No matter how you voted in the recent election, 2 things are true: It’s been a long week, and the new President-elect is Donald Trump. Prior to his victory, Trump released a 100-day plan titled “Donald Trump’s Contract With The American Voter.” If you’re hoping he runs America like a business, then this is the fine print.
This, along with other platforms laid out by his campaign, paints a possible picture of what your experience as a parent could be. It’s not exactly George W. Bush (those are dog paintings), but it could give you some idea of what the next 4 years mean for education, child care, and general family policies.
Trump said a lot of things early on about eliminating “gun-free zone” designations from schools and allowing teachers to be armed with something other than a red pen. But one of his big-ticket suggestions was to get rid of the Department Of Education entirely (a tough break for whoever is appointed), which he can only do with the approval of congress. Although his 100-day contract doesn’t call for such extreme measures, whoever Trump appoints to the department should be a little nervous because he proposed the School Choice And Education Opportunity Act, a piece of legislation that would theoretically redirect tax dollars to give parents more choices in types of schools, do away with Common Core, and localize education regulation overall.
This all sounds very sexy, but as fact checkers point out, the idea of redirecting education funds is vague and would most likely mean diverting money away from public schools (which are already screwed). Despite plenty of evidence that suggests Common Core is ineffective, abolishing it nationally isn’t really within the scope of the President-elect’s plan.
As part of his 100-day contract, Trump hopes to pass the Affordable Child Care And Elder Care Act, which would allow Americans to deduct child care taxes for up to 4 kids until they are 13 years old, at which point they’ll be too angsty to tolerate a babysitter anyways. His plan seeks to incentivize employers to bring on on-site child care services (score!) and create tax-free Dependent Care Savings Accounts for kids and elderly dependents. So if it works in the long term, your kid can return the favor by changing your diaper … and get a well-earned tax break.
Tax breaks seem to be Trump’s trump card when it comes to helping families, specifically the middle class. Part of his 100-day plan includes The Middle Class Tax Relief And Simplification Act, an “economic plan designed to grow the economy 4 percent per year and create at least 25 million new jobs through massive tax reduction and simplification, in combination with trade reform, regulatory relief, and lifting the restrictions on American energy.” Now picture Alec Baldwin saying that on SNL. Terrific.
Trump says this act would implement the larger tax reductions for the middle class, giving families with 2 children tax cuts of up to 35 percent. But as fact checkers point out again, the Tax Policy Center and the Tax Foundation estimate that under his plan, the top one percent would get an after-tax income boost of 10.2 to 13 percent, whereas the actual middle class — people whose income falls between the 40th and 60th percentile — would see an increase of only about 1.3 to 1.8 percent.
While that’s something, it may not be enough to forgive the fact that paternity leave didn’t make into Trump’s vocabulary at all throughout the campaign, and paid maternity leave was mysteriously missing from his 100-day plan. So if you ever meet someone for Papua New Guinea, you’ve still got that in common.