Mrs. Clinton brought up the topic in the first Democratic debate and while she seemed to indicate it would be necessary to raise taxes to pay for the program, that may not be the case. The National Journal points out that existing programs in the states are not funded that way and it is as likely as not that future expansion can be funded in a more equitable fashion.
“The three existing state-paid family-leave programs are funded by employee contributions,” Jane Waldfogel, a professor at Columbia University School of Social Work, told National Journal in an email. A proposal in Washington, D.C. to give workers sixteen weeks of paid leave would be funded by employer contributions. “We are just starting to have the conversation of how paid leave should be funded.”
The United States is alone among major industrialized countries without such a policy for workers and that must be remedied. We are actually alone among almost all countries without any form of paid family leave policies. Conservative critics may not like it but there is a way to fund such activity without creating new taxes. The general welfare of the citizenry would benefit from such action and it is good to see New York’s own Senator Kirsten Gillibrand leading the fight.