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Wotta wimp! (Arf!)


Much perplexity among Orthodox Republicans over the Very Idea that Donald Trump would propose a government-paid maternity leave program for women whose employers don't already provide such a thing. At a speech in Aston, Pennsylvania, Tuesday -- where nobody got punched (for a change) -- Trump laid out the basics of his plan, which would guarantee six weeks of paid maternity leave:

"We need working mothers to be fairly compensated for their work, and to have access to affordable, quality child care for their kids," said Trump, who appeared determined to show off a more sensitive side than most are accustomed to seeing from him. He used a subdued delivery that contrasted with his tendency at larger rallies to raise his voice. After his speech, he held up a baby in the crowd.

Then he ATE IT ALIVE. We kid! But hey, have you noticed anything missing from this plan? Yes -- a way to pay for the damned thing! The Trump plan would use funds from the federal/state unemployment insurance program to provide some kind of coverage for those six weeks of leave, and would supposedly be paid for by "savings achieved by eliminating fraud in the unemployment insurance program." And if they don't find enough fraud, they'll just cut benefits to the unemployed, most likely, who aren't mothers after all (this is all in a purely notional universe where Trump "becomes president," of course).

Also another thing is missing from that plan: Daddies! Because why would men ever need maternity leave? Men do not have babies, dummy! And as anyone knows, a father's role in child-rearing is mostly limited to teaching his children not to trust anyone, so they can become successful, not losers.

As an interesting sidenote, the plan works a little bit like one that was proposed by Bill Clinton in 1999, not that Trump would ever admit anything of the sort. Clinton's proposal gave states the option to take part in it or not, covered both men and women, and allowed for up to 12 weeks of paid leave; before it had a chance to become too popular, the Bush administration ended it.

As we noted in Wednesday's Wonkagenda, the Hillary Clinton campaign instantly truth-squadded Trump's claim that he was gooder than her, because she "has no child care plan." You'd think he'd know better than to lie about things that can be immediately checked, but when has that stopped him before? Not only did Trump say it in the speech, but he also said it on Twitter, and Ivanka -- the driving force behind Trump's sudden interest in working mothers (but not fathers) -- also lied about it. This earned Trump yet another "pants on fire" rating from Politifact, and did not sit well with the Hillary camp:

So, yes, Clinton -- who for Chrissake started her political career with the Children's Defense Fund and pushed to get S-CHIP passed -- has both a family leave plan AND an early childhood education plan. Detailed plans that don't simply hope to find enough fraud somewhere else in order to pay for them. What's in 'em? You know, the usual things you'd find in a plan that doesn't exist: Twelve, not six, weeks of paid leave, ensuring a minimum of two-thirds of the employee's regular wages (up to a cap), to be paid for by a dedicated tax on the wealthiest Americans. And the early childhood plan is pretty swell, too: Universal Pre-K for all 3- and 4-year-olds. Tax relief and subsidies to ensure that no family pays more than 10 percent of its income for child care. Higher wages for child care workers. More funding for Head Start.

Yes, now prepare for the wailing that we can't possibly afford it. We dunno. We think it would probably be a hell of a lot cheaper than starting a war with Iran over their little boats making rude gestures at our beautiful destroyers.

[WaPo / WaPo / ThinkProgress / Politifact]

Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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