Family Research Council Action today announced its support for a plan proposed by GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump that would allow parents -- whether in the workplace or at home -- the ability to deduct the average cost of child care from their taxes.Just in passing the child tax credit was created by the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997. Although President Clinton signed it, it was the product of a Republican controlled legislature. It is an enormous bill that, among other things, established a 20 percent maximum capital gains rate for individuals. FRC's involvement is highly questionable. Clinton never should have signed it but that's a subject for another day.
I commend Donald Trump for offering a new proposal that give parents the additional flexibility to decide what's best for their own family. Trump's child care plan compliments the child tax credit that Family Research Council designed and helped enact in the 1990s, and increases the ability of moms and dads, whether they are working or at home parents, to deduct child care expenses from their taxes.
More importantly, tax credits are a progressive benefit. The higher your tax rate the bigger the benefit. Tax credits are somewhat irrelevant for the average worker paying 10% to 12% and have no impact on the working poor who pay a very low tax rate, if any. This is a rather large unfunded giveaway. Its real impact will be felt by people who do not need it. Couples filing joint returns “earning more” than $500,000 will be excluded. “Earning more,” by the way, is meaningless insofar as the tax code is concerned. Gross income or taxable income mean something.
Trump, were he elected, would not be able to change the tax code. Only Congress can do so.