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Presidential Issues: Regulations


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Weirdly, The Democrats’ Family Leave Plan Is Better Than Marco Rubio’s

September 28, 2015

By Tim Worstall

I’m not exactly known as a fair minded and non-partisan commentator. I tend to look at anyone even slightly left of the John Birch Society as somewhat suspect, wondering as to their sanity, connection with reality, perhaps even their parentage and whether we can get them classified as a felon for their beliefs. But in breach of this howlingly lopsided ideological commitment I do have to say that the Democrats’ basic plan for a paid family leave plan is better than Marco Rubio’s. And given that no other Republican has even offered the traces of one as yet that’s the only one on offer from the rightwards tendency at present. The point being that the Democrats have understood that you cannot try to get business, or employers, to pay for family leave. To do so would make women of child bearing age virtually unemployable. It has to be a tax financed benefit, not an employer financed one.

This is entirely different from whether there should be a paid family leave plan or not. The US works pretty well without one and other countries work pretty well with one: I don’t see the presence or absence as being all that important either way. Largely, I think, because the societies themselves have adapted to whether there is one or not. My point here though is that if there is going to be a mandate for paid family (or, let’s be honest about this, maternity leave, for that’s what is really at issue) leave then it’s going to have to be financed through the tax system, almost certainly through FICA.

Here’s a brief description of Rubio’s plan:

Rubio’s proposal consists of a 25 percent non-refundable tax credit for employers who offer their employees between four and 12 weeks of paid family leave to new parents, those caring for sick family members, and the families of members of the military. Pay would be capped at $4,000 per employee per year, but it would apply to “all employee arrangements,” his plan says, including those working part time.

Offering a tax credit to employers is obviously an assumption that it will be the employer funding the leave itself. The credit paying part of that cost, sure, but not all of it. What this would really be, in practice, is a subsidy to those employers of the professional classes who already offer paid family leave. Not really the step change in the society that some are looking for. But if anyone wants to create a general right to, or even practice of, paid family leave than it just has to be tax funded:

Read the full article at Forbes.com: Weirdly, The Democrats' Family Leave Plan Is Better Than Marco Rubio's

Issue Categories : Marco Rubio, Regulations