Donald Trump is still stonewalling on releasing his tax returns, with no sign of a reversal in sight. He obviously doesn't want to reveal how the tax code favors him as a certified one-percenter. But he has no problem bloviating on so-called tax fixes for the nation's majority -- women.
Despite party establishment hand-wringing over his abandoning "traditional" Republican values, Trump's economic plan is a melange of well-worn Republican bromides. Across-the-board tax cuts, especially for corporations and the wealthy (no more "death tax!"), and getting rid of government regulation. This will of course bring jobs, jobs, jobs. Same old trickle-down economics. Works great in Kansas, where there's an outright voter revolt over massive cuts to education and public services due to those same no-taxes and jobs-in-the-sky promises.
But back to women. Trump's proposed slash of the top income-tax rate from 39.6 percent to 33 percent would definitely benefit upper-income female workers who earn more than $413,350 per year. But what of their lower-paid sisters, like the majority of minimum wage workers who happen to be adult women? No meat on that bone. These women already make so little they qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit (and often have to rely on Medicaid and Food Stamps to get by) so they don't pay income tax, making the cuts meaningless. But all workers get hit with payroll taxes (Social Security, Medicare, unemployment), regardless of how little they make. Trump's plan ignores this inconvenient truth for female workers, still getting 78 cents on the dollar for full time work when compared to men. Makes it pretty tough to pay for child care.
The Donald is smugly proud of his so-called child care plan, which you might think benefits women if you aren't paying attention. He proposes to "allow parents to fully deduct the average cost of child care" from income taxes. Same problem as above for low-wage workers -- no taxes, no deductions. And making child care deductible instead of a credit hits middle income workers too. The present Child and Dependent Care Credit comes off your tax bill whether you itemize or not. Changing it to a deduction means if you don't itemize you don't get the deduction.
And besides, what does "average cost of child care" actually mean? Child are costs vary from state-to-state, arrangement-to-arrangement, and income-to-income. So presumably a mother such as Ivanka Trump -- her father says she will be put in charge of child care reform -- could deduct the cost of a high-priced live-in nanny. But those with a child in family day care or cared for by grandparents could deduct a comparative pittance or nothing at all. For good measure, Trump throws in "increase choice for child care and reduce costs" with no explanation of how he would do either.
One last stinger in Trump's plan for women is another Republican perennial -- repeal Obamacare. No more birth control without co-pays, no more mammograms, no more maternity coverage, and the return of gender-based pricing. If Obamacare goes away, these expenses bite back as "hidden taxes" for women that men don't pay.
No doubt about it -- Trump's tax plans are a sure-fire "fix" for women.