.

Sufferfortribe | February 26, 2017 at 6:38 pm

Would someone please tell her she wasn’t elected to anything and kick her out of the White House.

Yes Ivanka shouldn’t be presenting any bill, Hillary made that mistake too.

We already pay for Medicaid and CHIP provide health care or long-term care to about 72 million low-income children, parents, elderly people, and people with disabilities. (Both Medicaid and CHIP require matching payments from the states.) In 2015, 8 million of the 11 million people enrolled in health insurance exchanges received ACA subsidies, at an estimated cost of about $28 billion. About 10 percent of the federal budget in 2015, or $362 billion, supported programs that provide aid (other than health insurance or Social Security benefits) to individuals and families facing hardship. We also have two tax credit programs in place for families with children. We have free food and we have the churches.

We have give-away benefit programs piled on top of benefit programs and spending more has not worked since LBJ installed the great society. A hand-up beats a handout every time it is tried. So who thinks Trump is conservative now?

Charity sponsored by the Trumps makes sense from the standpoint that Donald has only contributed money that was provided to his charity by others.

I’m really shocked and DISAPPOINTED at GonzoTexas’ downvotes.

The political left tells us overpopulation is ghastly, but as Harry Reid says, he has nothing against illegal aliens having sex and children that can vote. The left also makes handouts so attractive, people don’t marry so they have more benefits, and kids out of wedlock are lost.

The political right tells us we have a demographic problem because americans don’t have enough kids (Lindsey Grahams’ favorite mantra) and so we have to import foreigners.

We absolutely have to GET HONEST about all the factors contributing to America’s declining birth rate – taking out the births to foreigners – or we are causing the death of America. As Mark Steyn wrote, the future belongs to THOSE THAT SHOW UP FOR IT.

May we please be honest and incisive here, and try to end America’s decline, rather than remaining tethered to a principle or principles that look great on paper, but in the real world are catastrophic – catastrophic if you thought America was a good thing.

I think America was a great thing.

Please, let’s be foresighted and recognize the real problem, otherwise, as I’ve written before, in a battle between the Mexicans and the muslims taking over America, I believe the mexicans will win. Not Americans, mexicans.

    snopercod in reply to Close The Fed. | February 27, 2017 at 8:19 am

    I’m really shocked and DISAPPOINTED at GonzoTexas’ downvotes.

    No need to be. As this site gets more popular, it attracts more trolls. Keep the faith, brother.

The problem in my view is not that we don’t give enough benefits. The problem is that we tax too heavily.

A man should be able to make enough money to support his entire family on his income alone.

I would also say, econ 101, that the entry of women into the labor force has pushed the cost of labor down. Women over the last 50 years have entered the work force en masse and when you increase the supply of something, the cost of it goes down.

This doesn’t affect all fields directly, but it’s a huge factor. Women really did themselves in because the feminists, other than being twisted useless hags, didn’t know economics.

    Don’t take this personally, but Elizabeth Warren’s book, “The Two Income Trap” complements your argument. You don’t hear her talk much about it lately for some reason.

      Close The Fed in reply to gibbie. | February 27, 2017 at 7:15 am

      When I get time, I’ll read it.

      snopercod in reply to gibbie. | February 27, 2017 at 8:22 am

      The government LOVES two-income families; They get twice the taxes – especially Social Security taxes.

        Anonamom in reply to snopercod. | February 27, 2017 at 10:22 am

        And they get control of any children produced in such a union. Government daycare, government pre-school, government schools- oh, hey! why don’t we make those schools year-round to relieve the pressure on the poor parents…

        My opinion: Homeschool if you can; fight for vouchers if you can’t.

Love you, but no more welfare bills please.

Money to disfunctional people is money down the rathole, ensuring the disfunctional persons receiving the money will repeat bad behavior to get more.

Tough love is what’s needed.

It’s difficult to see universal child care as anything other than taking money out of the pockets of families which choose to have a stay-at-home mom or dad and putting it into the pockets of those which don’t. Daycare is not as good for children as a parent in the home. Parents in homes are good for neighborhoods.

Universal child care is social engineering malpractice.

This is social engineering to try to getting middle class couples to have more children. Decent child care is running $1200+ a month in many cities and suburbs, and the fact that you can’t even get a deduction or credit on that is a pretty big disincentive to have your second or third kid.

But for poorer people, the incentives are completely the opposite since they get additional benefits for every child they have. And the chances of some or all of their children growing up and ending up on welfare themselves is very high, while for the middle class family its nearly zero.

    Close The Fed in reply to tyates. | February 27, 2017 at 7:16 am

    Exactly. Which is why we need to study this and figure out how we can reverse the direction of incentives to stronger families.

    We need to figure this out.

I’m afraid we will hear a lot more from Ivanka before it’s over and it won’t be conservative propositions. She is very progressive on social issues and had her dad remove his condemnation of the Paris Global warming accord. What else lurks in her progressive heart? What is truly disturbing is that Trump listens to her.

buckeyeminuteman | February 27, 2017 at 12:25 pm

No! No! No! Childcare and paid maternity leave is not the purview of the federal government! Especially at that cost!

I have several issues with this proposal. The first is that there is already a tax break for childcare, just not as high of cap. The second is that the cap is way to high. I am sorry but if you make more than 100,000 child care should not be an issue. If it is you need to reassess your spending habits. On the flip side I don’t mind helping with child care for young working parents, but if you are not paying any taxes than there should not be a credit for child care period. The free tax handouts must stop.

Another problem we have, is that young men rightfully fear marriage, because they fear divorce. This causes all manner of dysfunction.