Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Clinton's 'Family Medical Leave Act': Leave it


I remember when the 1993 "The Family Medical Leave Act" was passed. Up until then, as a full time salaried engineer I could take time off here and there when I needed it and make it up later in the week. My employer worked with the employees and as long as the we worked our 40 hours for the week, there was no issue. Of course if I had a real emergency I could take time off as needed. Most employers are willing to work with good workers to accomodate their personal needs, as long as the job still gets done.

Enter Clinton's 'Family Leave Act'. Suddenly any time taken off was now 'without pay'. Thanks, Bill and Hillary. That's a giant step backward. What good is time off without pay if your budget is stretched to the limit now? Who can afford to lose 12 weeks of pay in a year?

Flash forward to 2006. Now Hillary and friends are proposing to extend Family Leave not only for personal reasons, but just about any old thing that comes up, and WITH PAY no less. (Hillary Clinton: Expand Family Leave Act)

Even more absurd. People will be lining up for 'free money and time off too!'

What are we, French?

I have a friend who thinks the 12 weeks of 'Family Leave' off is a mandated free vacation and has taken all 12 weeks of it every year since 1993. She has a mother who she says she's caring for (although the mother lives on her own and takes perfectly good care of herself). I expect there are many of those '50 million' people Hillary is touting who have also abused the privilege.

If Hillary and the rest of those pinheads in Washington had any real notion of making our lives better they would lower taxes and work harder to get OUT of our lives, not strive to get ever more entwined IN our lives. You simply can't keep squeezing the producers with higher and higher taxes for more and more social projects like this. Higher taxes just raise prices of all goods and services. Who do you think pays for those tax increases? You do! Who do you think is ultimately going to pay for someone who takes off 12 weeks of paid leave? You are!

If the owner of a car dealership or a grocery store, or any business has to pay higher taxes, or hire more people just to cover all the empty 12 week slots of other employees, they're just going to pass that cost increase along to you in the cost of their products and services. So now you have to work even more to pay for the same things you bought last year. The cycle is endless. (Remember, some 40 cents of a gallon of gas is TAXES!)

Even by Hillary's own estimate, the Family Leave Act benefitted only 50 million people (Sen Dodd says 35 million). But there are some 300 million people in this country. So the other 250 million or so now have to work harder and pay even MORE taxes to pay for absurd behavior like my friend who wants to take a week off every month, or take a 3 month 'vacation' (which she has done).

I'm sick and tired of watching the socialists try to engulf us in government 'benefit' programs like this that are directed at those who produce the least. If taxes were lowered, and subsequently consumer prices were lowered as a result, many families would not be forced to have two incomes in order to live. As it is over HALF of the second income goes to taxes and tax-inflated prices! Lower taxes and one parent could stay home. Imagine that!

My employer was willing to work with me when I needed time off because I was a good worker, I was reliable and I was good at what I did. I respected him and he respected me and we worked together. My wife and I raised four kids while both working fulltime career jobs. We attended school affairs, handled doctor appointments and even dealt with sick kids, all without the 'benefit' of the 1993 Family Medical Leave Act. They all grew up, got married and have successfully made their way in the world. I know it can be done. If government would get out of our lives and stop trying to 'fix' everything (paid for with taxpayer dollars), we'd all be a lot better off.

Frankly, Hillary, I'd like to tell you where you can 'Leave' your Family Act.


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