Such a deal.
Among the highlights of President Obama’s State of the Union address plans to pull the American family out of economic plight is a $500 tax credit for two-earner families.
Here’s how the White House presented it in a fact sheet: “Provide a new, simple tax credit to two-earner families. The president will propose a new $500 second earner credit to help cover the additional costs faced by families in which both spouses work — benefiting 24 million couples.”
The provision is included in his effort “to help middle class families get ahead.” Like who? Administration officials said families earning up to $210,000 would get a piece of the tax credit. That is four-times the earning of the “typical” middle class income of $51,939 calculated by the Obama-supporting Center for American Progress.
It’s to pay for the added commuter and child care costs of two-earner families, but it wouldn’t cover much.
Take child day care. The just-out Child Care Aware of America’s 2014 report said the child care price for an infant can reach $14,508 a year or $279 a week.
At that rate, the $500 credit wouldn’t cover two weeks of infant care. For a four-year-old, the costs can reach $12,280, or $236 a week, meaning the credit would just cover two weeks of fees. The report is below.
Ditto for commuter costs. Take Columbus, Ohio, as the example. The Center for Neighborhood Technology’s “Affordability Index” puts the cost of “average annual transportation” at $14,001. That’s about $538 every two weeks, or more than enough to eat the president’s tax credit.
Put another way, the credit wouldn’t even cover the tab for two at Hawaii’s Vintage Cave restaurant where the president and first lady dined on New Year’s Day. It costs $295 per person, and doesn’t even include wine.
Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner’s “Washington Secrets” columnist, can be contacted firstname.lastname@example.org.
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