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Paul Ryan and Family Leave

October 25th, 2015 at 07:32 pm

I have to admit I like the fact Paul Ryan admits his hesitation for taking on the speaker of the house job is his family. That he reluctant to give up weekend family time. That he feels time is short. He gets it.

What I don't get is how he could vote against paid family leave for government workers and in general be against paid family leave for all workers if he values family? If his family is important to him, isn't our families important to us?

I am also impressed recently that Microsoft and Google have changed their paid maternity leave. I have met people who adored the paid 20 weeks of leave Microsoft had and now with the 1 year paid leave every woman I've talked to is EXCITED and feels empowered. The idea that a company understands picking between work and family is HARD.

And the truth is Paul Ryan is privileged. That he gets to tell the republican party his family is important and not lose his job. That he can afford to fly back and forth and see his family every weekend.

When I had my first I was back in 12 weeks to finish up work. I worked another 12 weeks before staying home permanently and because of it I was under tremendous pressure with childcare. I used temporary measures and family (my mom and MIL) came back and forth to help. I worked nights while my DH worked days because we knew it was temporary and I couldn't find a daycare for short term. But my 12 weeks were unpaid and I was GRATEFUL to even get that. I had met during my time off women who were going back after 6 or 8 weeks. More than a few quit rather than go back. One teacher went back after 4 weeks because she needed the money.

I didn't think it fair then and I don't think it's fair now. I would say about 20% of the women I met had paid leave and 80% had unpaid. But the 80% were just happy to have anything and those who were paid were thrilled even more.

Can we change our policy? You know the Canadian elections just occurred and they voted into a majority the liberal party. I am curious what will happen. As of right now women and men get up to 1 year paid maternity and paternity leave. They are able to split it between parents or just one. It makes for happier workers I can say because everyone I've met whose got it has been thrilled.

And interesting side aspect is that it allows often new college graduates a chance to get experience because they often get hired on a 1 year contract while a person is on "family leave." It's how my friend Mrs D got her first job out of college and parlayed that into a full time position. Then when she moved she landed another 1 year contract and again parlayed that into a full time position. I wonder if this would help new college graduates in the US if they were able to land 1 year contract positions for "experience"?

I now wonder will Paul Ryan push for paid family leave since he's expressed his desire for his own family time? Does he get it now? Has having children changed him? Does it make him more sympathetic?

6 Responses to “Paul Ryan and Family Leave”

  1. snafu Says:

    Just to be clear, Maternity/Paternity benefits are a part of the . Maximum benefits extend 50 weeks at 60% gross income with benefits capped at about $ 420. . A large percentage of employers 'top up' benefits but those are specific to the individual's contract.

    While we get a plateful of benefits the cost is shared by all, not just those likely to qualify for benefits. Americans mostly shudder if they happen to see our taxation schedules [income, luxury, GST, gas, property etc].

  2. livingalmostlarge Says:

    It's not terrible the income, luxury, GST, gas, property. Depending on where you live in the US you taxes are very similar. I have a friend who moved from Calgary to US (where we lived and met) back to Toronto. She was surprised how expensive child care was in US compared to even Toronto. And taxes were very similar.

  3. livingalmostlarge Says:

    Another person who posted about the costs of the US versus canada is Fabulously Broke (save, spend, splurge) who wrote about moving to the US (Texas). It was more expensive than she expected because of health insurance/health care, etc. In fact I think she posted it. And she said it was HORRIBLY worse when she took a contract in NYC. Thus she moved back to Canada.

  4. snafu Says:

    LAL, sorry my computer is contracting sentences and points fall by the wayside. It doesn't let me edit or fix. aargh.

    I was trying to explain that shared maternity/paternity benefits are income driven as part of the Unemployment benefit program. Employers & employees contribute payroll tax-like, not from employer's payroll.

    Many Canadians are pretty bewildered by resulting vote. Certain segments of the population were determined to dump the Prime Minister whose conservative direction as head of the Conservative Party, was very careful about spending taxpayer's money. Our soon to be sworn in millionaire PM, son of a previous PM who spent wildly on poorly thought out/delivered and who believed his public relations program that put him forward as 'charismatic.' SA participants like me are shaken to our shoes that the population has voted overwhelmingly support to borrow and spend. The 'story' is infrastructure but the results will be 10 years of open pocket environmental study. Those jobs will go to qualified consultants from the USA.

    When you buy your next home I wonder how you'd react realizing you get no tax credit for any interest on your mortgage but add 5% Goods and Service tax.

  5. RRR Says:

    Valuing something and asking either employers or the government to pay for it are two different things. I value eating healthy food but I don't think my employer needs to provide me with a healthy lunch every day. I can be responsible for that on my own.

    It's hard to read you calling somebody else privileged. Your husband made over the Roth IRA limit every year and you stayed home with the kids. That is very privileged.

  6. livingalmostlarge Says:

    Snafu, I think it would not be good. But there are a lot of benefits to many who are supported as they get older in Canada with the old age pension and free medical. I think it might be surprising to many canadian how americans live with "lower" taxes that really aren't lower when you start to work everything out. I only say this because we've know a lot of ex-pats who come and expect a better tax break to find out the US isn't all it cracks up to be.

    RRR, Nope I'm privileged and I don't deny it. We've been blessed. But I certainly don't make Paul Ryan money nor do I have his lifestyle. My DH and I were not blessed like many we know with parents who could give us free college, house down payment, wedding, etc. So it's not like we don't understand what it is to work, save, and scrimp every penny.

    10 years ago we went from making $40k jointly to suddenly making $120k. And it escalated from there. Nor did we always make above the Roth IRA limit but it became that way in our later years. I am not going to apologize for it. But I don't think people who are millionaires get away with saying no paid family leave for poor but rich people get it. Am I part of that 1% we talked about last election? No, but I'd like to be.

    And fwiw, my grandmother lives off the government dole. And it's NOT enough to survive. She get $700/month from social security because my grandfather worked menial jobs and mostly drove a tour bus. So she gets all government benefits and her four kids still shell out more money. I can't imagine a senior citizen trying to make ends meet on $700/month and having no family support. So I can very readily see what it means to live hand to mouth and have very little money. And why the poor struggle so much.

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