Conservative Labor 'Expert' Wants You to Take Out a Loan to Fund Your Own Paid Leave

Image: Associated Press

In general, conservatives have incredibly dumb ideas on how to best provide paid leave for new parents, like taking money out from your Social Security benefits and fucking over your future self and retirement in the process or, you know, having no policy in place whatsoever and fucking over millions of working parents every single day. But the latest idea out from the Heritage Foundation’s Rachel Greszler may truly be the dumbest yet: just take out a loan!

Greszler shared this incredible thought at a recent panel hosted by the Ethics and Public Policy Center that included speakers from the conservative Heritage Foundation and the American Enterprise Institute. Here’s what Greszler had to say, per the Atlantic:

At one point during the panel discussion, Greszler suggested that instead of relying on the government, Americans seeking to take parental leave could take more initiative by “going to the bank and taking out a loan in your own name.”

“I don’t think banks offer loans for parental leave,” one of her fellow discussants pointed out.

“They don’t now, but maybe they would,” Greszler responded. “Banks offer loans for all types of reasons.”

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“If the private sector doesn’t provide it and we have to go to the government to get it, then you’re relying on the government,” she added. “You’re not relying on yourself.”

Do you want to strangle yourself with your bootstraps yet?

Greszler, who just hates the notion of government actually working to materially improve people’s lives, also promoted the debunked idea that more tax cuts like the one pushed through by the Trump administration would lead to more companies feeling generous and giving their employees more benefits out of the goodness of their hearts. “The more money that you put back in workers’ pockets and in businesses’ revenues, the better able the businesses are to provide paid family leave,” Greszler said. This, of course, is not quite what has happened in the wake of the 2017 tax cuts. (Corporations hoarded the extra money, if you can believe it.)

There was one somewhat reasonable voice on the panel—and that was Aparna Mathur, a resident scholar at the also very conservative American Enterprise Institute who at least acknowledged the lack of paid leave is a problem that needs solving at a larger scale. “We cannot stop the conversation at, ‘There are costs, so let’s forget about it,’” Mathur said, before asking “rhetorically,” in the words of the Atlantic, “What’s the larger goal of conservatives? Is it to encourage human economic opportunity, to encourage human flourishing? Or is it just to minimize the size of government?”

Aparna, you already know the answer, girl!

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Esther Wang

Senior staff writer, Jezebel