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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