LOESCH: Federally-Mandated Paid Family Leave Is Not a Conservative Policy

By Dana Loesch

When I brought my first child home from the hospital, my husband’s employer allowed him only enough time to collect me and our son from the hospital and drop me off at home. 

My husband went to work that morning and rushed back to the hospital to get us loaded into the car for home. I’ll spare you the details of my episiotomy and the related stitches which, as per my doctor, prohibited me from climbing stairs or lifting anything heavier than ten pounds for ten days. 

My husband hurriedly helped set me up before he rushed back to work; his bosses were already texting him about taking too long. 

My husband worked at a publication owned by a well-known progressive Democrat and the upper management was entirely comprised of progressive Democrat women. It was these women of the upper management who angrily needled him via text over taking too long with his wife and newborn. He had vacation and sick days but was not allowed to take them at this time for the purpose of acclimating or newly-expanded family at home. 

My husband’s employer wasn’t paying him to have babies or stay home with them — but it is interesting how some of the most vocal advocates of federally-mandated paid family leave are, themselves, their own reasons for supporting it. 

Even after this, I’m against federally-mandated paid family leave. It’s not for a business to tell family how to structure itself and it’s not for anyone but the people risking the capital, the time and the sweat to structure theirs. It’s always assumed that a policy like this cannot exist in practice without the federal government — or that it isn’t already happening without the federal government. 

Women think they’re helping themselves, but they’re not

Paid family leave is costly and employers will weigh this for women in lower-income positions by adjusting their overall compensation. Most women would prefer the income rather than the trade-off. Most women don’t want to be viewed as financial hiring risks under federally-mandated programs when competing for jobs against men (or even other women) who may not require the same financial consideration. When faced with paying one salary or paying for paid time off plus another temporary salary for the same position, the math dictates choice. 

It’s odd to discuss the issue in these terms during a time when jobs are plentiful and businesses are desperate for workers. The world was locked down for a year and businesses are competing to hire the best employees, increasing wages and benefits, adding perks all to attract the best workers. While you can argue that shutting down the economy was itself a policy for this, no action was required of congress to make businesses compete for workers. Democrats wanted paid family leave in their economic package but due to the high number of entitlements proposed (free everything from cradle to grave), Senator Joe Manchin told Democrats to trim it down.

The 90s had the coveted “soccer mom” demo, the aughts had “security moms,” and this wild era has “school board moms” fighting CRT and pornography presented as education. Democrats really wanted paid family leave to battle the school board moms across the country but nowhere more so than in Virginia, where embattled beltway barnacle Terry McAuliffe is struggling with Glenn Youngkin in a state Joe Biden took by +10 last year. McAuliffe so often stuffs his foot in his mouth whenever discussing CRT or parental involvement in schools you’d think he was trying to purposefully lose.

Instead of changing existing policy structure that burdens families, Democrats and some Republicans tell us that we must not put family first if we don’t accept their the proposal. 

If those politicians were serious about “families first” results, they’d first eliminate all spending unrelated to Article 1 Section 8 and stop abusing the general welfare clause to include statist, cradle-to-grave entitlement spending. They’d also abolish the IRS and stop thieving from the incomes of families they claim to want to put first, thereby allowing those families to invest in their own children. They’d implement a graduated consumption tax, pass school choice, eliminate or at least greatly reduce corporate taxes, and stop trying to run the private sector. 

This isn’t about just what government can do to get out of the way —be such an attractive asset as a potential hire that employers are compelled to offer perks to land the best employees. Uncle Sam isn’t a provider and neither are employers — the individual is the provider. 

Any policy that invites Uncle Sam’s participation or misconstrues the relationship between employer-employee is not conservative and does not practice limited government.