Conservatives claim to be pro-family. But liberals too are wrapping themselves in the family cause. But whereas conservatives are thinking about moral and cultural issues, liberals want government policies. One cause is providing child-care, so that someone can watch the kids while the parents work. Now President Obama is calling for paid family leave, whether to take care of a baby or a sick family member. The Democrats have a proposal that would mandate family leave to be paid for by the government and funded by an increase in the payroll tax. After the jump, an explanation of how this would work. What do you think of this?
From Juliet Eilperin and Katie Zezima, Obama uses personal experience to advocate for family leave, workplace flexibility – The Washington Post:
An animated President Obama cast the need for flexible workplace policies and paid family leave in personal terms Monday, recalling the days when he and the first lady juggled children and careers.
Speaking at the White House Summit on Working Families, Obama highlighted the issues that he said working families face each day, including a lack of affordable child care or paid maternity leave and the reluctance of many employers to allow parents to work flexible schedules.
“Family leave, child care, workplace flexibility, a decent wage — these are not frills, they are basic needs,” Obama said. “They shouldn’t be bonuses. They should be part of our bottom line as a society. ” . . .
Obama signed a presidential memo Monday directing the federal government to expand access to flexible time for workers and directed Labor Secretary Thomas Perez to head a $25 million initiative to help people who want to enroll in job-training programs but do not have access to child care. He said initiatives such as those addressing the minimum wage and expanded pre-kindergarten are aimed in part at helping those who struggle to afford child care.
In 31 states, Obama said, the cost of child care exceeds the cost of in-state tuition at local colleges and universities.
The president endorsed a bill sponsored by Sen. Robert P. Casey Jr. (D-Pa.) that would protect pregnant women from discrimination in the workplace. The measure would require employers to make reasonable accommodations for pregnant workers, such as providing a stool or water for them, and would protect women from retaliation if they ask for these accommodations.
“Many of these issues, they’re not partisan until they get to Washington,” Obama said.
Obama also bemoaned the fact that the United States is the only developed nation not to offer paid maternity leave. But he did not endorse the leading Democratic proposal in Congress aimed at providing paid leave, the Family and Medical Insurance Leave Act. The measure would offer workers 12 weeks of leave at two-thirds of their salary up to $4,000 a month and would offset its $20 billion annual price tag by increasing the payroll-tax contribution for workers and companies by 0.2 percentage points.
Doing that would effectively raise taxes on the middle class — violating one of Obama’s major 2008 promises: not to raise taxes on any household earning less than $250,000 a year.