The unintended penalties of Biden’s American Households Plan


Rachel Greszler and Carrie Lukas
| The Heritage Foundation (TNS)

We raise 11 children between our two families.

Under the American Families Plan, we could start raising up to $ 33,600 per year in child payments. Had that plan gone into effect when we became mothers, we could have collected up to $ 630,000 in child benefits, received 60 years of subsidized childcare and universal pre-K income, and had at least five years of paid family and family medical leave. And we would envisage up to 22 years of “free” community college for our children.

Why do we reject this federal size? Because we don’t like it when politicians dangle dollars on families to get them to run their business the way politicians would prefer. Rather than “pushing” families into unnecessary dependencies, we’d rather encourage lawmakers to seize opportunities and make decisions that are best suited to their particular situations.

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For example, many low- and middle-income families strongly want family members to look after their children. In fact, trading income for time at home with children is part of the reason certain families have lower incomes.

Proponents of the plan see it as an “investment” to tax some families to pay for childcare for others. But they count mothers and fathers who sacrifice paid job opportunities to spend more time raising their children only as a loss of wages, a loss of government tax revenue, and a burden on GDP.

Rachel Greszler

It’s not just bad math, it’s bad politics too. There is simply no compelling evidence that government attempts to enroll children in childcare or preschool improve school readiness or other life outcomes, but there is evidence of unintended negative consequences.

When you talk about bad investments, consider where the money would be coming from. The American family plan would be funded on our children’s backs – and they already have $ 67,000 a piece of national debt. Your debt share will increase by $ 3,700 per year over the next ten years, before adding the additional $ 4.5 trillion to the proposed “infrastructure” and “family” spending.

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We would not take out loans on behalf of our children to send them to preschool or to fund monthly child payments for ourselves. Why should we support the government in this?

President Joe Biden says he can pay for all of this by taxing the rich. Sober analysis shows, however, that oversized state claims like these require the soaking of the middle class, just like in Europe. Below-average workers in Germany and France pay tax rates of 45% and 43%, and the middle class pays marginal tax rates of 56% and 70%. That’s before a 20% sales tax is added to their purchases. That’s a lot less money for families to pursue what’s best for them.

President Joe Biden speaks at Tidewater Community College in Portsmouth, Virginia on May 3, 2021.  Biden and First Lady Jill Biden were on the Virginia coast promoting his plans to increase spending on education and children, which is part of his proposed US $ 1.8 trillion family plan.

Government regulations are already increasing costs and limiting the availability of childcare, tearing down smaller, cheaper and more flexible providers. Between 2005 and 2017, the number of small home childcare workers has halved. The American Families Plan would require providers to follow government curricula and implement “inclusion” programs. It would also impose the kind of excessive standards that resulted in a price tag of $ 20,000 a year for childcare in DC

These requirements make it difficult for parents to make cheaper and more flexible arrangements, e.g. B. a neighborhood provider, church daycare, or parents’ association that suits their own needs and preferences. Nothing in this proposal extends childcare and education opportunities beyond what politicians have approved.

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Finally, this proposal will do more to harm the prospects of working women than to help them.

Government-paid vacation entitlement may sound like a win, but government-mandated flexibility is not flexibility at all. Imagine navigating massive red tape to apply for benefits and waiting maybe 10 weeks after taking vacation to find out if you qualify. You need to track your vacation in 15 minute increments or have your employer block access to your work email and files while you’re on vacation.

As two mothers who are heavily dependent on flexibility in the workplace and family-friendly policies, we prefer to keep the government out of our agreements. In the past four years, the number of employers offering paid parental leave has doubled. Legislators should encourage this and not seek to replace it.

If employers have paid them forced family vacation programs, they may be less likely to hire or promote women, especially for managerial positions. Countries with government programs for paid vacation tend to have larger gender pay gaps, according to the Pew Research Center. And women workers in countries of the European Union are far less likely to hold management positions than American women.

Decades of supposedly “family-friendly” measures have proven ineffective in achieving their goals. They have often been harmful to women and families, including those on lower incomes. In California, high-income mothers are five times more likely to use the state’s paid family vacation program than low-income mothers.

Senator Tim Scott (RN.C.) recently remarked, “The beauty of the American dream is that families can define it for themselves.” The American Families Act would wither this beauty beyond recognition.

Carrie Lukas is President of the Independent Women’s Forum and Rachel Greszler is a Research Associate on Economics, Household and Claims at the Heritage Foundation.

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