by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Democrats see your paycheck as fair game for their endless social-improvement projects. Every Democrat vying for the White House backs federal legislation that would guarantee workers nearly three months of paid family medical leave every year.
Sounds wonderful. We all favor caring for newborns and sick relatives. And working nine months while getting paid for 12 will appeal to many voters. The issue is who foots the bill for paid leave. These pols want to force you to pay with a hefty federal payroll tax.
That’s bad news for single guys who are unlikely to take leave but will be taxed anyway. Ditto for older people who have already raised their kids and don’t want their paycheck shrunk to fund someone else’s parenting. It’s also a raw deal for employees who already get paid leave on their job. They’ll have their paychecks shaved anyway.
To see how a good idea — help for families — can be made truly unfair, look at laws being passed in several states controlled by Democrats.
In the last six weeks, Oregon and Connecticut enacted laws entitling workers to 12 weeks of paid leave yearly. Not just when a baby is born, but also to care for grandparents, even close friends with no blood relation. All funded by taking a bite out of all workers’ paychecks.