DES MOINES — In an interview with WHO-TV’s The Insiders on Sunday, State Rep. Ashley Hinson tripled down on her privileged, out-of-touch suggestion that Iowans should “borrow from their 401k” to afford paid family and medical leave.
Here’s what Ashley Hinson had to say on WHO-TV’s The Insiders:
Host Dave Price: Many parents do not get any paid leave from their job for the birth of a child or some health emergency if they have to miss work for a while… Should the federal government mandate some kind of paid family leave? Ashley Hinson supports letting people instead take money from their 401k retirement savings.
Hinson: I proposed that as an option — I don’t think that may be the option for everybody. … I’ve had two children and I took full 12-week maternity leaves with both of my children. Six weeks of that were on short-term disability pay, and beyond that though I had to assume that cost of not working and those family expenses with our home budget. We had to save a lot of money to be able to have children.
A 2019 study from the Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Education also found that nearly half of Iowans are currently unable to save for retirement, and data from the U.S. Census Bureau shows only less than a third of Americans would even have a 401(k) to pull from.
And yet, Hinson’s only idea is to encourage families to raid their retirement savings to cover the wages lost from taking medical leave — an idea she herself acknowledges is not a realistic option for many families.
“State Representative Hinson’s repeated, tone-deaf suggestion that families either raid their retirement accounts or simply ‘save a lot of money’ in order to have children or afford the cost of medical leave is just the latest example of how out-of-touch Hinson is with the daily reality for working families,” said IDP spokesperson Samantha Kennedy. “Iowans don’t need ‘creativity’ in their savings — they need leaders in Congress who will fight for them.”