Investors Business Daily Editorial, October 19, 2012
The president touts equal pay for equal work but hasn't practiced what he preaches with the women he has employed — including a well-known staffer who complained of a hostile work environment.
It remains a mystery as to why equal pay for women was one of the questions elected by unofficial Team Obama debate coach Candy Crowley of CNN during the second presidential debate.
But it let President Obama launch into breathtaking hypocrisy regarding the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act.
Lilly Ledbetter, which in Crowley's view ranked right up there with BenghaziGate as a pivotal issue, woke up one morning complaining that her male counterparts were getting paid more money for the same work and decided to sue for redress of this perceived grievance.
After she was told she had missed the statutory deadline, her case made it to the Supreme Court, which said too bad, but you missed the deadline.
So Congress passed the Fair Pay Act, which does more for lawyers than it does for women, merely extending the statute of limitations for pay-discrimination lawsuits from 180 days from the violation to 180 days after the last paycheck issued that was affected by that discrimination.
When Katherine Fenton asked Obama what he intended to do about "women making only 72% of what their male counterparts earn," the question was based on a false premise and a false statistic — one calculated by Diana Furchtgott-Roth, senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, by comparing all male with all female workers, regardless of experience, productivity, number of hours put in or length of service.
When you factor these things in, Furchtgott-Roth says, women make about 95 cents to a man's dollar, which may explain why, since the Ledbetter Act was passed in January 2009, only 35 women have filed lawsuits under the new law.
The question, and Obama's response, were calculated to highlight the Democratic campaign theme that Republicans are waging a war on women because they don't think that having taxpayers provide free contraceptives to Georgetown coeds will help us beat China.
Never mind that by the questioner's standards, the White House is a hotbed of sexist discrimination.
According to a report published by the Washington Free Beacon in April, the 2011 annual report on White House staffers revealed that the median annual salary for female White House employees was 18% less than male employees — $60,000 compared with $71,000.