Paid Family Leave Act Will Raise Taxes

The act’s supporters ignore its many costs.

by Veronique de Rugy

Following increased interest in expanding access to paid family and medical leave, Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D–Conn.) joined forces with Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D­–N.Y.) to promote the Family and Medical Insurance Leave, or FAMILY, Act. If we believe the act’s supporters, it would cost close to nothing and provide essential benefits to employees who don’t currently receive them.

Unfortunately, these claims are bogus.

Under the FAMILY Act, the federal government would offer 12 weeks of paid time off to enable workers to care for infants, recover from major illnesses, and care for severely ill relatives. During that time, employees would receive benefits administered by the Social Security Administration equal to 66 percent of their regular earnings, with a minimum monthly benefit of $580 and a maximum monthly benefit of $4,000. To pay for this new handout, the federal government would impose a 0.4 percent payroll tax to be divided evenly between employers and employees.

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