Social Security can’t be a piggy bank for family leave – AEI – American Enterprise Institute: Freedom, Opportunity, Enterprise

30th August 2018 Off By binary
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Senator Marco Rubio has introduced a paid-leave bill that would allow parents to collect Social Security benefits following the arrival of a new child, even if those parents are not retired. The benefits would be used to finance time away from work, and parents collecting them would be required to delay receiving Social Security payments by several months once they reach normal retirement age.

While some on the right, including my colleague Ramesh Ponnuru, are supportive, Rubio is taking heat from many conservatives (including from me). The Florida Republican argues that the bill wouldn’t “expand government,” because it is designed not to increase federal spending over the long term, but merely shifts when spending occurs across a person’s life

I’m not sold that spending won’t go up, but let’s leave that aside. It still seems that the bill would expand government in scope, even if not in scale. There is not currently a federal program for paid parental leave, but there would be if this bill were enacted.

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Some supporters of the bill argue that it would add flexibility to Social Security, not expand it. It’s even been described as a Social Security “reform.” This characterization — reform and flexibility — is appealing to many conservatives. But if this is the goal, then the Rubio bill does not go far enough. I have two suggestions to improve it.

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