Trump’s Paid Leave Plan: Will It Hurt Small Businesses?

Date: September 16, 2016

Trump recently introduced a paid leave and child-care plan that could put new pressure on small business.

At last, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have aligned around a common cause—unfortunately it’s not an issue small businesses were hoping for. 

Trump, accompanied by his daughter Ivanka, announced a paid maternity leave and child-care plan Sept. 13 in a township outside Philadelphia. “We can provide six weeks of paid maternity leave to any mother with a newborn child whose employer does not provide the benefit,” he said.


Trump’s plan would rewrite the tax code to allow parents to deduct the average cost of child-care expenses in their state from their income taxes, according to The Washington Post. The deduction would not be available to individuals earning over $250,000 or couples earning more than $500,000. 

The proposal includes additional spending rebates through the Earned Income Tax Credit and revision of federal savings accounts so that parents can set aside money specifically for child development and education.

U.S. House Rep. Diane Black is worried about the proposal’s impact. She “wants to see more businesses adopt paid-leave policies, but she does not support mandates to this effect at the federal level,” said her spokesman, Jonathan Frank, to The Wall Street Journal. 

Likewise, NFIB also has its worries about the mandate.

“We’re generally concerned that expanding the program to include a new benefit would require higher payroll taxes on employers,” NFIB Media Communications Director Jack Mozloom told the The Washington Times. “We would like to know more about how the new benefit could be financed without raising taxes on small businesses.” 

Trump said that the $2.5 billion a year he needs for the plan will cost taxpayers nothing, and that instead it would be financed through the elimination of waste and fraud in the unemployment insurance program. 

Ben Gitis, director of labor market policy at the American Action Forum, told The Wall Street Journal that the possibilities of the government finding that much money in the unemployment system is unlikely as well as worrisome for its effect on small business workers. 

“That’s money coming straight out of people who get laid off,” he said. “To me, that’s concerning.”

Hillary Clinton’s plan is even more extensive: She would guarantee 12 weeks of paid family leave for mothers or fathers, and would expand the benefit to workers recovering from injury or illness. Her plan would cost nearly 10 times Trump’s plan, and she plans to fund it by “making the wealthy pay their fair share,” according to a release from her camp. 

*Note: This news coverage does not equate to an endorsement of any candidate by NFIB. 

Photo credit: Gage Skidmore


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