I tend to be a political science junkie, and so the 2016 Presidential election is one that Iâ€™ve kept a close watch on. Additionally, as a gay man and as someone who is a feminist, I tend to look at the election with extra scrutiny, especially on the Republican side of the fence.
Knowing a bit about Donald Trump for a while, it was absolutely no surprise that in a 2004 interview, he called pregnancy a wonderful thingâ€Šâ€”â€Šas long as you were not an employer. If you were, then pregnancy was a complete inconvenience. Why? Because it would make the United States less competitive if companies had to pay for maternity leave.
So that makes it all the more puzzling why Trump has changed his tune and decided that paid maternity leave is just fine. He put forth a new policy that would be woefully underfunded if he took office, because he plans to pay for the six week maternity leave by cracking down on unemployment benefits fraud, which is only about $3 billion per year (whereas Trumpâ€™s plan would cost many times that).
Whatâ€™s worse is Trump, both Donald and Ivanka, went on national television and while introducing Donaldâ€™s plan, lied about Hillary Clintonâ€™s. They actually said that Mrs. Clinton actually had no plan, which is a surprise to me since itâ€™s been part of Clintonâ€™s website for more than a year. But whatâ€™s worse is Ivanka defended the plan, and abruptly ended an interview with Cosmo when the magazine asked if the plan covered gay dads. Because gay men donâ€™t have kids, right? Right?
The absolute worse thing about Trumpâ€™s plan is that itâ€™s only focused on the wealthy. Why? Because itâ€™s a tax cut, not a tax credit. And as a tax cut, with Trumpâ€™s proposal of being able to deduct childcare expenses, this is focused so much on the wealthy that it would be a blip on the financial impact of regular Americans. While a middle class family would be able to deduct a small amount from their tax burden, people like the Trump family would be able to deduct tens of thousands of dollars per year. For example, if each of Donald Trumpâ€™s grandkidsâ€Šâ€”â€Šhe has sevenâ€Šâ€”â€Šhad a nanny, and the Trump clan had a family reunion, Ivanka and Donald Trump III (the two Trump children who have provided Trump with grandkids) would be able to fly their nannies out with their childrenâ€Šâ€”â€Šand deduct their First Class airfare, hotel accomodations, salary, bonuses, and the like.
But Trump is a champion of the middle class. Yeah, right.