In arguing for the so-called “Paycheck Fairness Act,” one national group is calling out Texas for its supposed inequality.
“According to a recent analysis by the National Partnership, Texas women who work full time are paid just 80 cents for every dollar paid to men, amounting to a difference of $8,355 each year,” claims Debra Ness of the National Partnership for Women & Families. “Women of color experience even greater disparities: African American women in Texas are paid just 76 cents for every dollar paid to all men ($10,017 less per year), and Latinas are paid just 58 cents for every dollar paid to all men ($17,851 less per year).”
She does an admirable job of putting these figures into terms many can relate to.
“Our analysis shows that if the wage gap were eliminated, an employed woman in Texas would have enough money each year for approximately: 77 more weeks of food (1.5 years’ worth); six more months of mortgage and utilities payments; 10 more months of rent; 22 more months of family health insurance premiums (1.9 years’ worth); or 2,178 additional gallons of gas,” she contends.
But wait. America already has laws ensuring women receive equal pay. One of those laws is the Lilly Ledbetter Act, the very first piece of legislation President Barack Obama signed when he took office.
“It is fitting that with the very first bill I sign — the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act — we are upholding one of this nation’s first principles: that we are all created equal and each deserve a chance to pursue our own version of happiness,” he said on Jan. 29, 2009.
He continued to praise the law (and himself) for months afterwards.
“We passed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act — the first bill I signed — so that equal pay for equal work is a reality all across this country,” Obama said in June 2009.
And in 2011, he said “Change is the very first bill I signed, the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which says in this country an equal day’s work gets an equal day’s pay.”
There’s also the Equal Pay Act of 1963, which also outlaws unequal pay.
Even the Department of Labor warns that the issue isn’t as clear-cut as the Democrats portray it; there are reasons for any apparent “paycheck gap.”
A study in 2007 showed that for example, more men have blue-collar, hourly jobs that pay overtime; women predominate in white-collar, salary jobs that don’t.
The study 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. Indeed, there may be nothing to correct.”
What’s more, the Democrats are particularly vulnerable on this issue — because they’re not immune to those same factors.
“A group of Democratic female senators on Wednesday declared war on the so-called ‘gender pay gap,’ urging their colleagues to pass the aptly named Paycheck Fairness Act when Congress returns from recess next month. However, a substantial gender pay gap exists in their own offices, a Washington Free Beacon analysis of Senate salary data reveals,” that newspaper reported last week.
The “war on women” mantra is getting old. And it’s simply not true.