One of the bigger bones of contention between Democrats and Republicans on the Human Resources for Americans front is the concept of paid family leave and how to pay for it. Paid family leave is available in most western nations meaning when one working adult in a family needs to take time to deal with a parent, new baby, or some other close family member, all benefits from a job would not be lost.
At this time in the United States, any sort of leave is dealt with at the employer level. Americans are no different than people in other parts of the world where family members need to take time to deal with some issues sooner or later. This usually means a leave of absence or using up earned vacation and sick leave.
Ivanka Trump, daughter of President Donald Trump, has long been an advocate of paid family leave, something American business owners resist mostly due to the expense and lost productivity. One of the bigger questions about it is in a system where the government does not mandate family leave, who pays for it.
Well, Senator Marco Rubio, also a proponent of paid family leave, is floating trial balloons trying to come up with some sort of solution.
Rubio has barely started crafting a paid leave bill, much less a broader legislative strategy. But he envisions an idea that has recently gained traction in conservative circles: allowing people to draw Social Security benefits when they want to take time off for a new baby or other family-related matters, and then delay their checks when they hit retirement age.
For instance, a person who would begin receiving full benefits when he or she turns 67 years old but wants to take six weeks of paid leave wouldn’t draw Social Security checks until six weeks after his or her 67th birthday.
“That’s a new idea for Republicans who still identify it as something that comes out of the left,” Rubio said of paid family leave. “Forcing companies to provide it is perhaps an idea that finds its genesis on the left, but the notion that pregnancy should not be a bankruptcy-eliciting event is one that I think all Americans should be supportive.”
Neither should be with a parent in their last days or be with a spouse going through life-saving (hopefully) treatment, all of which will eat vacation time and money.
Ultimately, it is to Americans’ advantage to find some solution to this issue. Life is not the way it was for centuries where husbands were pretty much the breadwinners, and the wives cared for the young, old and the sick. Life now demands a second income in many families. Taking that from people who are hard working, but have other obligations is a topic we really have not faced. It is time to find some sort of solution.