Kirsten Gillibrand Suggests Marco Rubio And Ivanka Trump Shove Their Fake Family Leave Up Their Asses


Kirsten Gillibrand would like to have a word with you.

Yr Wonkette pulled a bit of what the French call a fox paws yesterday, writing about a terrible idea without offering an already-proposed much better idea. We told you about the really dumb idea being pushed by Marco Rubio (with a walk-on part by Ivanka Trump) that would generously institute "paid family leave" that would be funded by having young folks with a new baby or a sick family member delay their Social Security benefits tomorrow in order to pay for some time off work today. It's a bad idea for several reasons, not least that it's being pushed by people who see it as a first step to privatizing Social Security altogether.

But did we even mention a real, intelligent alternative proposal? Shame on us, but fortunately, New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand noted yesterday that it was the 25th anniversary of Bill Clinton's signing the original Family and Medical Leave Act, which provided for up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave, and darn well time to follow it up with paid leave, to give people the flexibility they need to have a job and a life.

That would be the Family And Medical Insurance Leave (FAMILY) Act, which Gillibrand has introduced every year for the last five years, with Rosa DeLauro backing a paired version in the House. It's actually a fairly simple proposal: Like Medicaid and Social Security, it would be paid for by modest deductions from every paycheck and available to all wage-earners, regardless of income. The tax would be two cents per $10 of income; under $1.50 a week for typical workers. Yeah, we know, you were really excited about that big tax cut Paul Ryan gave you, but don't worry, this would be worth it.

With universal funding would come universal benefits: up to 12 weeks of partial income, at 66 percent of their regular wages, capped at $4,000 per month so we aren't funding deluxe birthin' vacations for the wealthy. The program is designed to use those payroll deductions to cover the benefits as well as the administrative costs of a new "Office of Paid Family and Medical Leave."

But wait! Republicans will argue, "America's economy and employers cannot possibly afford such largess," especially since they just passed $1.5 trillion in tax cuts for rich fuckwads. Not so fast, jerks! As things stand now, the economy already suffers a ding when people have to leave work for a baby or a sick relative -- to the tune of some $20.6 billion annually in lost wages. That's income that isn't being spent on rent and groceries and the electric bill -- so if Donald Trump asks, we can tell him that's actually bad for coal companies. Surely he wouldn't want the coal companies to suffer?

For everyone else, it might be worth pointing out that this would be good for business because it would make it more likely for people to return to work after taking leave (hey, no cost of finding and training a replacement):

In California, where a family leave insurance program has existed for more than a decade, workers in low-wage, high-turnover industries are much more likely to return to their jobs after using the program, and nine out of 10 businesses report positive or neutral effects on profitability and productivity.

Plus, there's the whole thing where other countries would no longer laugh at us, which is a big deal to some people. As the LA Times noted in reply to the rob-Social-Security plan, America has some fairly embarrassing exceptionalism going on there: We're one of three nations that doesn't have some form of paid maternal leave. The other two are Oman and Papua New Guinea (yes, really). Shouldn't we be able to laugh at Papua New Guinea instead?

Mind you, there will be some pushback from people who Just Don't Get It. And people like Yr Editrix who are happy to school them:

This isn't rocket science, and we've just seen what rocket science is capable of. Real family leave would be a hell of a good issue to run on this year, eh?

Yr Wonkette is supported by reader donations. Click here to support Wonkette Toddler and Wonkette Family Leave

[LAT / CNN / National Partnership for Women and Families]

Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.


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