Notably, this criticism isn’t coming from the Heritage Foundation or even moderate Democrats.
There had already been plenty of warnings that the billions in subsidized child care under the BidenPelosiSchumer plan would send costs skyrocketing.
. As demand for commercial child care increased, the cost would go up as well. And increasing the cost of employing workers by stipulating that they receive higher pay would boost prices even further.
When government subsidizes the demand for something, more people want to buy it, leading to higher prices. That’s what happened in higher education and health care. The rising costs intensify calls for even more generous subsidies, which in turn boost prices even further. Congress should not want to make the same mistake with child care.
Except it’s not a mistake, it’s clearly the agenda.
Now the People’s Policy Project (3P), which is far to the Sanders left side, is warning that it would actually make child care unaffordable for the middle class. That’s not a criticism you expect to hear from that side of the aisle.
According to the Center for American Progress (CAP), the average cost of basic quality center-based infant care is $15,888, with $9,480 going to pay worker wages, $768 going to pay worker benefits, and $2,580 going to pay for administration.
Under the Democratic child care plan, child care worker wages will increase to the wages currently received by elementary school teachers. The median child care worker is currently paid $25,460 per year while the median elementary school teacher is currently paid $60,660 per year. Thus, this mandate will increase child care worker pay by 138 percent. If we increase the salary cost from the CAP estimate above by 138 percent, the unsubsidized price of child care goes from $15,888 per year to $28,970, an increase of $13,082 per year.
But in the first 3 years of the program, families with incomes that are just $1 over 100% of the median income (year one), 115% of the median income (year two), or 130% of the median income (year three) will be eligible for zero subsidies, meaning that they will be on the hook for the entire unsubsidized price, which as discussed above will now be at least $13,000 per year higher than before.
How much income is too much will depend on the state and depend on how the word “income” is defined (the bill does not define it). But for illustration purposes, note that the median household income last year in the country was $67,521. If this was your state’s median income, then having a family income just $1 higher than that would result in you being ineligible for child care subsidies in 2022 even as the unsubsidized price of child care skyrockets due to the wage and other mandates in the Democratic proposal.
This would knock millions of more women out of the workforce and millions more families out of the middle class.
As a traditional conservative, I would like to see the return of the single-income family, but this would just tighten entry to the middle class even further, eliminating an entire lower slice of the middle class. And while 3P suggests that the Democrats don’t understand that this would be the outcome, I suspect that the people who actually came up with this plan understand that all too well. And that it’s a feature.
Democrat plans have depended heavily on restricting entry to the middle class while promising to help the lower class.
This is exactly the kind of leftist strategy that would further hollow out the middle class under the guise of another welfare proposal.