The Corner

Politics & Policy

Rubio Pushes Forward on Social Security–Based Parental Leave

The bill is called the Economic Security for New Parents Act; a similar measure is due in the House next month. Essentially, the legislation would allow new parents to take leave from their jobs, and pay them out of their future Social Security benefits. Parents would pay the system back by delaying retirement later on.

According to the one-pager put together by Rubio’s office, the benefit formula is generous enough to allow most parents below the median family income (roughly $70,000) to take two months of leave at more than 70 percent of their pay; some parents with lower incomes would be able to finance leave for more than three months. Spouses would be able to share their benefits, and stay-at-home parents with a sufficient work history (twelve “quarters of coverage” — i.e., three years) could also use it.

As I’ve said before, the core of this idea is brilliant. It addresses the demand for paid leave by making our current entitlement system more flexible, rather than by making it bigger.

The key, of course, is to make sure that the accounting is done correctly and Social Security is actually made whole in the end — a task that the bill punts over to Social Security’s chief actuary, who would determine the correct “benefit ratio” each year. Rubio’s office expects that those receiving the benefit would have to delay retirement about three to six months. I’m looking forward to seeing what the Congressional Budget Office and others think about this setup.

Most Popular

Education

George Packer Gets Mugged by Reality

Few journalists are as respected by, and respectable to, liberals as The Atlantic’s George Packer. The author of The Assassin's Gate (2005), The Unwinding (2013), and a recently published biography of Richard Holbrooke, Our Man, Packer has written for bastions of liberal thought from the New York Times Magazine ... Read More
U.S.

How to Bend the News

This, from ABC, is a nice example of a news organization deliberately bending the truth in order to advance a narrative that it wishes were true but is not: Venerable gun manufacturer Colt says it will stop producing the AR-15, among other rifles, for the consumer market in the wake of many recent mass ... Read More
U.S.

Trump’s Total Culture War

 Donald Trump is waging a nonstop, all-encompassing war against progressive culture, in magnitude analogous to what 19th-century Germans once called a Kulturkampf. As a result, not even former president George W. Bush has incurred the degree of hatred from the left that is now directed at Trump. For most of ... Read More
World

Iran’s Act of War

Last weekend’s drone raid on the Saudi oil fields, along with the Israeli elections, opens a new chapter in Middle Eastern relations. Whether the attack on Saudi oil production, which has temporarily stopped more than half of it, was launched by Iranian-sponsored Yemeni Houthis or by the Iranians themselves is ... Read More