I'm talking about Ivanka Trump and her op-ed in today's WSJ
Though of course she'll never read this... here's my response to Ms. Trump:
* * *
For me, motherhood is a gift and a tremendous source of joy.
* THAT'S GREAT, IVANKA; GLAD TO HEAR IT! AND I APPLAUD MOTHERHOOD... (HAVING HAD A MOTHER MYSELF AND BEING THE HUSBAND OF A MOTHER...)
Yet it’s also the greatest predictor of wage inequality in our country. In 2014, single women without children earned 94 cents on a man’s dollar. Married mothers made only 81 cents.
* YES. FOR A VARIETY OF REASONS... WHICH YOU AS AN EDUCATED WOMAN SHOULD BE FAMILIAR WITH. IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH "DISCRIMINATION" AND EVERYTHING TO DO WITH CHOICE OF JOBS AND HOURS PUT IN.
We all agree that women should have equal pay for equal work, but that’s not enough.
* YES! ACTUALLY IT IS.
The lack of quality, affordable child care is one of the biggest challenges facing American parents.
* LET... MARKETS... WORK...!!!
* WHAT IS SO FRIGGIN' HARD TO UNDERSTAND...?!?! YOU CAN'T ARTIFICIALLY "FIX" THE REALITIES OF LIFE. INDEED, WHERE SHE USES THE WORD "CHALLENGES" I'LL USE THE WORDS "REALITIES OF LIFE."
The current federal policies created to benefit families were written more than 65 years ago when dual-income families were not the norm. Today, however, in about two-thirds of married couples, both spouses work.
* THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT SHOULDN'T BE INVOLVED IN THIS AT ALL. EMPLOYMENT REGULATIONS ARE AND SHOULD BE A STATE ISSUE AND FRANKLY WE ALREADY HAVE TOO MANY STATE REGULATIONS! (ISN'T YOUR DAD CAMPAIGNING ON REDUCING GOVERNMENT REGULATION...???)
In addition, 70% of mothers with children under 18 work outside the home; so do 64% of moms with kids under age 6.
* AND YOUR POINT...???
The number of households led by single mothers has doubled in the past three decades, and the majority of these women work in low-paying jobs without flexibility or benefits.
* STOP HAVING CHILDREN YOU CAN'T AFFORD TO RAISE! THAT'S THE ANSWER!
My father, in his campaign for president, has proposed a plan to bring federal policies in line with the needs of today’s working parents.
Part one is a rewrite of the tax code, allowing working parents to deduct from their income taxes child care expenses for up to four children, as well as for elderly dependents.
* SO... WE'RE GONNA RUN A FEDERAL DEFICIT OF APPROXIMATELY $600 BILLION THIS YEAR... PROBABLY A LARGER ONE NEXT YEAR... AND YOU AND DAD WANT TO BRING IN LESS REVENUE. DO I HAVE THAT RIGHT?
This will be capped at the average cost of child care in each family’s state, and the wealthiest individuals will not be eligible for the deduction.
* THUS CONTINUING TO MOVE US IN THE WRONG DIRECTION... MORE "PROGRESSIVE" TAXATION... MORE TREATING SOME AMERICANS ONE WAY AND OTHER AMERICANS A DIFFERENT WAY.
The benefit is structured to ensure that working-class and middle-class families see the largest reductions in their taxable incomes.
* AGAIN... IF LESS PEOPLE ARE PULLING THEIR WEIGHT... IF MORE PEOPLE ARE BEING "ABSOLVED" OF PAYING THEIR FAIR SHARE... HOW ARE WE SUPPOSED TO BE FUNDING ALL THE GOVERNMENT SPENDING...???
To bring meaningful assistance to lower-income Americans who don’t pay income tax, the Trump plan will offer rebates on child-care spending through the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC).
* TOTALLY THE WRONG DIRECTION! INCOME REDISTRIBUTION PURE AND SIMPLE.
In a nation where almost two-thirds of mothers with children under age six are employed, child care is an undisputed work-related expense.
* NO. IT'S NOT. NOR IS YOUR CAR. NOR IS YOUR CLOTHING. NOR IS THE FOOD YOU NEED TO STAY ALIVE SO YOU CAN GO TO WORK! GEEZUS... THIS PROPOSAL AND THE REASONING BEHIND IT MOVE US TOTALLY IN THE WRONG DIRECTION!
(BUT HERE'S THE CAVEAT, FOLKS: THE DEMOCRATS WOULD MOVE US IN THE SAME EXACT WRONG DIRECT EVEN FASTER! IT'S NOT LIKE THE "OPPOSITION PARTY" WILL OPPOSE THIS PLAN PHILOSOPHICALLY; NO, THEIR MAIN COMPLAINT WILL NO DOUBT BE THAT "IT DOESN'T GO FAR ENOUGH!")
In business, other such expenditures are tax-deductible.
* AND THEY SHOULDN'T BE. THAT THEY ARE IS PART OF THE PROBLEM. THE SEVEN-MILLION-PLUS WORD FEDERAL TAX CODE IS THE PROBLEM! AND GROWING IT SIMPLY ADDS TO THE PROBLEM! WE NEED A FLATTER TAX CODE - NOT ONE WITH MORE "DEDUCTIONS."
This single reform under the Trump plan will effectively increase the take-home pay for tens of millions of American parents.
* SO WOULD DRAINING YOUR BANKS ACCOUNTS AND SELLING ALL YOUR POSSESSIONS AND REDISTRIBUTING THE PROCEEDS TO TENS OF MILLIONS OF PARENTS! BUT I NOTE YOU'RE NOT DOING THAT!
* GEEZUS... JUST COME UP WITH PROPOSED TAX RATES... AND LET'S GET ON WITH IT. STOP TRYING TO PICK WINNERS AND LOSERS VIA THE FEDERAL TAX CODE!
And what if one parent staying home to raise the children is the best option for a family? This is the praiseworthy choice of many, yet there’s zero value or recognition by our government for this hard and meaningful work.
* IT'S NONE OF THE GOVERNMENT'S CONCERN OR BUSINESS!
Under my father’s proposal, stay-at-home parents will receive the same tax deduction as their working peers.
* SO... MORE "FREE MONEY" DISTRIBUTED. (UM... HOW'BOUT OUR FELLOW AMERICAN CITIZENS WHO CHOOSE NOT TO BECOME PARENTS? JUST... "FUCK 'EM?")
The plan’s second part is the establishment of Dependent Care Savings Accounts, created to aid families in setting aside extra money to foster their children’s development and offset elder care for adult dependents.
* WHAT'S SO HARD TO UNDERSTAND ABOUT FLAT TAX RATES AND LETTING PEOPLE SAVE WHAT THEY CHOOSE TO SAVE AND LIVE THEIR LIVES AS THEY CHOOSE TO LIVE THEM?
These accounts will operate like Health Savings Accounts, with tax-deductible contributions and tax-free appreciation year to year. When established for a minor, funds from a Dependent Care Savings Account can be applied to traditional child care, after-school enrichment programs and school tuition.
* BY THE WAY... THE PLAN WILL SPUR INFLATION AS WELL. (JUST AS EVERY TAX DEDUCTION AND GOVERNMENT GIVEAWAY DOES.)
To help lower-income parents, the government will match half of the first $1,000 deposited each year.
* AGAIN... "THE GOVERNMENT" IS BROKE! "THE GOVERNMENT" CAN'T PAY IT'S OBLIGATIONS NOW! "THE GOVERNMENT" IS ALMOST $20 TRILLION IN DEBT AND THAT DEBT IS RISING FAST! WHAT IS SO HARD TO UNDERSTAND ABOUT THIS REALITY...?!?!
Balances in a Dependent Care Savings Account will roll over from year to year so that a substantial amount of money can be accrued over time.
When established for an elderly dependent, a Dependent Care Savings Account can cover services like in-home nursing and long-term care. The ability to set aside funds will be particularly helpful to women, low-income workers and minorities, who are statistically more likely to reduce time working outside the home in order to provide unpaid care.
The third part of the plan will address the federal regulations that currently discourage informal child-care — such as a mom watching her own kids and a few others in her home. Arrangements such as these are not now given fair consideration by our federal bureaucracy, which is biased in favor of institutional care. We need to create a dynamic marketplace to offer solutions and give parents greater freedom of choice.
* TRUE. AND I APPLAUD THE SENTIMENT. BUT AGAIN... FEDERAL REGULATION OF... DAY CARE? REALLY...?!?!
(*JUST SHAKING MY HEAD*)
Consider parents who work part-time, on a night shift or on call. The standard model of institutional care doesn’t serve these workers: How many day-care centers are open at night? It takes even less account of parents who live in low-income and rural communities.
The fourth part of my father’s plan will add incentives for employers to provide child care at the workplace. Breakdowns in child-care networks cause employee absences that cost U.S. businesses billions each year. On-site child-care centers help resolve avoidable employee absenteeism, in addition to saving time and helping companies retain valued staff.
* AND IF THAT'S THE CASE THEN THE BUSINESSES WILL PROVIDE WORKPLACE CHILD CARE ON THEIR OWN - RIGHT? NO NEED FOR GOVERNMENT TO BRIBE BUSINESSES TO DO SO VIA TAXING OTHERS (LIKE ME AND YOU) TO PAY FOR THE BRIBE!
(*BANGING MY HEAD AGAINST THE WALL*)
Finally, under the Trump plan, the federal government will guarantee, for the first time, six weeks of paid maternity leave. This will be done by amending the existing unemployment insurance that companies are required to carry. The enhancement will triple the average paid leave that new mothers receive, and it will do so without raising taxes.
* AT... WHAT... COST...?!?! DO YOU SIMPLY WAVE A MAGIC WAND TO MAKE THE PAYOUT MONEY APPEAR...?!?! YOU DO KNOW HOW INSURANCE WORKS... RIGHT? IN ORDER TO PAY OUT... FIRST THE MONEY HAS TO COME IN AND BE THERE IN THE FIRST PLACE! SO... WHAT HAPPENS TO PREMIUMS UNDER THIS PLAN?
At the heart of this policy is the belief that every parent should have the freedom to make the best decisions for his or her family.
* YES! AGREED! BUT I BELIEVE THAT WITH FREEDOM COMES RESPONSIBILITY! THE PURPOSE OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT IS NOT TO GIVE PEOPLE MONEY TOWARDS... ANYTHING... INCLUDING RAISING THEIR KIDS OR CARING FOR THEIR PARENTS. DON'T YOU PEOPLE UNDERSTAND THAT IN ORDER TO GIVE AWAY GOVERNMENT MONEY THE GOVERNMENT MUST "RAISE" THE MONEY IN THE FIRST PLACE? GEEZUS... JUST MIND BOGGLING.
My father is prepared to chart a new course that promotes strong families and celebrates their individual needs; one that honors, respects and empowers both working and stay-at-home mothers and caregivers. Together, we will take a stand and enable the American family and the modern workforce to thrive.