Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton proposed a new tax break for caregivers. She also suggests extending Social Security benefits for people who spend time caring for their immediate family.
Pledging to invest in the “caring economy,” Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton proposed a new tax break for people who are caring for older family members. Essentially, family members who offer care to their aging parents and grandparents will be eligible for tax breaks, she suggested.
Clinton put forth her proposal at a meeting in Iowa on Sunday. Her primary intention is to alleviate some expenses of people who care for their elders. Moreover, altering the Social Security program to accord some additional benefits to such people will help them better manage their time between their profession and their family.
During the meeting held at a middle school and attended by more than 400 people, Clinton stressed there are many who have to take time off from work to offer care. Vacations, paid and unpaid leaves, and personal time is often sacrificed to care for the old and infirm. Moreover, there are many who aren’t paid for the acts of kindness,
“We need to recognize the value of the work that caregivers give to all of us, both those who are paid and the great number who are unpaid. The lost wages and the work that is sometimes given up are costing families — especially women — who make up the majority of both paid and unpaid caregivers.”
Clinton added that the number of Americans needing long-term care is going to increase from a manageable figure of 12 million today to 27 million within the next three decades, reported Yahoo News.
The tax breaks will help families stretch their budgets a little more, she explained.
“It will help families’ budgets stretch; it will help seniors maintain independence.”
The presidential candidate proposal for tax breaks to caregivers involves a tax credit worth up to $1,200 for people caring for aging parents and grandparents. The credit would be available to those whose out-of-pocket expenses reach $6,000, with the value of the credit phasing out for upper-income families, reported the Wall Street Journal. The credit would apply to 20 percent of those expenses for a maximum tax bill savings of $1,200.
Apart from the tax breaks, Clinton also proposed to extend additional Social Security benefits to people who have to give up work in order to care for their immediate family. Essentially, she intends to boost support for care workers and increase funding for a program that offers state-level grants to programs for caregivers, reported the Los Angeles Times.
According to the former secretary of state, the plan would cost about $10 billion over a period of 10 years. She confirmed the money could be generated by taxing the higher-income slab a little more. Clinton added that those families earning less than $250,000 a year would be spared from the escalation of taxes, which would eventually be directed to offer tax breaks to caregivers.
Explaining the reasoning behind the proposal, Brian Fallon, a spokesman for Mrs. Clinton, said, “She has proposed both new spending and targeted tax cuts. When it comes to boosting middle-class families’ incomes and helping them defray rising costs, she believes it is both appropriate and effective to provide direct relief through the tax code.”
Clinton’s primary rival for the Democratic nomination, Sen. Bernie Sanders, shot down the tax break proposal as “far short of what is needed.”
“It’s too late for tentative half-steps that sound Republican-lite.”
Perhaps on the same page as Sanders, Republican National Committee spokesman Fred Brown added that the only solution to any pressing issue offered by Hillary Clinton is based on expanding government and raising taxes. The tax breaks to caregivers will “cost hardworking Americans billions,” he said.
Tax breaks are certainly a lot easier to implement as compared to outright spending programs. However, their track record hasn’t been promising, say experts.
Do you support Hillary Clinton’s proposal to extend tax breaks to caregivers while taxing higher-income group?
[Photo by Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images]