By Adam Andrzejewski for RealClearPolicy
While Congressional Democrats tout paid family and medical leave as part of the massive social safety net expansion at the heart of a proposed $3.5 trillion 10-year spending plan, many Americans already have paid time off benefits.
The Build Back Better Act is a 10-year spending plan for so-called “human infrastructure,” including paid family and medical leave that would give all workers up to 12 weeks off with the average worker getting two-thirds of their regular wages to care for new children or an ailing relative “by blood or affinity.”
Proponents of the measure say it will ensure that even low-income workers will be covered. But people who live paycheck-to-paycheck can’t afford to take time off for a partial wage replacement, The Wall Street Journal editorial board recently argued.
They expect that the paid leave would be more likely to help middle-income people who can afford to live on partial pay and will make the middle class even more dependent on government.
But this spending isn’t necessary for many people who already have these paid time off benefits.
A 2017 Pew Research survey found that about two-thirds of workers who took leave in the last two years received some pay and a 2020 survey by the Society for Human Resource Management found that 55 percent of companies reported offering paid maternity leave.
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Knowing that this benefit already exists in many places, the funding bill states that the federal government will reimburse up to 90 percent of what employers lay out for paid leave.
It would also reimburse states that have their own programs — New Jersey, New York and others.
If this benefit is available in many places, why spend taxpayer money on duplicating it?
Syndicated with permission from RealClearWire.
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