On Wednesday, President Joe Biden will introduce a $1.8 trillion plan for paid family leave in the U.S. The ‘families plan’ will also include free community college, universal pre-kindergarten and subsidized childcare.
Biden will pitch the $1.8 trillion in new spending and tax credits to Congress in a joint session on Wednesday night. The event comes on the eve of Biden’s 100th day in office. The plan is part of the Biden administration’s vision to overhaul the U.S. economy and enhance recovery following the coronavirus pandemic. The plan will allow workers who have a new child, are rehabilitating from illness or caring for a disabled loved one to receive partial paid employment for three months. For those who meet the criteria, up to $4,000 will be provided in paid leave. Additionally, the government will put $225 billion towards covering child care costs for low-income families with children under the age of five. Children aged three and four will also receive free prekindergarten. The plan will introduce a minimum wage of $15 per hour for child care staff.
The plan also seeks to be competitive with China. It is being billed as “generational investments in our future”. “These are investments that we can’t afford not to make as a country,” a senior administration official said. The proposal would reverse key pieces of the 2017 tax-cut law. The new spending plan would result in the top income tax rate for the wealthiest Americans to rise to 39.6%. The government previously reduced the rate to 37% as part of the 2017 law. Furthermore, capital gains taxes would also rise to 36.9% for households earning over $1 million. American citizens earning less than $400,000 a year will not have their taxes affected.