In a Ways and Means Committee hearing examining how in President Biden’s economy, working women haven’t had it this bad in decades, Democrats made several misleading claims about government-run paid leave and child care, and denied that their policies led to historic inflation.
Here are the facts:
CLAIM: The American Rescue Plan is not the cause of higher inflation.
FACT: Democrats $2 trillion so-called “stimulus” prolonged unemployment and stoked inflation, despite warnings from former Obama-Biden Administration officials like former Director of the National Economic Council Larry Summers and former Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers Jason Furman. (In fact, Furman attributes at least 2.5 percent of current inflationary pressure to the massive bill.)
- When GOP states opted to end Democrats’ lavish unemployment benefits early, more Americans joined the workforce, according to experts at the St. Louis Fed. Analysis from the San Francisco Fed also attributes Democrats’ spending to the sustained increase in inflation.
- This report echoes the findings of a similar study that found ending the unemployment benefits boosted return to work by 14 percentage points, further proof that Democrats held back our recovery by keeping workers disconnected from their jobs.
CLAIM: Faith-based child-care services don’t cover Americans’ needs.
FACT: At a time when American families need options, faith-based child care options satisfy the needs of many.
- Child-care centers and preschools affiliated with religious organizations serve 53 percent of families that use center-based care, according to a survey by the Bipartisan Policy Center.
- Democrats went out of their way to exclude faith-based child care from federal aid, contributing to the limitations parents face. Including them would allow them to expand and grow to meet the needs of families.
CLAIM: Republicans support a “patchwork” approach to paid leave and child care, while top-down mandates help working families.
FACT: Republicans support incentivizing more employers to provide leave and focusing on gaps in coverage. The Protecting Worker Paychecks and Act allows workers and employers to work out the details of their benefits without Washington interference.
As Alicia Huey, a small business owner, testified:
“Recent proposals that would reduce [the notice employees need to give their employers] to just seven days would place tremendous pressure on small businesses.
“Small businesses need added flexibility if they are to survive and compete. Government mandates can crush small businesses. If Congress fails to strike the proper balance, the result tends to drive up costs even when the intended effect is to lower costs.”
CLAIM: Washington mandated paid family leave will attract more women to the workforce.
FACT: Mandates are not the right approach to ensuring women have access to paid leave that works for them. For example, the percentage of working women in California – a state that has mandated paid family leave for 18 years – is worse than the 21 states with no mandate. Working women under California’s mandates also make less and have lower employment. An approach that strikes a balance and provides flexibility is better, which is why it is a cornerstone of the Republican proposal.
- A study published by the National Bureau of Economic Research concluded that over the long-term, California’s paid family leave program reduced female employment by seven percent and lowered their annual wages by eight percent.
CLAIM: Democrats’ spending has helped lower the cost of child care.
FACT: Democrats’ unpaid “COVID stimulus,” with $54 billion in emergency child-care funding, has done nothing to lower child-care costs.
- Since President Biden took office, workers’ wages have dropped by nearly four percent, while one estimate found that daycare and preschool fees have increased by more than three percent.
- Analysis from independent experts found that Democrats’ Build Back Better plan includes a new “Toddler Tax” that raises child-care costs on working families by $13,000 to $27,000 a year, depending on where you live.
CLAIM: Europe has long mandated government—run paid family leave. The U.S. needs it too.
FACT: Europe’s government-run paid family leave doesn’t work for women.
- Data show that under this approach, the numbers of women in the workforce are lower, the gender pay gap is worse, and more women are likely to work part-time.
CLAIM: Democrats’ policies have helped women and working families.
FACT: Women overall have experienced a nearly four percent paycut in the Biden economy, with Hispanic women’s pay dropping by nearly five percent (see chart below). Women were also more likely to report higher financial stress as a result of inflation than older adults and men.
As Carolina del Cavo of Texas, a small business owner and mom of two, told Fox News:
“’With inflation, our costs are rising. The cost of doing business — just simple supplies and services are going up. Ink, paper for the printer, freight to get our goods in and out’ she noted, mentioning just a few of the items whose costs have risen.
“The cost of inventory is rising as well, she said, since consumers ‘are just not buying’ the way they did before today’s high inflation.”