“People sometimes are put off by tax policy,” said Amy Matsui, Director of Income Security and Senior Counsel at the National Women’s Law Center. “We created the tool to show the connection between tax policy and our ability as a nation to invest in people in a concrete, simple, and hopefully fun way.”
“We hope people can use it to start conversations about why taxes matter, and engage their communities in advocacy for a fairer and more progressive tax system,” Matsui added.
According to the calculator, a tax on billionaire wealth could raise a staggering $3 trillion dollars over a ten year period. By contrast, creating a universal child care program where children between ages of 0 and 13 can access high-quality care, child care providers are paid a living wage, and no family pays more than 7 percent of their income for child care is estimated to cost $700 billion over the same ten year period.
Investments in the care economy are long overdue. With a rapidly aging population and fewer care workers due to low wages with few benefits, many economists are sounding the alarm of a care crisis.
Increasing wages for care workers would have a positive impact on racial and gender wealth inequality, as over 90 percent of U.S. home care workers are women, more than half are women of color, and 31 percent are immigrants. Putting more money in these workers’ pockets would bear substantial benefits for the entire economy.
Individuals and families can’t solve the care crisis on their own. The economy cannot thrive if mothers, women, and caretakers continue to be crushed by the lack of investments in the care economy.
President Biden’s budget contains a number of common sense ways to reverse course from the failed strategy of tax cuts for the wealthiest. Chief among them: raising the top income tax rate, raising the corporate tax rate, taxing stock buybacks, and closing some long standing loopholes. These provisions would go far to make the tax code more progressive — and raise revenues to support investments that benefit everyone.
“Our economy is less strong when workers who need care — that is, all of us — have to cobble it together and figure it out on their own,” said Matsui. “Women and families need and deserve robust public investment in the care infrastructure, and we can’t wait any longer.”