Bernie Sanders has come out with an expensive but absolutely necessary 1.5 trillion child care plan. Senator Elizabeth Warren also has a plan to provide for child care costs for working families.
I can hear the nay-sayers now, all agog about who will pay for this.
Maybe we could roll back the massive tax cuts that George Bush II gave to the wealthy, or trim the tax cuts that billionaire Trump gave to himself and other billionaires. If they started paying, say 5% more on their taxes we could pay for a lot of things that we need and they’d still have plenty of money for spare yachts and another private jet. They could even buy up a few more thousand acres of land in Montana for weekend vacays.
In the meantime, affordable child care would go a long, long way toward allowing working families to have babies again. Most of today’s responsible young couples are like the guy in the movie who got his arm stuck between two rocks and couldn’t get loose. They are so in debt on their student loans that the huge bite for paying for childcare (which runs as high as a house payment for most working class couples) is beyond them. They can’t afford to have babies.
It’s a real Wewoka switch for these young people, one that baby boomers with their nice retirements and I-got-mine-you-get-yours attitude can’t and won’t grok.
A lot of young people can’t afford to get married because their combined incomes would push their school loan payments above what they can pay. I have a cousin who is an ordained minister who says he marries a lot of young people who don’t want their marriage recorded at the courthouse. Their student loan payments are such a burden that they can’t afford to be married under the law. They opt instead to be married under God only.
These same couples can’t afford a baby, or more than one baby, because the childcare would make it impossible for them to house and feed the baby.
Right wingers try to “solve” the problem by saying that mom should stay home and not work when kids are little. That’s a wonderful option. I was blessed to be able to stay home and raise my babies, and I wouldn’t trade anything for the experience. But in a world of low wages, stratospheric student loans, outa sight medical and real estate costs (not to mention the cost of transportation in cities like Oklahoma City with no practical public transportation) it’s more dismissal than option.
The truth is, most families need at least two paychecks to get by, and that means not having kids or forcing gramps and granny to babysit, or paying for childcare. For a lot of young people, that means either not having kids or having only one.
We need to stop blaming the low birthrate on the sinful selfishness of the young and decide what we can do to help them. Our pro family politics should back policies that support families. The policies of the right wing not only don’t support families, they make having a family of one’s own a kind of economic martyrdom.
Building the biggest military in sight, tax cuts for the rich, and labeling every single program or idea that would spend the tax payer’s money on the tax payers as socialism are policies of greed and destruction. They don’t just feed the culture of death, they are part of it.
From Yahoo News:
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) is rolling out his free universal child care plan.
The Vermont senator and 2020 Democratic frontrunner on Monday said that as president, he will “guarantee every child in America free full-day, full-week, high-quality child care from infancy through age three, regardless of income” and also guarantee “every child access to a full-day, full-week pre-kindergarten education regardless of income, starting at age 3.”
The Sanders campaign said that under his plan, child care will be provided at least 10 hours a day and “at times to serve parents who work non-traditional hours.” The program, according to the proposal, will cost the federal government $1.5 trillion over the next 10 years, paid for by Sanders’ tax on the “extreme wealth” of the top 0.1 percent of households. The government will set “quality standards” under the plan.
“Our current child care and early education system in the United States is an international embarrassment,” the Sanders campaign said.