Novelist JD Vance, who is considering running for an Ohio Senate seat in 2022 as a Republican, has been condemned for his criticism of Joe Biden’s new childcare proposal designed to help working families.
The president’s $1.8 trillion American Families Plan proposes providing direct support to help out with care for children while their parents are at work.
The venture capitalist and author of Hillbilly Elegy, a memoir about the Appalachian values of his Kentucky family, apparently took exception to the idea. He tweeted: “‘Universal child care’ is a massive subsidy to the lifestyle preferences of the affluent over the preferences of the middle and working class.”
Mr Vance continued: “It turns out that normal Americans care more about their families than their jobs, and want a family policy that doesn’t shunt their kids into crap daycare so they can enjoy more ‘freedom’ in the paid labor force.”
A follow-up tweet read: “‘Universal day care’ is class war against normal people.”
The response to Mr Vance’s proclamation was swift and blunt.
Jeff Sites, Democrat challenger to congressman Jim Jordan for his Ohio seat, tweeted: “Millionaire venture capitalist w/Ivy League degree tells single parents and households where both parents work to make ends meet *we’re* the abnormal ones.”
Jane Coaston ofThe New York Times wrote: “It is always something to know that when a political figure or pundit says “normal people” they have never, and will never, mean me.”
Bob Meyer, a magistrate who sets child support, tweeted: “Dude, do you know any actual people? I’ve been setting child support in Family Court for 17 years. Most families, intact or not, require the income from both parents to sustain one or both households.”
Mr Vance included a chart showing results of a survey on parents’ ideal preference for childcare arrangements, divided by educational attainment, but not reflecting their actual circumstances.
A city councillor from Morgantown, West Virginia, noted that one option was family members providing childcare. He wrote: “Are you able to read the third line on this graph where you would see that there is a massive unpaid workforce taking care of low-income children whilst both parents work? That’s because most people would starve if they paid for child care. You have no idea what ur talking about.”
One person posted: “So tweets a wealthy entitled white man who has no idea of the struggles of a single parent working more than one job just to feed his/her kids.”
Another user responded: “I‘d be surprised if he’s ever taken off a single day from work to stay home with his kids on his own. Isn’t it convenient that his bar graph (which he misinterpreted) only talks about ‘parents’ and doesn’t break it down by gender.”
Others sarcastically suggested that Mr Vance might be arguing for policies that increase wages so that families can exist on the income of one earner — or where single parents are provided with subsidies to stay home rather than work.
“‘You should be able to pay exorbitant amounts for daycare or stay out of the workforce’ is just not going to be the catchy populist take you apparently imagine it to be,” tweeted a mother and lawyer.
Another user responded: “‘It’s bad to help working Americans because most people kind of hate their jobs and would rather be at home’ is an interesting argument.”
They added: “It’s *especially* interesting coming from a guy best known for lecturing hillbillies about their work ethic.”
The account for Appodlachia Podcast tweeted: “Annual reminder that JD Vance doesn’t represent Appalachia. So, take his ignorant comments for what they are; his.”
“We Appalachians don’t want to be affiliated with that grifter,” the post read, linking to a response toHillbilly Elegy and a list of fiction and non-fiction alternatives to Mr Vance’s book.
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