Welcome to yet another desperate effort by the Democrats to come up with something — anything — that will distract voters from Obamacare.
Forget the absurdity Nancy Pelosi is trying to peddle, that the Senators and Representatives who shoved this monstrosity down our throats should be proud to embrace it. Too many Democratic candidates running for re-election know how unpopular Obamacare is with their constituents. Embracing it would be the kiss of death.
So it’s no surprise that they will try anything to keep this incredibly unpopular piece of legislation from being the No. 1 issue in the November elections. What can they do to energize their base and get voters eager to support them again? How about going back to the well for an issue that worked very well the last time out: accusing the Republicans of conducting a “war on women”?
Yes, that’s the ticket. What better way to get the troops ready for battle than to trumpet a promise to end the gender wage gap? The President repeated a line from his State of the Union address in January, that women earn only 77 cents for every dollar that a man does. That should get the feminine blood boiling.
“Equal pay for equal work — it’s not that complicated,” the President declared. He promised to push for passage of something called the Paycheck Fairness Act. And he said he would immediately sign two executive orders related to the issue. After all, why wait for those old fuddy-duddies in Congress to act? He had warned us that he has “a phone and a pen.” And by golly, he’d use them both.
All of this is a bunch of utter baloney, of course. It’s true that women, on average, earn less than men. But this is almost always because of career and life choices, not because of sexual discrimination. Equal pay for equal work has been the law in this country for several years.
There are several reasons for the pay disparity. For one, “full time” does not mean the same thing for women as it does for men. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that men are almost twice as likely as women to work more than 40 hours a week. Women, on the other hand, are almost twice as likely to work 35 to 39 hours a week.
Risk is also an important factor. By and large, men are far more likely to seek out positions that carry physical risk. The BLS reports that 92 percent of work-related deaths in 2012 happened to men. Dangerous jobs tend to pay higher salaries, to attract the workers they need.
Education is another significant factor. Men are more likely to major in such higher-paying areas as finance, accounting or engineering, while women often chose fields of study, such as liberal arts or sociology, that command smaller salaries.
But by far the biggest discrepancies occur when marriage and children are taken into consideration. Mark J. Perry and Andrew G. Biggs, two scholars with the American Enterprise Institute, addressed this topic in a column in The Wall Street Journal:
Child care takes mothers out of the labor market, so when they return they have less work experience than similarly-aged males. Many working mothers seek jobs that provide greater flexibility, such as telecommuting or flexible hours. Not all jobs can be flexible, and all other things being equal, those which are will pay less than those that do not.
That just makes sense, doesn’t it? Perry and Biggs say that once these variables are taken into consideration, the so-called gender pay gap virtually disappears. They cite a 2012 study by June and Dave O’Neill, two economists with the American Enterprise Institute, that found “nearly all of the 23% raw gender pay gap cited by Mr. Obama can be attributed to factors other than discrimination.”
Oh, and let me add one more argument against the Democrats’ contention that pay differences are because of anti-female discrimination, and that only the Federal government can make things right.
Consider this: What if it were true that businesses frequently had a choice between two different potential employees, a male and a female? Both are equally capable. But the woman is willing to do the work for 23 percent less money than the male.
C’mon, how many businesses would agree to hire the male at the higher salary, just because they didn’t want a woman in the job? Why would any business needlessly give a man more money, rather than add it to their own bottom line? Let’s give some credit to the profit motive here, folks.
The latest poll results show why the Democrats are so eager to start beating on the “war on women” drum. In the 2012 Presidential election, Obama received 67 percent of the votes of single women. Clearly, their multimillion-dollar advertising campaign against Mitt Romney and the Republican “war on women” worked.
But now, according to the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, Obama’s support among single women has dropped to just 48 percent. Better do something to shore up that base! And what better way than to promise to take action to end all that horrible pay inequality in the marketplace?
This is a classic case of “do as we say, not as we do.” No sooner had Obama huffed and puffed about the terrible disparity between what women earn in America versus male employees than someone compared salaries among male and female employees in the White House.
Guess what? It turns out that women in the West Wing earn significantly less money than men. Yep, the average female employee in the Obama White House earns just 88 percent as much as the average man.
When asked about this, Obama press secretary Jay Carney could only mumble something about how the White House record is “better than the national average” — and that female staffers tend to earn less than men because they occupy more of the jobs at the lower end of the pay scale.
Yep. And are you surprised to learn that the same thing happens in the rest of the country, Mr. Carney?
It turns out that the so-called gender pay gap has almost nothing to do with the sex of an employee and almost everything to do with career and life choices. But, of course, acknowledging these facts would mean that the Democrats could no longer beat Republicans over the head with all those “war on women” accusations.
For Democrats desperate for a way to divert attention from their disastrous healthcare plan and the sad state of the economy, it’s a simple choice. Which will get them the most publicity and the most votes? Tell the truth or fudge the facts?
Will women buy this Obama lie? Or will a majority see through this effort to enlist them in another phony war? Let’s do our part to make sure it’s the latter.
Until next time, keep some powder dry.
Editor’s Note: If you are looking for Wayne Allyn Root’s video and column, it will appear here tomorrow. –BL