January 20 2015
SOTU: PRESIDENT OBAMA PERPETUATES THE MYTH THAT WOMEN ARE UNDERDOGS IN NEED OF MORE BIG-GOVERNMENT ASSISTANCE
“Once again President Obama doubles-down on the fallacy that American women are a victim class in order to fuel more big-government regulations to ‘help’ them. A theme habitually peddled by this Administration: Government is the answer to everything – from health care and education to the workplace and child care."
WASHINGTON, D.C. – In response to President Barack Obama's sixth State of the Union address Independent Women's Forum Executive Director and co-author of Liberty is No War on Women and Lean Together Sabrina Schaeffer issues the following statement:
“Once again President Obama doubles-down on the fallacy that American women are a victim class in order to fuel more big-government regulations to ‘help’ them. A theme habitually peddled by this Administration: Government is the answer to everything – from health care and education to the workplace and child care.
"The president’s proposed paid leave action, the Healthy Families Act, a plan that would mandate businesses with more than 15 employees to allow workers to accrue paid time off, is far from a cure-all. Sure, it sounds compassionate, after all, all workers - women and men alike - require time away from work to tend to children, aging parents and illness, but there is no such thing as ‘free’ benefits. Government-mandated policies that encroach on businesses – like the Paycheck Fairness Act or the Healthy Families Act– would deliver adverse effects for those they intend to help most. Detrimental to customized employment packages, existing leave programs, and flexible work arrangements, government’s one-size-fits-all mandates would leave some employers with no choice but to cut wages and reduce employment opportunities.
"Moreover, the problem of not having access to paid leave is not as sweeping as the President would have the nation believe. A majority of businesses already offer workers paid leave benefits. The Society of Human Resource Professionals found that 74 percent of companies offer paid sick leave and 82 percent offer paid vacation days.
"Instead of sweeping legislation that would impact all workers, lawmakers should focus on targeted relief to assist those who truly face hardships created by lack of paid leave. Such a targeted relief program could help those most in need without economic disincentives for hiring workers and without taking away the flexibility to negotiate mutually beneficial employment packages.
"It sounds bad to have a job without paid leave – but it sounds worse to tell a woman she doesn’t have a job at all.”
More from Schaeffer in Forbes: Obama’s Renewed Push for Paid Leave is a Raw Deal for Women
Independent Women's Forum works to improve the lives of Americans by increasing the number of women who value free-markets and personal liberty.
Victoria R Coley
Director of Communications
Independent Women's Forum | www.iwf.org
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