On Thursday, Kshama Sawant, Seattle’s newly re-elected Socialist city council member, called for legislation providing 12 weeks of parental leave for city workers. She issued the call on Twitter, prompting a great deal of criticism.
“Workers deserve 12 weeks paid parental leave,” she tweeted. “Join me in calling on Council to pass 12 paid weeks for city workers,” she added, providing a link to a post on her official council webpage.
“Guaranteed paid parental leave is both a workers’ rights and a women’s rights issue,” she claimed. “All workers, regardless of their gender identity or family configuration, should be guaranteed this right.”
According to Sawant, children and their parents are entitled to “direct contact” for the first three months of the child’s life. This can be fixed, she added, if members of the council “allocate roughly $1.5 million to fund 12 weeks paid parental leave for all city workers.”
That, however, is just the first step. Giving city workers 12 weeks of taxpayer-funded parental leave would only provide the momentum to “give” paid leave to all Seattle workers, she added.
She didn’t say exactly where the money would come from, however, it’s clear the measure would require increased taxes or fees. She also encouraged city residents to contact other members of the council asking them to support her measure. She even provided a sample email for those unable to craft their own.
But as the saying goes, socialism is great until you run out of everyone else’s money. That point was driven home by man who criticized her idea.
“Who’s paying for that?” one person asked. “Always nice when you sit in a position of power & determine how to force ppl to spend money, huh?!”
“Everything is a ‘basic human right’ to you idiots,” another person added. “Like little children, you want what you want when you want it.”
Another critic said Sawant should pay for the leave “with your own money.” One Twitter user sarcastically asked: “Why not vote to pay parents to stay home for 18 years while the child grows up?”
Twitchy noted that Democratic Party presidential candidate Bernie Sanders has also called for 12 weeks of paid family leave. Even though Sanders is a Socialist, he does not enjoy Sawant’s endorsement because he chose to run as a Democrat.
Seattle is not the first city where such a measure has been proposed. As Twitchy said in October, Washington, D.C., is considering a similar proposal, but that measure outdoes Sawant’s by four weeks. That measure is also backed by the Obama administration.
That plan, Fox 5 chief investigative reporter Emily Miller said, would be paid for by an extra tax on city employers that would equal about one percent of the employee’s salary. Twitchy said those would be the same employers who would be forced to operate without those employees for a full four months.