According to The Wall Street Journal,
Congress has struck a tentative bipartisan agreement that would authorize 12 weeks of paid parental leave for all federal workers, in a potentially historic deal negotiated with the White House.
Draft language for a must-pass annual defense policy bill includes a provision that would allow 2.1 million civilians who work for the U.S. government across the country to take paid leave to care for a new baby after birth, adoption or the initiation of foster care, according to multiple people familiar with the deal.
Under current law, military service members can take up to 12 weeks of paid leave to care for a new child, while civilian federal employees get 12 weeks leave without pay. Civilian employees are paid during that 12-week period by using accrued annual or sick leave.
The change, if adopted, will mean that whenever a male federal worker qualifies for the benefit, he will almost always claim it. Currently, he is discouraged from taking time off because he must use annual leave or sick leave.
The good news is that there will be a lot fewer civilian federal workers on the job, which means that the federal bureaucracy will grind a bit more slowly when it does the things that it does to screw up the economy.
Come to think of it, all civilian federal workers should be given paid annual leave of 250 days (i.e., 50 weeks). That amount of paid leave, plus the two weeks’ worth of paid federal holidays, would allow the entire civilian federal work force to loaf full-time — but not at the office, where just going through the motions is damaging to the economy.
An even better idea is to abolish most of the civilian federal workforce and spend the money on defense. That would make us a lot better off, and more secure into the bargain.