It was The New York Times, of all places, that nailed the political sideshow masquerading as a serious issue on Tuesday.
“Democrats, trying to recast the midterm election focus away from health care, are reaching out to the constituency that has delivered them the last two presidential elections, the Virginia governor’s race and a bevy of close Senate contests: women.” So went the lead of the Times’ story on the Equal Pay Day publicity stunt. When you’ve lost The New York Times….
Desperate to avoid talking about Obamacare, the single most important law of Obama’s presidency, the Democrats are inventing a pay gap that does not exist and accusing Republicans of not caring about it.
The message is that Republicans are sexists who refuse to end the discrimination that prevents women from earning the same pay as men. This is Sen. Jeanne Shaheen’s Tuesday press release:
“Pay discrimination is not fair, is not right, and every day that it persists is a day when we do an injustice to hardworking American women. Equal Pay Day is a stark reminder that while we have made progress in the last several decades, pay discrimination continues to hurt women, families and the economy. As long as millions of American women continue to only earn 77 cents for every dollar earned by men, we have to keep fighting. It’s time all Americans receive equal pay for equal work, and it’s time we pass the Paycheck Fairness Act.”
The truth, as Shaheen’s staff knows, is that the 77 cents figure is both meaningless and not a sign of discrimination. That figure represents the pay of all women and all men who work full-time, regardless of occupation or experience. When comparing men and women who have the same experience and work the same job, the pay gap largely vanishes. In 2009 the Labor Department studied the pay gap and reached “the unambiguous conclusion that the differences in the compensation of men and women are the result of a multitude of factors and that the raw wage gap should not be used as the basis to justify corrective action.”
Jeanne Shaheen knows this. On Tuesday, her chief counsel, Judy Reardon, tweeted, “Equal Pay isn’t about averaging female & male pay. It’s about whether woman doing same job w/ same credentials gets same pay.”
Precisely. So why do Sen. Shaheen, Gov. Maggie Hassan, President Obama and so many other Democrats continue to present a false picture of men’s and women’s pay? As The New York Times reported, it’s all a distraction from Obamacare.
This is only one of many distractions (remember when Obama complained about those) that will be raised up the flagpole to draw attention from Obamacare and the economy. The minimum wage has been the other major one used so far this year. They will become more common between now and the election. Don’t take them too seriously.