The GOP Will Let You Keep Your Baby In Your Home Office But They'll Never Pay You A Decent Wage
In the runup to the 2014 midterms, the GOP has finally decided it is time to get their policy wonkiness on and roll out some super-well-thought-out bills that will totally fix things for workers everywhere, and you will all be so totally rich and relaxed if you just vote Republican this November.
What will your vote get you? Awesome new bills like this one, which will let you put a crib in your home office, because Mitch McConnell is pretty sure that is the fix for everything.
Called “A Fair Shot for Everyone,” one key piece of the Republicans’ package, introduced by Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), is the Working Parents Home Office Act, which allows parents to deduct home office costs from their taxes if they have a baby crib in the office. “These are just the kinds of things that could make a difference in people’s lives now,” McConnell said.
OK, we agree that not being allowed to deduct your home office cost if your home office is also in possession of a screaming child is bullshit, but this is not actually a signature piece of legislation, particularly from the people that opposed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act and pretty much every other measure that would actually pay workers more.
In case you were wondering, here is a quick and dirty way of figuring out how much money you'd get to deduct for your home office if you're now allowed to stick a crib in it.
Beginning with 2013 tax returns (filed in 2014), the IRS has begun a simplified option for claiming the deduction. This new method uses a prescribed rate multiplied the allowable square footage used in the home. For 2013 the prescribed rate is $5 per square foot with a maximum of 300 square feet. The space must still be dedicated to the business activity as described above.
These are 2013 numbers, but there's no reason to think that this will suddenly be a huge moneymaker for your 2014 taxes. Don't get us wrong -- we're not too good (or too rich) to be happy with an extra $1,500 worth of tax deductions, but that isn't actually "go to the club and throw it around" kind of money either.
What other awesome plans do the Republicans have to make sure you are flashing mad stacks of cash if you just will just elect them? What say you, Susan Collins?
Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) has introduced the Forty Hours is Full Time Act, which would repeal the Affordable Care Act’s 30-hour workweek rule.
We know this is a particular hobbyhorse of the right -- that if companies have to comply with the Act's requirements, they'll just fire people to stay under the 50-person threshold it applies to -- but it is awful tough to spin this one as a big pro-worker initiative. You may -- MAY -- be able to keep your job, but you can't have insurance. Sorry, sucka.
What else ya got, GOP? Let's check in with Senator Deb Fischer.
Sen. Deb Fischer (R-Neb.) has endorsed an alternative to the Democrats’ Paycheck Fairness Act. It includes language to prevent employers from retaliating against workers who discuss or inquire about their salaries. It also would not raise caps on punitive damages that employees may seek in courts, a key provision of the Democratic bill.
So, you will prevent the employers from retaliating against an employee who has the goddamn gall to compare salaries, which is really the fucking bare minimum of employee protection and we can't even begin this is still a thing. But you, Deb Fischer, will give workers a lower cap on the damages they can recover when their employers dick them over, salary-wise. Workers of the world will thank you forever for that lower damages cap, because nothing says "pro-worker" like "less money after you've already been screwed out of money." With brilliant bills like this, we fully expect the proletariat to rise up and vote GOP this fall.