Republicans Sabotage Parents…..Again

Kittens –

I am seeing red and I can barely contain myself. Once again, the party that claims to stand for family values has voted AGAINST families in favor of business. In case there are any Republicans out there reading my blog, shame on you – and especially if you are parents – I hope you think long and hard before casting that vote in November. This is a party and an Administration that sickens me.

On the off chance that you missed the front section of today’s Washington Post Business page, the House took up a bill that would have federally mandated 8 weeks of PAID LEAVE for the birth of a child or an adoption. Note – the inclusion of the adoption is equally as important.

I know that I should be happy that it wasn’t killed all together but that it was cut from 8 weeks to 4 weeks.

All KT readers should first give a shout out to Rep. Carolyn Maloney from NY who has fought for paid leave for the past 8 years. She took the high road in the Post’s piece and managed to sound positive and upbeat that SOMETHING is moving forward on this front – as embarrassing at it is that we are the only industrialized nation in the world that doesn’t offer parents paid leave.

But really, it’s the Republicans that we parents – every single one of us – should have a bone to pick with. If we cannot rely upon our Federal Government to occasionally set the protocol and force businesses to make positive decisions on behalf of families – then how can we expect businesses to do it on their own? Sure, some are – but most are not. And until the Federal Government steps forward and is the leader – then we will remain woefully behind and in the Dark Ages when it comes to advocating the rights of working parents in this country. Before I even remind everyone that for women birthing a child, our uterus has not even yet returned back to its normal size by four god damn weeks post partum.

And yet, yet, the party of family values, claims that in this economic downturn, now is not the time to afford people more paid time off. It would, in fact, be setting the WRONG example for anyone paying attention, and according to the good old hideous and Cave Manish Bush Administration, federal employees are already given enough vacation, so why would they need more?

Yes Mr. President, tell us, why would a new mother who has just endured 10 months of pregnancy and the ordeal of giving birth, need to be home AT ALL with her child? How dare she want ANY paid time off!

Women today – we are so f’ing lazy and greedy, aren’t we?

And so, this man who is authorizing spending what – like one billion dollars A DAY – on the war in Iraq that we entered under false pretenses, and thousands of families have lost their soldiers over – yet he doesn’t want the federal government to eat the $95 million in the first year – that it would cost – to authorize 6 weeks of paid paternity leave, as estimated back in 2000 when they last talked about this.

And so 8 years have passed since they last talked about this, 8 horrible years of Republican regime, we have MOVED FORWARD 8 years in time – and yet – we have MOVED BACKWARDS even further than we were 8 years ago – from considering 6 weeks of paid time off – which was rejected – to now 4 weeks of paid time off.

You better believe I’ll be paying careful attention to when this legislation comes up to the House floor for a vote.

And again – why would you vote Republican?  Shame shame shame.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/04/15/AR2008041502979_2.html

20 Responses to Republicans Sabotage Parents…..Again
  1. DC22008
    April 17, 2008 | 3:05 pm

    Shame on you for not understanding the true nature of family values. Family values do not include staying home for 8 weeks and then outsourcing the care of your child to a complete stranger. Family values do not include having two full-time working parents selfishly choose to continue their lives as they were before choosing to bring a child into the world. Family values do not include selfishly clinging to the excuse that it is “necessary” for both parents to work full-time so that they can continue to enjoy full professional fulfillment or a cushier lifestyle. Family values involve embracing whatever sacrifices are necessary for one parent to stay home full-time to care for his or her child and to raise that child with love. Family values involve instilling morals and values in one’s child and teaching that child from the very beginning that he or she is the most important part of his or her parents’ life. Family values do not include teaching a child that he or she is most important only if work permits, or only if the federal government mandates a slightly longer period of time of undivided attention to that child. You have a flawed understanding of what values are and who should be responsible for the care of your child and for that I feel sorry for you.

  2. kittytime
    April 17, 2008 | 3:47 pm

    Dear DC22008:
    Thank you for your response and thoughts. This is why America is a great place – we all get our own opinions. I’m not sure if you’ve taken stock with the reality of our country today, however, and have recognized that very few families can afford to not have two working parents – no matter how difficult it might be for them, emotionally, to leave their child during the day.

    It’s nice that your situation affords you the ability to stay home full-time. It’s unfortunate that you feel so anti-women, and so anti-parents that you would believe that dual working households are “outsourcing” the care of their children. Or somehow placing their careers on a higher pedestal than their children.

    I hope you’re appreciative that you have a choice and can stay home. Most of us don’t have that.

    Best of luck to you.
    OH – and the Republicans still suck.

    KT

  3. Kitchen Witch
    April 17, 2008 | 4:04 pm

    Dear DC22008, you do like to tow that party line don’t you? Good for you. I wouldn’t want a parent with their own original thought raising the future.

  4. Annie
    April 17, 2008 | 4:10 pm

    Dear DC22008

    I just don’t understand, why would you be against mandatory paid leave? If you read the rest of Kitty’s blog you would understand that she understands family values!! All I know is I’m sure you kid is off somewhere smoking pot cause you seem like a mom who is a pain in the ass and your kids are rebelling against you.
    Good LUCK with your boring life!

    xoxox

  5. bite me DC22008
    April 17, 2008 | 4:28 pm

    If your husband told you to jump off a bridge, would you?

    Where do you shop – Whole Foods? Okay, great. Let’s say your cashier is a woman. That woman MUST work. It isn’t about her having nicer clothes or a “cushier” lifestyle. She’s doing her family right by going to work everyday. Do you think that woman should have to come back to work immediately after she gives birth? Do you think she should have to wear double pads and bleed all day from afterbirth while she rings you up – all so she can get a paycheck? Not to mention the pain of having to leave a newborn. Not to mention that she doesn’t get the right to take a break to pump. Or a private place to pump. That is, if she can even afford to pump. AND ALL OF THIS TO PUT FOOD ON THE TABLE. SHE DESERVES PAID LEAVE. DO YOU HATE OTHER WOMEN? YOUR family values are NOT MINE. Bite me.

  6. DC22008
    April 17, 2008 | 4:46 pm

    KT,
    Thank you for your comments, as well. You write a witty and interesting blog and I certainly encourage you to have your own opinion–it’s not only America, it’s YOUR blog. Apparently some of your other readers are not quite as open-minded as you.

    I must point out some inaccuracies in your response to me, however. First, I did not make a single anti-woman or anti-parent statement. I know families where the men stay home and those where the women stay home and they both work well.

    Second, I am pro-parent, but I support full-time attention to one’s child. For some families, where both parents are hourly-paid shift workers, one income would make life extremely difficult, if not impossible. What is disturbing to me, however, are the families that earn healthy salaries, shell out many thousands of dollars on childcare to allow them to work, and then claim it is not a choice.

    This is America, and parents are welcome to make that choice, but parents should own up to that fact and not take defeatist attitudes about their choices. For some, parents may feel that working helps them be better parents based on the fulfillment they receive from working. For others, they may feel that providing comforts and luxuries for their children is more important than the parents’ time. In either case, a parent is welcome to make that decision, but many of these parents convince themselves that both incomes are “necessary” when it is actually a choice.

    In your response, you express your envy for a situation that financially allows for both parents to stay home, but for those parents who spend thousands of dollars per year on fashion, live in nice houses, and have bountifully stocked refrigerators, I suggest that some of these parents need to own up to the fact that both incomes are not necessary but rather, are a choice. Would that choice make life less comfortable? Sure. Might these parents be forced to shop at Target rather than Nordstrom? Perhaps. But there is a tremendous difference between wants and needs and most of what are expressed as “needs” are truly wants. Choosing to be more comfortable is a choice that is fine to make, but a choice nonetheless.

  7. kittytime
    April 17, 2008 | 4:53 pm

    DC 22008:

    What a wonderful surprise to get a response from you. And one that seems like it’s coming from a completely different person.

    What puzzles me is this – my entry was not about the decisions people make regarding working or staying home – my entry was about how the United States is the only developed country, some might argue the world’s superpower, and yet – we do not offer women MANDATED and PAID leave after the birth or adoption of a child.

    This is not about anything other than this egregious offense against ALL FAMILIES – nothing more, nothing less.

    So again – I’d be interested in your reponse as to how you can support the fact that we are in the company of countries like Swaziland when it comes to paid maternity leave.

    How can you, I’m presuming a parent, believe that is good policy and something that we should just roll over and accept?
    You haven’t yet responded to the issue at hand in this specific blog entry.

    Let’s get back on message here because to attack the choices people make once they’ve had a child – is irrelevant unless you personally are aware of all of the various things they are dealing with – and I’m pretty sure you don’t.

    KT

  8. DC22008
    April 17, 2008 | 5:13 pm

    First, my original posts were on-point. I took issue with your characterization of “family values” as excluding a parent who stays at home.

    Second, a bill like this would cost the jobs of the same women who you claim to support. By interfering with private industry and requiring companies to provide 8 weeks paid leave, jobs would be eliminated in the thousands, so that companies could stay afloat while providing these benefits. It’s short-sighted to think that the status quo would be maintained when burdening businesses, small and large, with a requirement like this one. Voting against this bill was not anti-woman, it was anti-governmental-interference and it will ultimately protect jobs for mothers.

    Finally, do you truly believe companies that do not wish to provide paid leave for their employees would not find ways around paying these benefits? Wal-mart is notorious for limiting employees’ hours to avoid paying any benefits. With an 8-week paid leave policy mandated, do you not think that the same companies who currently do not want to provide leave would all of a sudden provide it without trying to figure out the loopholes? The same cashier at Whole Foods who the commenter above (with the delightful name) empathizes with would have her job eliminated altogether just as soon as the company found a way around the policy. Again, this would be harmful to women and children in the long run.

  9. kittytime
    April 17, 2008 | 5:19 pm

    DC 22008 –

    Out of curiosity – have you ever had a child?

    KT

  10. Asti
    April 17, 2008 | 5:35 pm

    DC22008 you are just digging yourself in a whole deeper and deeper, as you clearly demonstrate failure to understand the many different complexities that this issue has.

    A Republican and mother of a 3 month old, I recently had to make the hard decision to go back to work and leave my baby with a provider at home. Contrary to your belief, my decision was not based on being able to shop at Nordstrom’s vs Target. What you fail to take into consideration is that it is not all about incomes, but other financial benefits that come into play, for example health insurance. My employer provides comprehensive health insurance whereas my husband’s does not. I receive either free or discounts on insurance, mortgages, etc through my employer on my house, car, etc. Which by the way is a very modest house located in one of DC’s ‘hoods, which I am sure neither you nor your high horse would ever step foot in. It was about contributing to my retirement, not so my husband and I can travel the world when we turn 65, but to have money to provide for our healthcare when we retire…not sure if you aware of how expensive health care will be when you retire if things don’t change from how they are now. So the decision to go back to work was not so I could live that cushier life that you speak of, but to take advantage of certain benefits I receive from my employer so that my family can live a modest life.

  11. mother of one half asian kid
    April 17, 2008 | 6:56 pm

    Yes, lets get back to the debate — paid maternity leave.

    I work b/c I dont want to be left high and dry if my marriage busts up. I could stay home if I wanted to but I wouldnt feel protected financially if things went sour. I will only stop working if and when I am protected financially.

    What I really want to tell everyone is stop having kids if you can’t afford them.

  12. ABP
    April 17, 2008 | 8:28 pm

    DC22008, How could you be so judgmental? Mothers need to stick together and not judge. Just because someone stays home full time with their child does not necessarily make them a better parent. If you look around… there are great parents and there are bad parents – it does not depend on whether or not they work or stay home full time. As we all have been saying -it comes down to values.

    Regarding your comments about how companies find ways around paying these type of leave benefits….the trend is turning and companies are realizing that the work/life needs of their employees are very real and, by instituting family friendly programs, companies increase production and lessen attrition. But corporate America still has a ways to go.

    As you said, Wal-mart is notorious for limiting employees’ hours to avoid paying any benefits. Instead of taking the time to protest against someone who is urging our government to take a step forward toward the rights of working parents in this country – you should take the time instead to lobby against companies who treat their employees unfairly.

    I am surprised that a legitimate cause like maternity leave would get so much debate. We are all in this fight together trying to create a better world for our children – lets make love not war!

  13. Warren Buffet
    April 18, 2008 | 12:46 am

    Not all businesses scheme to screw their employees on benefits. Some actually adapt or shift workloads when employees are on vacation or are on maternity leave. Your comment that businesses will fold because of this proposed time off is pure commedy to someone like me. You must have a narrow view of the world, one that usually comes from working in government policy for much too long.

  14. DC22008
    April 18, 2008 | 1:16 am

    Comedy, huh? So, if I have a business with 5 full-time employees and 1 leaves for 8 weeks, in order to continue operating at the same level, I have two options: (1) cycle the other 4 through overtime shifts to cover the employee who is out, or (2) hire someone else. In either case, on the mandatory paid leave policy, I’m still paying at least the equivalent of 6 employees, which will increase my payroll costs by a minimum of 20%.

    To those of you who have commented about how out of touch I am, I suggest that you are the ones with myopic views of the country. You all are likely highly educated, well-trained, and have unique skills. For you all, “the trend is turning and companies are realizing that the work/life needs of their employees are very real.” Your jobs will be there when you return from leave and you will likely not be pressured out because you are not easily replaceable. For the average unskilled or minimally skilled shift worker, she does not enjoy the same job security and will be hurt most by this policy.

  15. DC22008
    April 18, 2008 | 1:18 am

    Oh and for the record, I have a business degree, business experience, and have never worked in government or the world of policy.

  16. but have you ever had a kid DC22008?
    April 18, 2008 | 1:54 pm

    DC 22008 – you never answered the question. Are you a parent? You sure are choosy with your answers. Having a biz degree means nada. We all know that more goes into running a great company than just an MBA. Your biz degree and experience don’t mean poop once you become a parent. You’re on the defensive b/c you know you’re wrong. As KT said – shame, shame, shame.

  17. ABP
    April 18, 2008 | 3:22 pm

    As I pointed out, corporate America still has a ways to go. As someone with a business degree, you should then know that companies are constantly forced to adapt to new laws and market shifts that force them to change operating procedures. They have to forecast and prepare for these changes in order to stay profitable. Why would paid maternity leave be any different compared to other more burdensome regulations? Since 2004, the state of CA offers paid maternity leave for up to six weeks. Obviously, companies there have been able to adapt. Yes – I too would like to know whether or not you are a parent?

  18. ES
    April 18, 2008 | 3:24 pm

    Dear DC22008,

    How dare you judge! Do you walk in my shoes? Do you know my life? Generalizations about stay at home moms vs working moms is the exact reason this topic is so contentious. Do I work full time, yes. Do I wish I could have the financial ability to stay at home and raise my child, sure I do. The fact of the matter is that it’s not an option for my family.

    In case you hadn’t realized, we live in one of the most expensive areas in the country. Why, you ask? Because that’s where the jobs are, idiot! My husband and I had long discussions about me OR him staying home before my son was born. The fact was – we coulnd’t afford it. And before you get on your fracking high horse again and talk about Nordstrom’s vs. Target and doing without, I live in a suburban neighborhood and am patently middle class living paycheck to paycheck. Do I drool over Manolo’s or Jimmy Choo’s – yes of course I do, but instead I buy diapers and make my own baby food. Yes, DC2208, I MAKE my own baby food and my kid wears hand me downs. Oh, I also do volunteer work, attend my local church AND have playdates with stay at home moms. I like the fact that he will grow up in a loving and nurturing environment. He will respect his mother for being a strong and hard working woman who loves him most in the world. Will he be scarred because I work full time? No, he won’t. Is that enough “family values” for you?

    As to your point about about one parent staying home to provide said “family values” – I know many stay at home parents whose children do not have a single ounce of family values. Those are the things that you TEACH your children as they grow up. It has nothing to do with whether a parent OR a caregiver is with your child. Demoralizing working mothers is not an acceptable approach to address how the values of children today are diminishing. The fact of the matter is that parents are ultimately responsible for how their children turn out. It is your responsibility as a parent to show your child how to be a good person. Being a good role model and instilling values in your child is your responsibility. Those caregivers that you disdain reinforce the teachings that are instilled by parents.

    I hope that you can get off of your high horse and revisit reality. The two income families you speak of are not always over privileged and selfish. Nescessity assumes that ones choices are always difficult when managing the family/work connundrum. For some it is not as concrete as a choice – rather a way of life. Should we then tell people to stop having children if they can’t have a parent stay home? Dream on.

    I live in the real world and I’m perfectly happy with the “choices” I’ve made. It sounds to me that you are not. I wish you luck in your endeavor to find your utopia.

    Signed,
    Mommy of One surrounded by a village

    PS – Your utopia is not America – it can’t be with all our selfishly bad “choices”

  19. martha gallagher
    April 22, 2008 | 10:48 am

    I am horrified by this person or persons claiming to be DC22008. You are completely lost to reality. You have no concept of motherhood or parenthood which is ever so clear in almost everything you say. You do not even understand the basis of this discussion. Any decent company recognizes the importance of women these days and should therefore understand some basic biological needs women encounter following a delivery. This has nothing to do with how you raise a child but how to recover from a very difficult physical and emotional change to a women’s body.

  20. E. Michael Schwab
    October 28, 2008 | 7:47 pm

    I wish the Bill would of stayed at 8 weeks, I’m not happy about that, but I vote Republican because I personally can’t endorse abortion, the biggest holocaust in American history. That’s the anti-thesis to family values. Issues like these go beyond the party line into the moral framework of our country, and I am ashamed of both Republican and Democrats who endorse it. I believe strongly in women’s rights and wish all women by their own choice would choose life. Pro-choice Choose Life please.

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