Paid family leave is another predictable click of government’s leftward-moving ratchet. Twenty-five years ago, Washington made many workers eligible for 12 weeks of unpaid leave, all but guaranteeing that merely “many,” and the absence of pay, would come to seem retrograde. The current administration speaks of six weeks of paid leave. Democrats fancy 12. A likely compromise? Eighteen.
But whatever the length of, and whatever the financial support for, the paid family leave that Washington will provide or mandate, later iterations will expand both, as well as the percentage of workers’ current wages that must be provided. So, paid family leave, which will arrive in an era of trillion-dollar deficits, will demonstrate that limited-government conservatism has become a persuasion without a party.