By Seth Grossman, Political Columnist
??? Last year, Democrat Governor Jon Corzine and Republican Senator Nick Asselta supported a plan to give every employee in the state 10 weeks off with pay each year as “Paid Family Leave”.?? Republican Steve Lonegan and many small business groups stopped them with effective radio and letter campaigns.
??? But last January, Gloucester Democrat Senator Stephen Sweeney (also treasurer and business agent of Ironworkers Local 399) introduced a bill to give everyone 6 weeks of Paid Family Leave.?? This time, there was little opposition.?? Most folks were too busy with Corzine’s $38 billion borrowing and 800% toll hike scheme.?? The plan is up for a vote this week.
??? As NJ Senate Bill 786 and Assembly Bill 2080 are now posted (www.njleg.state.nj.us/) “Paid Family Leave” in NJ will work like this.?? Starting next year, the state will take another $30 a year out of everybody’s pay.?? Every employee will then be “entitled” to 6 weeks off with pay each year (up to $3,300) to spend time with any child in his family within 12 months of birth or adoption, or to care for any “family member” who has a “serious health condition”.
???? Any “physician, dentist, optometrist, podiatrist, psychologist, advanced practice nurse, or chiropractor” decides what is a “serious health condition”.
??? A “family member” includes the “father, mother, mother-in-law, father-in-law, grandparents, grandchildren, child, foster child, sister, brother, or “any relatives . . . residing in the household” of the employee or his or her spouse, or domestic or civil union partner.
??? According to my arithmetic, a $30 per year deduction from every NJ employee pays for the program if only one employee out of 110 takes time off during any year.?? But almost everyone gets sick sometime.?? At first, just the usual goof-offs will take the leave whenever work gets boring or difficult.?? But soon, everyone will feel like a sucker if they don’t take it.
??? If one in ten employees takes the time off in a year, the state will collect $300, and pay out $3,300 for every ten employees – a shortfall of $3,000.?? Multiply that by New Jersey’s 3.6 million employees, and you are spending another billion dollars.?? This is the same as putting the sales tax up to 8%.
??? Who will pay that money??? I and every employer in New Jersey!?? Every three months, we already pay roughly 5% of our payroll to a special unemployment and disability fund.?? (Our employees also pay 1% of their salaries.)?? But whenever the state pays out more than it takes in (which is every year), we also pay our share of that shortfall.
??? For a small employer like me, this is usually a nuisance of about $100.?? But when Paid Family Leave starts racking up billion dollar deficits, it will be a crushing burden.?? Since all public school and government employees can also take Paid Family Leave in addition to all but two weeks of their generous paid sick and vacation time, state, local, and school taxes will be raised to pay for this.
??? Besides the direct cost, Paid Family Leave will also make a mess of every shop and office.?? Every time someone takes 6 weeks off for paid family leave, a replacement must be hired and trained, or everyone else must work extra.?? When the regular employee comes back, the replacement must be fired, even if he or she is doing a better job.?? If a goof-off who took family leave gets fired for any reason, he will claim to be a victim of retaliation.?? Lawyers like me will make a fortune.
???? But what about that working mom who needs paid family leave to be home with her sick kid??? Forty years ago, this was not a problem.?? One working parent could comfortably support most families.?? Mom could afford 52 weeks of unpaid family leave every year.???
??? But for the last 40 years, bad laws with good intentions, like Paid Family Leave, made taxes, houses, medical care, and insurance so expensive, that two parents now have to work all the time to make ends meet.
??? Instead of making government more complicated, and more expensive, we should get rid of the government programs and taxes that make everything so expensive these days.
??? Take the time to find out how Democrat Senators Jim Whelan and Jeff Van Drew, and Assemblymen Nelson Albano, and Matt Milam, and Republican Assemblymen Vince Polistina and John Amodeo vote this year.?? And reward or punish them accordingly in the elections next year.
For more information, visit www.libertyandprosperity.org or contact Somers Point attorney, Liberty and Prosperity?Executive Director?and founder Seth Grossman at firstname.lastname@example.org or 609-927-7333.??? Seth Grossman hosts a two way talk radio program every Saturday from 8am – 9am on WVLT Vineland, 92.1 FM.