Have Democrats Forgotten About Paid Leave

Abby McCloskey and Aparna Mathur, AEIdeas, July 2, 2019

“Why is this important bipartisan issue missing from so many candidates’ platforms? Biden, the clear front-runner and who boasts a relatively policy heavy website, has no obvious mention of paid leave on his official campaign site, nor was it mentioned in the debates.  Nor did Warren, who in spite of her plans for nearly everything else, does not have a single word on her website dedicated to paid leave.

Sanders has a line on paid leave on his website with a poison pill for conservatives attached at the end: “Guarantee all workers paid family and medical leave, paid sick leave and paid vacation,” moving the policy from a vital safety net provision to “the government should provide everything that employers don’t.” Harris has a similar blanket statement: “working to ensure workers have access to paid family and medical leave” without any recommendations for how to accomplish this objective.”

Source: http://www.aei.org/publication/have-democr...

The Birth Of A Compromise On Paid Parental Leave

Abby McCloskey, Aparna Mathur, Angela Rachidi, Real Clear Policy, March 5, 2019

“Major social policy achievements in this country have never been easy. Yet, history shows that when both sides express a willingness to compromise, great policies can emerge. Our elected officials are now facing one such historic opportunity. It is time for them to pass legislation that creates a national paid parental leave program.”

Source: https://www.realclearpolicy.com/articles/2...

Health Savings Accounts: Encouraging to see another Republican idea to improve paid parental leave access

Abby McCloskey & Aparna Mathur, AEIdeas, April 17, 2019

“As we have written before, there is a competition of ideas brewing among Republicans on ways that families could pay for time taken off during parental leave. For millions of families around the country this is good news and a major change from where the debate was just a few years ago.

The latest proposal is from Congressman Andy Biggs, who has introduced the Freedom for Families Act bill would allow families to use money in their Health Savings Account to meet expenses incurred during the birth or adoption of a child, or for a family illness. . . .”

Source: https://www.aei.org/publication/hsa-flexib...

Universal Child Care Is the Wrong Approach

Abby McCloskey & Aparna Mathur, National Review, February 22 2019

“We welcome a conversation on this important issue. But a universal program is likely to create more problems than it solves. A system that better targets the most vulnerable, reforms existing programs, and addresses the quality of care, at a reasonable cost, is more likely to benefit American parents and children.”

Source: https://www.nationalreview.com/2019/02/kni...

How The Left Embraced Elitism

David Brooks, The New York Times, February 11, 2019

“Over the past generation, global capitalism has produced the greatest reduction in human poverty in history. Over the past 10 years, American capitalism has produced 20 million new jobs. The productive dynamism of capitalism is truly a wonder to behold.

But economic growth alone is not enough. Growth alone does not translate into economic security for the middle class and the less skilled. Growth alone does nothing to reverse the social decay afflicting communities across America.

This reality is transforming the political debate — and shifting everything leftward. Among conservatives there are now a bevy of thinkers who are trying to find ways to use government to reduce inequality, promote work and restore community.

For example, in the lead essay of the conservative journal National Affairs, Abby M. McCloskey notes that the family you are born into and the neighborhood you live in have a much stronger influence on your socioeconomic outcome than any other factors. Her essay is an outstanding compendium of proposals designed to strengthen family and neighborhood.

Pell grants could be used to pay for vocational and apprenticeship training and not just for college. The federal government could support a voluntary national service program by paying people, once in their lifetime, to work for a year at a local nonprofit. The tax code could be tweaked so that people with no income tax liability could receive a cash credit for making charitable donations.

These proposals are activist but humble. It’s not the federal government centrally deciding how to remake your community. It’s giving communities and people the resources to take responsibility and assume power for themselves. . . . “

Source: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/11/opinion...

The President And Women In White Have Paid Leave In Common

Abby McCloskey, National Review Online, February 11, 2019

“The Democrat women in white didn’t clap for rising wages or faster economic growth. They didn’t clap for a protecting a baby who could otherwise survive outside of the womb. They were hesitant to clap even for rescuing women from sex-trafficking rings. But they along with Speaker Pelosi joined Republicans in clapping heartily for paid family leave.

Paid leave is perhaps the only Trump campaign promise that has widespread bipartisan support and remains at the forefront of the administration’s agenda. Paid leave has the full attention of the first daughter, one of the president’s closest advisors, and a thick stack of evidence to support its significant benefits — from reduced infant mortality, increased breastfeeding, higher wages and workforce participation for new mothers, and reduced reliance on food stamps and welfare programs.

In an unholy alliance, paid parental leave enjoys support from some of the most liberal governors in the country to the most ardent of pro-life groups. And it’s an area where both the private sector and government have failed to pick of up the ball. Only 15 percent of employees have access to a paid family-leave policy, and the U.S. is the only major economy that doesn’t protect the first few weeks of an infant’s life by partially supplementing a parent’s lost wages to stay home.”

Source: https://www.nationalreview.com/corner/the-...

The immigration fight is moving from Washington spectacle to long-term damage

Abby McCloskey, Dallas Morning News, January 13, 2019

“The shutdown has shown in clear terms that the circus isn't just confined to entertainment; it has real impacts on real people. In the immediate term, there are hundreds of thousands of people who will go without paychecks. National parks have been vandalized. Food has gone uninspected. In the long run, we can expect further erosion of trust in our institutions and worrying growth of executive power. “

Source: https://www.dallasnews.com/opinion/comment...

Beyond Growth

Abby McCloskey, National Affairs, Winter 2019

“The efforts of the Trump administration and congressional Republicans to boost economic growth by reducing taxes and easing regulatory burdens have met with meaningful success over the past two years. But they have also shown that growth alone — however beneficial, however necessary — is unlikely to address some of the biggest challenges that the American economy faces in the 21st century. As Republicans tout the growing economy and low unemployment rate, their rhetoric has become disconnected from the experiences of too many Americans. In the coming years, conservatives would do well to reach beyond a growth-only agenda and work to build an economy that is dynamic, inclusive, and sustainable.”

Source: https://www.nationalaffairs.com/publicatio...

Both sides won, both sides feel emboldened. That's not good.

Abby McCloskey, The Dallas Morning News, November 7, 2018

“You can almost hear the collective sigh of relief that it's over. The campaign yard signs soon to be replaced by holiday decorations. There's so much not to like about politics these days — the toxicity, the divisiveness.

For those into politics, there was victory for everyone in the 2018 midterms, a candle of hope for the political future depending on which side you fall.

Democrats are surely happy to have taken the House, ushering in the return of Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Democrat leadership to key committees. For liberals, Tuesday was a resounding referendum on President Donald Trump's excesses from the body of Congress that most closely represents how the majority of Americans feel. Finally, a check on the wayward president.

Republicans are surely happy to have kept the Senate, holding off Democrats in some of the highest-profile races in the country, including Texas, with Democrat Beto O'Rourke losing to Republican Ted Cruz. For Republicans, their dominance in the Senate is an endorsement of Trump, whose family actively campaigned for so many of these senators; a wide-open runway to continue the conservative remaking of the judiciary and to protect the president from the liberal assault. "Tremendous success tonight. Thank you all," tweeted the president.

Both sides are emboldened. And yet zooming out, little has actually changed. The status quo of congressional inaction is likely to continue. . . . “ 

Source: https://www.dallasnews.com/opinion/comment...

How Does Your Faith Impact Your Views On Economic Policy?

Abby McCloskey, Southern Methodist University, The O’Neil Center for Global Markets And Freedom, October 25, 2018

“I want to start by thanking the O’Neil Center for pulling together this conference. It’s a privilege to be part of. It is so refreshing that in the middle of tribalism and partisanship across the country to go back to the basics of faith, flourishing, and public policy.

I’ll divide my remarks into three parts: 1) The first is my faith foundation and how it informs my views about economic policy, 2) The second is our current economic reality, 3) And the third is a set of policies that I believe would be helpful going forward. . . ” 

A New Economic Agenda For Conservatives

Abby McCloskey, Gen Next, September 25, 2018

Tonight, I want to propose a new economic agenda for conservatives.  There are three big points I want to discuss:

1.     The Trump Administration has been good for growth. It’s not just what they’ve inherited; it’s what they have done.

2.     Economic growth is insufficient to address some of the major economic challenges we face in the 21st century economy: the crisis of work, the crisis of community, and the crisis of entitlement spending.

3.     We need to move beyond a growth only agenda. The country needs policies that get to the heart of some of these big challenges that address them from a uniquely conservative perspective. We need an economy that’s not just growing, but that’s inclusive and sustainable as well.  We will talk about what some of those policies might be.

So let’s get started:

Rubio Moves the Ball Forward on Paid Family Leave

Abby McCloskey, National Review, September 4, 2018

"Today’s political environment makes entitlement reform — however necessary — very challenging. Given that context, Rubio’s proposal has significant upsides for Republicans wanting a paid-parental-leave program absent any other new tax or spending changes and should be given serious consideration. At a minimum, it advances the conversation on paid leave and represents increasing bipartisan consensus that there’s a role for the government to play in helping new parents at a critical moment in their lives. That’s an enormous, and welcome, step forward for millions of Americans."



Source: https://www.nationalreview.com/2018/09/mar...

Microsoft to business partners: If you want to work with us, offer paid family leave

Danielle Paquette, The Washington Post, August 30, 2018

"Abby McCloskey, a conservative economist who has studied the issue, said Microsoft is sending the message that paid family leave should be a core worker benefit and not just a perk to lure top talent.

“This is a big change from how paid family leave has been viewed in the past,” she said. “There’s a cultural shift occurring as more employers offer paid leave, which is the good news.”

Source: https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/ec...

The Roots of Economic Opportunity Are Local -- In Our Homes, Work, and Communities

Abby McCloskey, The George Bush Presidential Center, The Catalyst, Summer 2018

"Traditional places of support and connection – family, work, and neighborhoods – have weakened in many parts of the country, often to considerable consequence. Indeed, some of the biggest challenges our country faces – from stagnant economic opportunity to the opioid crisis to rising mortality rates and political polarization – can find their roots in the breakdown of family, work, and community, our connection to each other." 


Source: https://www.bushcenter.org/catalyst/your-t...

Our Perpetual Paid Leave Dilemma

Alice B. Lloyd, Weekly Standard, July 11, 2018

"Rejecting new ideas for a persistent problem technically doesn’t help working families either. “On the Left, there's a strong reluctance to separate paid parental leave from family and medical leave,” noted prominent paid-leave proponent and political consultant Abby McCloskey in an email to TWS before the hearing.

She’d anticipated today’s stalemate: “I agree that work should be done on family and medical leave, but there's much more momentum on parental leave and a strong fact base to support it,” McCloskey added, pointing to a body of research that supports the need for paid parental leave—including the correlation between decreased neonatal mortality and additional weeks’ paid leave."

Source: https://www.weeklystandard.com/alice-b-llo...

Paid Parental Leave: Good for Kids

Abby McCloskey, National Review, June 12, 2018

"Paid parental leave is often discussed in terms of parents. It helps working mothers stay more attached to the labor force and boosts their future wages. It reduces families’ reliance on government benefits, such as food stamps. It allows fathers to spend more time with young children and share in the child-rearing.

But this leaves out the reason paid leave exists in the first place: There’s a new baby in the family. And this baby would benefit greatly from having a parent (or both parents) around. On this, the research is clear . . . "

Source: https://www.nationalreview.com/2018/06/pai...

The Benefits of a Paid Parental Leave Policy

Abby McCloskey & Aparna Mathur, The Washington Post, April 4, 2018

"In his April 1 op-ed, “Who’ll pay for paid family leave,” George F. Will argued against a federal paid parental-leave policy. His main critique was that it would add to our unsustainable debt trajectory, a concern that we share. But our $20 trillion in federal debt is being driven by Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security and the interest payments to sustain them, not a paid parental-leave policy.

Paid-leave policies proposed by Republicans cost less than one half of 1 percent of what we spent on entitlements last year. Entitlement reform alone will fix the nation’s debt trajectory.

Mr. Will argued that a paid parental-leave program would truncate state experience. The federal government can learn what has worked from long-running state examples and implement best practices. For example, there has been no evident decrease in employee pay or increase in employer burden from a public paid-leave policy. This is probably because state policies are limited. Costs would grow as the size of the policy increased.

While liberals have understated the costs, conservatives need not ignore the benefits, including higher wages for new mothers, less welfare dependency and improved health. Many families, including the vast majority of low-income families, do not have access to paid-leave policies.

The benefits of a limited paid parental-leave policy outweigh the costs and fill a critical gap in the safety net. The majority of Americans agree. It’s time to consider what types of policies would be most effective instead of swatting down new policies outright.  

Abby McCloskey, Dallas

Aparna Mathur, Washington

The writers are members of the
American Enterprise Institute-Brookings
Working Group on Paid Family and Medical Leave.


Source: https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/th...

A Longer Response To George Will

Abby McCloskey and Aparna Mathur, AEI, April 5, 2018

"Half of Americans do not have $400 they could spend in an emergency, according to the Federal Reserve, let alone go weeks without a paycheck. And it’s not just about the costs of having the baby. It is about the ability to take that time off to have a baby, to recuperate and to look after the needs of the child, and to have a job when they would like to go back to work. While that is obviously common sense, it is also obviously much harder for a poor family to save up enough resources for such occasions. A social insurance approach — such as that we recommended in our report — that allows such costs to be shared across families may be more sensible in this regard."


Source: https://www.aei.org/publication/a-longer-r...