Editorial: Nanny Trump
Donald Trump the socialist is making sure voters don’t forget about Bernie Sanders. The Republican presidential nominee borrowed a concept from the former Democratic presidential contender in introducing a proposal to greatly expand the nanny state. Literally.
Trump wants to make the federal government the nation’s babysitter, offering a proposal to expand the child care credit and extend it to the upper middle class. And as a sweetener, he wants taxpayers to cover the cost for six weeks of maternity leave for women whose employers don’t offer the benefit.
Which ultimately will mean all new mothers, since employers are not likely to continue to cover the cost of a benefit the federal government is willing to pick up.
That basic reality is not factored into the projected cost of the plan. A Trump aide estimates the maternity leave portion would take $3.6 billion to implement. This new entitlement will inevitably soar to many times that estimate, as all others before it have.
And while the GOP’s presidential hopeful says he will pay for his plan by cutting fraud and waste from the unemployment insurance program — as if that ever happens in the federal government — it much more likely will be funded by even more deficit spending.
Any conservative worth his or her copy of “Road to Serfdom” can see through the holes in the Republican candidate’s proposal. Friedrich Hayek would roll over if he knew the nominee of the party that supposedly is guided by his principles is extending government dependency across the broad swath of the population.
Public assistance should be reserved for the truly needy, and should be considered a short term safety net until the recipients can take care of themselves.
Trump’s Ivankacare — nicknamed after his daughter who apparently inspired its drafting — would be available to individuals with an income of up to $250,000 and couples making up to $500,000.
Those are substantial paychecks. Families in those income brackets should be able to handle the cost of taking care of their own children, and themselves.
Yet Trump would ask their fellow taxpayers, many of them childless and much less wealthy, to cover $12,000 a year of their child care expenses.
Those families who don’t make enough to have a tax liability would get an expanded earned income tax credit. That’s actually the only part of this plan that is defensible, since it would encourage lower income parents to join the workforce.
Together, Trump’s measures would greatly explode the number of Americans getting government hand-outs, which is currently about half.
It alone would complete the transition of the United States into a European-style welfare state, even without the other populist programs Trump is championing.
There’s a reason many conservatives have found Trump tough to swallow. He’s proven repeatedly that he does not adhere to conservative values.
And in the case of his universal child care plan, he would seem more comfortable in the far left camp.