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Obama Misleads On Women's Pay

By David King Published: June 10, 2012

Last week, the Senate voted on the Paycheck Fairness Act,  Democrat-created legislation that would have allegedly insured women are paid equally to men.  Democrats cited statistics indicating women only make 77% as much money as men do as justification for the new legislation. The Senate voted down the legislation basically along party lines, with Republicans and a handful of Democrats voting against it.

Color me confused. Didn't President Obama sign the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009 to address that exact problem ? Is this new legislation an admission that Ledbetter was ineffective, or what ? Plus, the Equal Pay Act of 1963 was implemented nearly fifty years ago to address the same problem, as was Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which prevented sex discrimination. Were all those pieces of legislation also ineffective ? What's going on here ?

Here's what the White House said prior to the Paycheck Fairness Act vote:

 “Women earn only 77 cents for every dollar men earn, with women of color at an even greater disadvantage with 64 cents on the dollar for African American women and 56 cents for Hispanic women.”
— White House Statement of Administration Policy on Paycheck Fairness Act, June 4

Let's begin with the Democrats 77% claim. That number comes from examining total wage differences between men and women, but it leaves out lots of other factors, such as number of hours worked, job seniority, type of work performed, etc. It really doesn't mean women make less than men for the same work. We must look further. Left-leaning Politico states the following:

…the gender wage gap is not a myth. Study after study from economists, experts and the Government Accountability Office has demonstrated that women are being paid less than their male colleagues for the same work across age, occupation and education level.
The 23-cent gap between men’s and women’s earnings can be only partially explained away by occupational choices; differences in the number of hours that men or women work or other such factors.

A 2007 study by the American Association of University Women — which accounted for college major, occupation, industry, sector, hours worked, workplace flexibility, experience, educational attainment, enrollment status, grade-point average, institution selectivity, age, race/ethnicity, region, marital status and number of children — found a 12 percent difference in the earnings of male and female college graduates 10 years after graduation. A comprehensive report by the Government Accountability Office found a similar wage gap.

If these studies are correct, the wage gap just shrunk nearly in half, from 23% to 12%, but there's still a gap. However, the studies Politico chose are not the only studies. The Washington Post fact-checker reports this:

…economists at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis surveyed economic literature and concluded that “research suggests that the actual gender wage gap (when female workers are compared with male workers who have similar characteristics) is much lower than the raw wage gap.” They cited one survey, prepared for the Labor Department, which concluded that when such differences are accounted for, much of the hourly wage gap dwindled, to about 5 cents on the dollar.

Not only did the White House pick the statistic that makes the wage gap look the worst, but then officials further tweaked the numbers to make the situation for African Americans and Hispanics look even more dire.

 The BLS, for instance, says the pay gap is relatively small for black and Hispanic women (94 cents and 91 cents, respectively) but the numbers used by the White House compare their wages against the wages of white men.  Black and Hispanic men generally earn less than white men, so the White House comparison makes the pay gap even larger, even though the factors for that gap between minority women and white men may have little to do with gender.

Now the wage gap is down to 5-12%, depending on which source you want to believe, and all of the measurements are problematic. None of them are absolute.  In addition, the White House is making the disparity for minorities look far worse than it really is.

Some studies show that women now actually make more than men.

The first question to ask is, why would Obama advance statistics that he knows to be misleading and inaccurate (the 77% claim) ??? Just kidding.  The question is rhetorical. We all should know by now why Obama distorts and misleads. It's what he does. He's a dyed-in-the-wool politician, and he does it to further divide the country and demonize Republicans. He's invested in getting Republicans to appear anti-women. Long gone is the fictional 2008 persona of Obama as a post-partisan, hope and change uniter (those were just words, folks. Empty speeches. Nothing more). That image has been replaced with the real Obama, a hyper-partisan and divisive political hack who is using any means necessary to polarize the country in order to divide and conquer his way to a second term. He finds a new divisive politiical pander almost weekly now. His fiscal record is atrocious, so he pits the rich against the middle class and poor, business against worker, women against men, union against non-union, black against white, young against old, special interests against the taxpayers, anything he can find to divide us and secure voting blocs for the November election. It's no surprise that the country is far more polarized than usual. That starts at the top, with the President, a man who is supposed to lead us all, but instead only pits us against each other. We should expect better from our leader.

What the Paycheck Fairness Act would have done is further insert the government into private business decisions and processes, another feature of Obama's big authoritarian left-wing corporatist worldview, where the government steers business decisions rather than the businesses themselves. Obama believes in government-controlled markets rather than free markets. Even left-wing HuffPo admits this:

The Senate failed to secure the 60 votes needed to advance the Paycheck Fairness Act, which would have required employers to demonstrate that any salary differences between men and women doing the same work are not gender-related. The bill also would have prohibited employers from retaliating against employees who share salary information with their co-workers, and would have required the Labor Department to increase its outreach to employers to help eliminate pay disparities.

In other words, business payroll decisions would have to be approved by Big Brother if this legislation had passed. Businesses could not determine for themselves the worth of an employee.  Big Brother would make the decisions for them. We should all be afraid of this radical named Obama, whose every move, every impulse, is toward more authoritarianism and centralized control. I know I am. November can't get here fast enough for me.




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