They’ve been draping their proposal in all sorts of uplifting words about the virtues of family leave — the bonding of mothers, fathers and offspring, the long-term benefits for children and so on.
But they’ve concealed the chief drawbacks of their plan, which are the same features that make it palatable to a GOP constituency: It would undermine Social Security, force seniors to work longer, and carry hidden costs that wouldn’t be evident until it’s too late.
We analyzed this plan last April, when it was being pushed by Ivanka Trump and Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., while Ernst and Lee were standing by in the wings. It was a dumb, even dangerous idea then, and that hasn’t changed. It’s a poisoned chalice, and you shouldn’t drink from it.
The GOP plan contrasts sharply with a Democratic plan offered by Rep. Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York. Their Family and Medical Leave Act would extend benefits not only to new parents but to workers facing serious medical conditions or the necessity of caring for a family member. It would be funded by payroll contributions of .4 percent of wages — two cents per $10 of wages — split between employers and employees.
Moreover, it evades the question of why Social Security needs to be dragged into a program of this sort at all.