Let’s Be Clear: Trump Has No Plan For Working Families
On the last night of the Republican convention, Ivanka Trump introduced her father as leader on issues facing working women, including equal pay and child care—a Donald Trump that is utterly unrecognizable to anyone paying attention this cycle. Let’s be clear: Trump has a well-documented history of disparaging women, no public policy proposals for equal pay or child care, and a running mate, Gov. Mike Pence who has voted against equal pay legislation time and time again (not to mention enabling discrimination against women in the LGBT community). Here are just a few examples of Trump’s real positions:
- Trump’s campaign will not engage with women’s increased workforce participation in a meaningful way. To her credit, Ivanka made great points about the way the workforce has changed over the last few decades, actually citing CAP expert Sarah Jane Glynn’s analysis that a growing share of American households have female breadwinners or co-breadwinners. But there is no evidence that Trump’s campaign intends to provide a comprehensive policy platform to address what working families need to have a shot at economic prosperity, including equal pay, child care, paid family and medical leave, paid sick leave, fair wages, and access to reproductive health care. In stark contrast to Ivanka’s claims about her father, Campaign Manager Paul Manafort argued earlier the same day that women will vote for Trump because they are worried about their husband’s paychecks supporting their lifestyles.
- Trump has no plan for equal pay, and his running mate is a strident opponent of equal pay legislation. Ivanka’s speech stated that Trump would “fight for equal pay for equal work,” but when asked about equal pay, Trump has dismissed the issue, saying women would make the same if they simply “do as good a job” as men in spite of overwhelming data showing that a lack of skills is not the cause of overall differences in men and women’s pay. Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, who offers the campaigns only legislative record, consistently voted against vital equal pay legislation in Congress, including the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act and the Paycheck Fairness Act. The gender pay gap is multifaceted, and we need a variety of policies in place to ensure pay transparency, protect workers who request pay information, research pay disparities along racial and ethnic lines, and target enforcement efforts—but Trump’s plan is just to tell women to work harder in a broken system.
- Ivanka’s claim that Trump pays female employees fairly is dubious at best. Ivanka said that Trump pays his employees fairly—but as ThinkProgress pointed out— salaries for the Trump Organization are not available publically and his campaign pays women much less than men. Publically available data on the Trump campaign’s salaries demonstrates that men are paid 35 percent more than women, and at least one staffer has filed a gender discrimination complaint for being paid half the amount of men with the same title.
- Trump’s campaign has shown zero interest in increasing access to high-quality, affordable child care. When asked about his child care plan, Trump has deflected the question, saying “It’s a big subject darling,” or said that private companies could opt just provide it on-site “with some blocks and swings”—instead of any federal policy. Perhaps needless to say, counting on private companies to voluntarily add on a child care center is a far cry from what working families need. Trump’s ideas offer nothing to the working families struggling to afford high-quality care—as child care costs continue to go up, and the cost of center-based care for an infant and a 4-year-old currently exceeds rent in every state. Additionally, Mike Pence has said that “day-care kids get the short end of the emotional stick” when mothers are in the workforce In contrast, presumptive Democratic Nominee Hillary Clinton offers a detailed step-by-step policy agenda to address quality, affordability, and access to child care, in addition to expanding pre-k to every 4-year-old in America.
- Trump has a well-documented history of disparaging women, especially working women. Ivanka claimed her father supports working mothers at the Trump Organization, but Trump’s own words and actions attest otherwise. When lawyer Elizabeth Beck explained needing to take a break to pump breastmilk for her 3-month-old-daughter, Trump stormed out of the room saying “you’re disgusting.” As famously pointed out by Megyn Kelly on the debate stage, Donald Trump has called women “fat pigs,” “dogs,” “slobs,” and “disgusting animals.” In response, Trump said she had “blood coming out of her wherever” and has since called her “sick” and “crazy” on twitter.
BOTTOM LINE: Trump’s campaign doesn’t have a plan for working families. Working families need comprehensive national solutions to pay equity and child care— which the campaign either lacks or outright opposes— but in order to ensure that working families have a fair shot at financial stability, families also need access to paid family and medical leave, paid sick days, a fair minimum wage, fair scheduling, and access to reproductive health care.