Maternity leave: Trump’s pitch to women
“Working mothers, take note: You have won the culture war,” said Bryce Covert in The New York Times. Last week, Donald Trump became the first Republican presidential candidate in history to put forward a proposal guaranteeing paid maternity leave. Under Trump’s plan, which his daughter, Ivanka, urged him to devise, every new mom will be given six weeks of benefits paid by the federal government; families will also be able to deduct child-care expenses from their income taxes. “The numbers, naturally, don’t add up,” said Michelle Goldberg in Slate.com. Trump promises to pay for the program by “eliminating waste, fraud, and abuse” in unemployment insurance—the same “imaginary pot of gold” he relies on to pay for all his proposals. But “the fact that Trump felt compelled to offer a child-care plan at all is one of the few bright spots in this ghastly election season.” Until now, Republicans have blasted “even mild attempts to support working parents” as radical plots to undermine the traditional family.
Trump is foolish to get into a “family bidding war with Clinton,” said The Wall Street Journalin an editorial. The Democrat has proposed guaranteeing 12 weeks of paid maternity leave as well as limiting child-care expenses to 10 percent of income. Not only would both Trump’s and Clinton’s plans cost billions, they’d raise the cost of child care the same way college loans have raised tuition, by pumping lots of “free” money into the marketplace. Trump’s proposal would actually be far less expensive, said Carrie Lukas in Forbes.com. He’s taking a “positive, market-based approach”—using an existing unemployment insurance program and giving the same tax deductions to stay-at-home moms as to those who use paid day care. Whether economic conservatives like it or not, Republicans need to address “the challenges that working families face.”
Look at the fine print, said Jesse Berney in Cosmopolitan.com. Trump isn’t really offering paid maternity leave; new moms would get unemployment insurance, which for most would be “just a fraction” of what they normally earn. And moms would be the only parents covered. “Two dads adopting a kid? No leave for you.” Fathers who want to do the child-rearing and allow new mothers to go back to work? Not covered, either. “In Trump’s proposal, it’s women who take care of the children, because in Donald Trump’s world, it has always been women who took care of his children.”
82% of American voters have made up their minds about which presidential candidate they are voting for, while 18% say they might switch. Only 57% of independents have made up their minds. Reuters/Ipsos
45% of American adults think the country is “less great” than it’s been in the past, including 25% of Democrats and 71% of Republicans. Washington Post/ABC News