Marco Rubio is simply a big-government guy who wants to see big government use its power and resource to pimp for things Marco Rubio likes

Oy: Marco Rubio wants to use Social Security money to pay for government-funded parental leave

By —— Bio and Archives--August 21, 2018

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Oy: Marco Rubio wants to use Social Security money to pay for government-funded parental leave
I’ve been telling you, we dodged a bullet in the Republican primary two years ago. You were worried about nominating Trump on the grounds that he might not be a real conservative?



I was a Rubio fan in the early going. Until he started talking more deeply about economics. He was at his worst in the run-up to the tax cut vote last year, threatening to derail the whole thing unless he got an expansion of the child tax credit that anyone with a hint of economic competence can tell you is terrible policy.

Rubio doesn’t care. He’s more interested in being “pro-family” in his economic stances than in being rational or pro-growth. If that means shoveling government subsidies in the direction of everything that feels pro-family to Rubio, he’s all over it.

Now he’s at it again, and before I tell you what he wants to do, let me ask you a question: What usually happens when Republicans say they want to “take an issue away from the Democrats”? Exactly. It means they want to go ahead and do some liberal thing the Democrats have been wanting to do for years, on the grounds that it will muffle the Democrats, leaving them with nothing to say about the issue besides, “Good job, Republicans!”

How many times has that worked? Zero. So when Rubio decides to make taxpayer funding of parental leave a Republican initiative – using Social Security funds to pay for it, no less – you’re going to get the exact same result. Also, the policy idea itself is abysmal on the merits, which makes it teed up and perfect for Marco Rubio:

He claims his benefit doesn’t expand government or create a new entitlement. But what is expanding government if not taking a benefit financed by private industry and administering it through a government program? Paid leave by definition entitles Americans to a de novo benefit without even an imagined connection to old-age insurance.

Mr. Rubio says leave will pay for itself by delaying retirement benefits, and thus won’t add to the deficit. This is less believable than a presentation about time shares in Miami. Does anyone believe those retirement benefits won’t be restored eventually, at least for the non-affluent? Most Americans having children now won’t retire for at least another 30 years. Social Security is projected to be insolvent in 16 years. Then who pays?

The Mercatus Center notes in a recent paper that Social Security is predicated on benefits earned by working over a lifetime. The Rubio plan would let workers draw on the fund even if they don’t meet the lifetime Social Security requirement of 40 quarters of employment. The Rubio plan says parents of either sex could get paid leave as long as they have some work history, but some of them won’t return to the workforce once they have children.

Some on the right are fine with this because they claim young people aren’t likely to see a dime of Social Security anyway. But eventually an entitlement crisis will arrive and paid leave will be one more benefit politicians have to finance through benefit cuts or—let’s be realistic—higher taxes. So when Mr. Rubio says his plan includes no new taxes, he means no taxes while he’s still around to be held accountable.

Some Republicans will be tempted to back this so they can go out and say they “did something for working families.” Sure. They expanded the entitlement state on the backs of taxpayers while further compromising the long-term viability of Social Security.


By the way, just because the taxpayers pick up the tab for that parent who takes six months off work doesn’t mean this presents no complications for the parent’s employer, who has to deal with the lack of continuity in the employee’s responsibilities. What if the employee handled a particular account with great skill and it’s difficult to find someone else who can do it? What if the account is lost as a result?

Apparently the company has no choice in the matter. Marco Rubio has decided the employee needs time off, and that’s all there is to it.

When Rubio first ran for the Senate from Florida, he was thought to be the conservative alternative to unprincipled opportunist squish Charlie Crist. Maybe that’s how Rubio saw himself too. But he’s certainly not a free-market guy. He’s simply a big-government guy who wants to see big government use its power and resource to pimp for things Marco Rubio likes.

Too bad. It sucks when people disappoint you.


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Dan Calabrese -- Bio and Archives | Comments

Dan Calabrese’s column is distributed by HermanCain.com, which can be found at HermanCain

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