Obama: Equal pay for thee but not for me?
posted at 12:41 pm on October 17, 2012 by Ed Morrissey
If charity begins in the home, shouldn’t employment-fairness initiatives begin in the house — the White House? The townhall debate produced a question about equal pay, and Barack Obama rushed to take credit for advancing its cause as President. Too bad, as the Daily Caller reminds readers, he didn’t do the same thing as boss:
While Obama made the empathetic case for his single mother and his belief in equal pay — pointing out that the first bill he signed as president was the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act — he did not address reports this year that demonstrated that his own White House pays women less than men. …
According to a report published by the Free Beacon in April, the 2011 annual report on White House staff revealed that the median annual salary for female White House employees was 18 percent less than male employees — $60,000 compared to $71,000.
And in 2008, Scripps Howard syndicated columnist Deroy Murdock noted that as in Obama’s U.S. Senate office, women were paid less than men: While the average male staffer brought home $54,397, female staffers averaged $45,152.
Mitt Romney also had a ready response to this question — and he talked about his own personal commitment to equal opportunity. Most of the press focused on the clumsy verbiage of describing the plentiful numbers of resumes of qualified women for his Cabinet as “binders full of women,” but missed the impressive fact that Romney had more women in his Cabinet as governor of Massachusetts than any other governor at the time. In fact, half of those positions went to women:
It’s true that Obama pushed for and passed the Lily Ledbetter Act. It’s also true that the only thing that law does is extend the statute of limitations for pay-discrimination lawsuits from 180 days from the violation to 180 days after the last paycheck issued that was impacted by that discrimination. That’s great for trial lawyers, but it hardly constitutes a ground-breaking reform. It didn’t even push the President who championed that bill into realigning West Wing pay to conform to his professed standards.
Once again, we have the contrast between a candidate who talks about an issue and a candidate whose record shows that he takes action on it. Usually that contrast favors the incumbent. Not this time.
Update: Clarified section on the change made by the LLA.