On Parenting in The Washington Post, pointed me towards this article, which argues against paid parental leave. Reading it really got me worked up, because paid maternity (and paternity) leave is something that I feel strongly about. The critical Newsweek article only discussed the economic costs of paid leave, and left out some of the most crucial (albeit intangible) benefits: mental health, morale, and the nurturing of family life and the social fabric of our communities.
I, for one, would not have been able to afford to stay home with my daughter for 3 months if it hadn't been for the availability of Short Term Disability, which my employer paid for. The time we spent together was so important to our bonding and it was even too short, in my opinion. I'm hoping that one day the US moves towards the maternity care models of Canada and Europe, where parents get up to one year of paid leave.