Most Americans agree we should have paid leave for taking care of a baby or sick family members, reports the New York Times. They just can’t agree on the details.
The Times explains the results of two Pew Research Center surveys released today, which highlight disagreements over how to fund paid leave:
The most popular idea was a tax credit to employers who offered leave, strongly or somewhat supported by 87 percent of respondents. Next was pretax savings accounts for employees to save for leave, supported by 84 percent.
Most people said a paid leave policy should be available to both sexes: 81 percent of Democrats and 62 percent of Republicans. Opinions about paternity leave illustrate the shift: 82 percent of adults under 30 said new fathers should get it, and 55 percent of those over 65.
Despite agreement about the need for parental leave, Americans’ feelings about gender roles and the size of the government appear to be what’s getting in the way. “The feeling that policies that encourage women to be in the workforce are not in the best interest of the family is pervasive among Republicans,” Aparna Mathur of the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank, told the Times. “But having access to these policies is really critical for these working families who are not in a position to even choose do I go back to work or not.”
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