Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Marco Rubio Goes Nuts: Wants to Raid Social Security

The Wall Street Journal, under the headline  The GOP’s Social Security Raid, explains:
Senator Marco Rubio recently rolled out a bill that would allow Americans to collect Social Security benefits to take time off from work after having or adopting a child. The trade is that parents would delay receiving retirement benefits by three to six months. This is supposed to be a more reasonable plan than raising payroll taxes to finance universal leave.
Yet supporters of both proposals pitch deceptive numbers about how many Americans
have paid leave for occasions like giving birth. Mr. Rubio said during his rollout that “just over one in 10 workers receives paid family leave from their employers,” and the left also hawks the figure, which comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
That statistic doesn’t account for those who have other types of leave or build up paid time off. An analysis from Ben Gitis at the American Action Forum revealed that two-thirds of workers “who took family and medical leave were paid by their employers,” the majority at full pay.
Let’s evaluate Mr. Rubio’s idea on its own stated merits, which he compiled in a tweet. He claims his benefit doesn’t expand government or create a new entitlement. But what is expanding government if not taking a benefit financed by private industry and administering it through a government program? Paid leave by definition entitles Americans to a de novo benefit without even an imagined connection to old-age insurance.
Mr. Rubio says leave will pay for itself by delaying retirement benefits, and thus won’t add to the deficit. This is less believable than a presentation about time shares in Miami. Does anyone believe those retirement benefits won’t be restored eventually, at least for the non-affluent? Most Americans having children now won’t retire for at least another 30 years. Social Security is projected to be insolvent in 16 years. Then who pays?.. 
Do not be surprised if in the coming weeks corporations sing the virtue of federal paid leave. Businesses would be happy to offload some of the burden to government since they already pay half the payroll tax...
The biggest illusion is that this proposal is a shrewd political move that will steal an issue from Democrats. In the real world they will see Mr. Rubio and raise. The National Partnership for Women & Families called the Rubio plan “reckless, irresponsible and ill-conceived” for making parents choose between kids and retirement. They want both. Once Social Security is open for family leave, Democrats will want to use it for college tuition, and why not a home downpayment?


No comments:

Post a Comment