Parents Shouldn’t Work – It’s a Hardship

Picture of Congress Woman Krysten Sinema

A couple of Congressional geniuses Democrat Krysten Sinema of Arizona and New York’s Republican John Katko introduced H.R. 2533 – Working Parents Flexibility Act of 2017. The “Act” is a nonpartisan attempt to relieve some of the financial pain of starting a family. The legislation allows individuals and employers pretax contributions to a predefined “Parental Leave Savings Account” which would be used at an undisclosed future date.

Earnings from the account aren’t taxed and can be rolled if not used with limitations. And, any saved earnings can only be used during the first year of parenting. The goal is for working new parents to save and have enough funds to cover expenses if long stints from work are desired. There would be limited provisions requiring employers to hold jobs, if an employee can be in two locations at the same time or can teleport in seconds between work and home then their job would be spared.

The proposed legislation is a good sentiment. However, with decades of flat wages and rising expenses only top earners will benefit thus creating a new tax loophole for the rich. Because of growing income inequality many organizations like the Economic Policy Institute are working to reduce the growing divide with initiatives like “Raising America’s Pay”.

The Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta (FRBA) tracks nominal wage growth dating back to the late nineties. FRBA’s website shows earnings have been relatively flat since the great recession. Nominal wages are wages adjusted for inflation. In a press conference the two Congressional members said “We wanted to stick a finger in the faces of the middle and poor classes. They should know their place, don’t have kids and stop contaminating the planet with poor offspring.”

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