Biden Unveils $775 Billion Plan for Universal Preschool and Caregivers

Biden Unveils $775 Billion Plan for Universal Preschool and Caregivers

REUTERS/Tom Brenner

Joe Biden on Tuesday rolled out the third plank in his “Build Back Better” economic recovery program, a $775 billion, 10-year plan that aims to ease the burdens of caring for children and the elderly.

“This one is about easing the squeeze on working families that are raising their kids and caring for aging loved ones,” Biden said in remarks prepared for delivery at an event in New Castle, Delaware.

“We are trapped in a caregiving crisis within an economic crisis within a public health crisis,” he added.

Here’s an overview of Biden’s plan:

  • It is titled “The Biden Plan for Mobilizing American Talent and Heart to Create a 21st Century Caregiving and Education Workforce.” It’s a mouthful. Let’s call it TBPMATHCTOCCEW. Or not.

  • The proposal calls for universal preschool for 3-and 4-year-old children and spending $325 billion to increase the availability of child care. The plan would offer low-income and middle-class families a refundable tax credit of up to $8,000 for one child or $16,000 for two or more children to offset as much as 50% of child-care costs. Families earning between $125,000 and $400,000 a year would be eligible for a partial credit. The plan calls for raising child-care workers’ pay and benefits and expanding subsidies for after-school, weekend and summer-care programs.

  • The plan would allocate $450 billion toward improving elder care options. It seeks to eliminate the waiting list of about 800,000 people for home and community services under Medicaid by increasing funding to states. It also proposes to add 150,000 community health workers, with many a focus on low-income areas. The campaign pointed to a study published earlier this year that found that every dollar spent on community health workers would yield $2.47 in savings.

  • The plan aims to create 3 million new jobs in caregiving and education. Biden’s campaign says it would boost overall employment by about 5 million once unpaid caregivers are freed up to pursue jobs if they so choose.

  • The campaign notes that the first step in the former vice president’s recovery efforts would be to “immediately provide states, tribal, and local governments with the fiscal relief they need to keep workers employed and keep vital public services running, including direct care and child care services.”

Biden’s campaign says the plan will be paid for by “rolling back unproductive and unequal tax breaks for real estate investors with incomes over $400,000 and taking steps to increase tax compliance for high-income earners.”

The plan would reportedly limit the ability to engage in transactions known as like-kind exchanges, which allow real estate investors to defer capital gains if they quickly reinvest the proceeds of a sale in another property. It would also raise the top capital gains tax rate from 20% to 39.6%.

“Combined with limits on like-kind exchanges, that policy means commercial real-estate transactions that today yield no income taxes could instead be taxed immediately at a 39.6% rate,” Bloomberg News reports, adding that the proposed tax increases would raise $294 billion over a decade according to Tax Policy Center estimates from earlier this year.

Biden previously released plans to boost U.S. manufacturing via a “Buy American” prorgram and combat climate change with investments in clean energy and infrastructure.