Senator Rubio Introduces Bill For Paid Family Leave, But It Reduces Social Security To Get It

Senator Marco Rubio appeared on CBS This Morning on Friday and answered questions about new legislation that aims to help parents get paid family leave.

The Economic Security for New Parents Act will give new parents the option to take up to two months of paid leave from work, which is great, but in order to do so people will have to voluntarily reduce their social security benefits in the future.

That means citizens will have to choose between getting temporary help now to care for a new child in exchange for their economic security when they are older. That's a tough pill to swallow.

Senator Rubio says it's not his preferred choice, but it is just one other option for people to choose from, which he says is better than nothing and what is being offered now. He was questioned at length about this.

"If somebody has a better idea (than this) we are all for it. If somebody has a better idea that doesn't raise taxes, we're all open for it, but I can tell you that this is a real problem. Having kids should not be a bankruptcy inducing event, and this is one option that we think is pretty creative to allow people to take their money when they really need it," Rubio said.

Rubio still backs the legislation even though he says it's not perfect because right now under law he says jobs are only required to give 12 weeks of leave, "but they don't have to pay you." He says most people just simply can't afford to do that.

While Rubio is right about that last part, and we agree with him on that, what he fails to mention is that the government doesn't have to do things this way. Yes, it might just be an option and better than nothing, but that argument misses the point.

The real issue is: the federal government can afford to compensate families WITHOUT taking from people's future Social Security benefits.

Just yesterday, Congress approved $616.9 billion for the Pentagons 2019 budget, plus another $69 billion for overseas contingency operations. Put in perspective, the contingency operations were equal to the entire Department of Education's budget.

Despite looking at the overall budget, Rubio is making the claim that a Republican congress has to take away from people's Social Security in order to afford paid family leave? We just don't buy that argument. Not by a mile.