Candidates on Care: What Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are Saying About Family Care
Well, it’s official. Hillary Clinton is the Democratic Party’s presidential nominee and Donald Trump is the Republican Party’s nominee. With election season in full swing, you’re probably thinking about the candidate that is going to be best for this country. Let’s be honest, you’re probably thinking about the candidate that will be best for you and your family.
With millions of families struggling to provide care for their loved ones, it only makes sense that the candidates’ stance on care issues is a top priority. In fact, child care costs only continue to rise, making care a top expense for families.
So, where exactly do this year’s candidates fall on care? Here’s an overview of the candidates’ plans to tackle care and family issues.
HILLARY CLINTON’S PLANS
- Capping Child Care Spending
Earlier this year, Clinton unveiled a plan to cap child care costs at 10 percent of a family’s annual income by using subsidized childcare and tax credits. Currently, child care exceeds that 10 percent threshold in almost every American zip code. Our latest Cost of Care survey found that 54 percent of families spend over 10 percent of household income on child care, with 20 percent devoting more than 25 percent of their budget to care.
- Guaranteeing Paid Family Leave
Under Clinton’s plan, all Americans would have access to 12 weeks of paid family leave to care for a new child or seriously ill family member. This means that the United States would no longer be the only developed nation without a national paid leave policy for new moms.
- Tax Relief for Families
Hillary Clinton wants to offer a 20 percent tax credit to help family members offset up to $6,000 in caregiving costs for elderly family members. Now, there is a Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit, which helps offset your family’s tax liability. But, the policy is a bit outdated and applies to children. With this tax relief dedicated to family caregivers who spend on elder care, caregivers could claim up to $1,200 in tax relief each year. She reiterated her plan to expand the Child Tax Credit during her economic policy speech on August 11th.
- Enforcing a Care Worker’s Initiative
Clinton is calling for a coordinated, government-wide initiative to address the challenges faced by care workers. This initiative would give care workers more opportunities to earn skills that would give the field the professional status it deserves. Then, with this stronger system of caregivers in place, the goal would be to help build on the quality and accessibility of care.
- Expanding Social Security
Millions of Americans withdraw from the workforce to provide care for children or aging loved ones. Under Clinton’s plan, family members who are acting as caregivers would continue to receive credit toward their Social Security benefits.
- Investing in the Caregiver Respite Program
Clinton wants to invest $100 million over 10 years in the program, which authorizes grants that improve respite care access for family caregivers of children or adults of any age with support needs.
DONALD TRUMP’S PLANS
- Employer-Provided Child Care
Trump has said he thinks “more companies should provide affordable on-site child care,” as a few of his do. Trump has suggested that private companies could make in-house child care a reality, rather than waiting for government intervention, saying he employs “great people because of it.”
- Discussing Paid Leave
Trump has acknowledged that paid leave is being discussed, but he hasn’t quite come out in support of a federal policy. “I think we have to keep our country very competitive, so you have to be careful of it,” he has said.
- Making Childcare Affordable
In the past, Trump has called child care a “big subject.” At the Republican National Convention, his daughter, Ivanka, spoke about his care-related plans, saying her father will “focus on making quality childcare affordable and accessible for all.” During his economic policy speech on August 8th, Trump declared that his plan would allow "parents to fully deduct the average cost of childcare spending from their taxes," which could help the middle-class. He also said he will be rolling out proposals to increase choice and reduce cost in childcare in the coming weeks.
- Quality Care for Veterans
Trump’s veterans plan calls for Veterans Administration reforms that would ensure that veterans receive quality care quickly, wherever and whenever they need it.
JILL STEIN'S PLANS
- Call for Universal Child Care
Stein believes parents should be able to choose the best way to provide child care for their children. To help give them that choice, she calls for free universal child care, the lack of which she says creates high poverty rates for children and women.
- Federally Sponsored Paid Leave
When it comes to paid leave for child birth or caring for a sick family member, Stein has agreed that full-time employees should have this benefit. But, rather than making businesses pay, she proposes that the federal government should sponsor the program.
Care is a priority for families. Tens of millions of Americans are part of the Sandwich Generation, taking care of children and aging parents simultaneously. More than 34 million American adults provide unpaid care for someone 50 years or older. Child care is more expensive than college in most states and families struggle financing their kids through the summer, let alone through their childhood.
That’s why it is so important to make care a priority this election season. When you’re thinking about the person for whom you’ll cast your ballot, keep in mind the policies that are going to help your family manage all your care needs. As voters, it’s important to educate yourselves and this November cast your vote for the candidate who cares.
We’ll continue to update this piece as more information about the candidates’ care plans are revealed. So stick with us through the election, and please add your own updates in the comments section.