The socialist dream of government-mandated national paid family leave is gaining momentum in yet another example of how coronavirus hysteria is being leveraged by the Far-Left to advance their agenda.
For those with eyes to see, it’s been very clear from the beginning that Democrats and Republicans with tyrannical ambitions would use the so-called pandemic for their own advantage, something even leftist in the media recognized. When coronavirus was first making headlines, Philadelphia Inquirer national opinion columnist Will Bunch wrote an op-ed in March 2020 advocating that politicians push for Far-Left policies that would strengthen the safety net by guaranteeing basic social benefits in the midst of the unprecedented public health emergency. He called his suggestion “disaster socialism.”
Mr. Bunch was late to the party. In an article I wrote a few days prior to his op-ed, I suggested that coronavirus would be the pièce de résistance of the Republican Party’s socialist agenda. Yes, you read that correctly.
Even as Trump and the GOP were pretending to be be a “firewall” against socialism, they were actively promoting many of the Far-Left socialist ideas we are now witnessing under Democrat-controlled Washington — including paid family leave.
In the early months of his first year in office, Trump and his then-Democrat daughter, Ivanka — she would later become a “Trump Republican” — held an event recognizing Women’s Health Week where they promoted many of Ivanka’s socialist feminist priorities. Unsurprisingly, many of these priorities were some of the same ones Hillary Clinton included in her platform during her 2016 presidential campaign.
Tops on their agenda was government-mandated paid family leave.
Though clearly a far left, socialistic, big government, liberty-killing concept, Trumpist Republicans and their faux-conservative allies in the media welcomed Ivanka’s agenda with open arms and made paid family leave a top priority.
In his Make Big Government Great Again 2018 State of the Union address, Trump promised to pursue paid family leave. This led to a proposal by Marco Rubio and Ivanka for a so-called “budget neutral” paid family leave plan that allowed recipients to “borrow” from their future Social Security benefits to pay for it.
In his 2019 State of the Union one year later, Trump mentioned the issue again and bragged about how he was the first president to include paid family leave in his budget.
Following this SOTU, Sens. Mike Lee and Joni Ernst introduced the CRADLE Act, another paid family leave plan tied to future Social Security benefits.
In his 2020 State of the Union — are you ready? — Trump promoted it again. However, this time he suggested the Far-Left program could be paid for by allowing parents to use their child tax credits.
A few weeks before his 2020 SOTU, Trump and the GOP negotiated a two-part omnibus spending bill with Democrats divided between Defense and Homeland Security, and the rest of the government. Seizing on the “desperation” of the moment, Democrats added a rider to the Defense bill providing twelve weeks of paid family leave for federal employees.
Once coronavirus hysteria ruled policy and spending, Trump and the Republican Party took their Far-Left socialist ambitions to the next level by expanding paid family leave, but with a twist. Trump threw his support behind the creation of government-mandated paid family leave AND/OR sick leave programs as part of an economic stimulus package to counter the economic impact of the coronavirus.
That idea became a reality in the first coronavirus stimulus bill — Families First Coronavirus Response Act — a bill that included taxpayer-funded paid family leave.
Which brings us to an article on TheHill.com about the latest round of discussions concerning a national paid family leave plan now that coronavirus has become the barometer to measure spending priorities.
Momentum is building behind the paid family leave movement as more corporations and public officials embrace the policy amid the coronavirus pandemic.
More than 190 American companies urged Congress in a letter on Tuesday to pass the policy in the next spending package, while President Biden addressed the need to improve the country’s “care infrastructure” in his infrastructure plan revealed on Monday.
Advocates say the pandemic has increased the urgency to pass a paid family leave plan as parents juggle working and staying at home with children or try to arrange child care as they go into work.
“For parents who do have the ability to work from home, it is still nearly impossible,” said Dawn Huckelbridge, the director of Paid Leave for All. “Think about all of the front-line workers who don’t have the ability to work from home, who don’t have in-person school, who aren’t able to access child care.”
“They’re being forced to choose between a paycheck and putting food on the table,” she added. (emphasis mine)
Get ready for the “If you oppose this, you just hate children” accusations to come flying.
The issue has impacted women, in particular, who in many cases have been forced to juggle motherhood with altered working conditions amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“We see so much of the burden of what has happened during the pandemic has fallen on women overwhelmingly,” said Betsy Fischer Martin, the executive director of American University’s Women in Politics Institute.
According to a Gender on the Ballot survey released last week by American University’s School of Public Affairs and conducted by Benenson Strategy Group, 1 in 2 working moms reported struggling handling work and virtual schooling for their children.
The same poll found that roughly 80 percent of women surveyed said they support better sick and maternity leave policies.
Get ready for the “If you oppose this, you just hate women” accusations to be hurled at you as well.
TheHill.com article concludes where I began above: Republicans support anti-free market, government-mandated paid family leave.
The issue also has broad support from Republicans. Trump was the first Republican president to call for paid family leave, throwing his support behind bipartisan legislation introduced by Sens. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) in late 2019. However, under that legislation, parents had the option to advance up to $5,000 of their child tax credits in the year of the birth or adoption of a child. Then in return, parents would get a reduction in the amount of their child tax credits in each of the following 10 years. Unlike the Biden proposal, this one did not have a new source of funding.
A poll from the left-leaning Center for American Progress released earlier this month found that 58 percent of Republicans, 68 percent of independents, and 86 percent of Democrats said it was time for the U.S. to adopt a national paid family leave and medical leave program.
Democrats are prepared to use coronavirus as an opportunity to achieve their Far-Left socialist goal of government-mandated, national paid family leave plan, and openly said so when the Families First Coronavirus Response Act was passed last year.
“We don’t want people to have to choose between a paycheck and preventing the spread of the disease,” Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.), the vice chairman of the Joint Economic Committee, said at the time. “We’ve been talking about paid sick leave for years, and it’s really unfortunate that it takes a crisis like this to finally get the attention of the White House.”
Biden pledged on the 2020 campaign trail to pass universal paid sick days and 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave, and it looks like coronavirus and a lying, spineless Republican Party will bring the Far-Left, socialist priority to pass.
David Leach is the owner of the Strident Conservative. He holds people of every political stripe accountable for their failure to uphold conservative values, and he promotes those values instead of political parties.