GQ: Elizabeth Warren's Universal Child Care Program Will Save American Families Thousands of Dollars
Elizabeth Warren made it clear [that she wants] to be a populist crusader who doubled as a check on the power of corporations and the super-rich. She proposed a "wealth tax," a 2 percent tax on families with assets over $50 million and 3 percent on those with assets over $1 billion. It would generate an estimated $2.75 trillion over the next ten years, and now we know what Warren wants to do with that money: fund a national child-care program.
Earlier this year, a New York Times poll found that 64 percent of young-adult respondents were putting off having kids because of the high cost of child care. In Massachusetts, Warren's home state, the average annual cost of child care for an infant is $17,062. Even in a less expensive place like Iowa, the average annual cost is $9,485, nearly two-thirds of full-time income at state minimum wage. That means a single parent at a minimum-wage job has to work eight months of the year just to cover that.
By current estimates, 15 million kids, or 21 percent of all U.S. children, live in poverty, and despite frequent demonization of the poor, most of those children are in families with working parents. By contrast, Warren's proposed tax would affect 75,000 families who collectively control more wealth than the rest of the country combined. Unfortunately, those families have much greater sway in D.C. than the rest of the country does, and more centrist candidates might find it more advantageous to fight Warren than to back her calls for relatively modest tax increases.
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