Home / Media / Article


April 16 2015

Hillary’s 2016 ‘Equal Pay Day’ announcement misses the point on ‘paycheck fairness’

Watchdog.org
Charlotte Hays and Ashley Carter

Democratic presidential 2016 candidate former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has officially begun her campaign’s offense on National Equal Pay Day to catch the attention of any female voter who will listen. Clinton said she wants to be America’s “champion,” touting 90 percent of American voters support policies to help women earn “equal pay.”

National Equal Pay Day was on Tuesday, April 14. According to the National Committee on Pay Equity, its purpose is to close the wage gap that still exists between women, as well as people of color, and men.

The nonprofit, a coalition made up of women’s and civil rights organizations, labor unions, religious, professional, legal and educational associations, commissions on women, state and local pay equity coalitions and individuals, was founded in 1979. Its website states:

The National Committee on Pay Equity was founded in 1979. It’s a coalition made up of women’s and civil rights organizations, labor unions, religious, professional, legal and educational associations, commissions on women, state and local pay equity coalitions and individuals.

In a timely opinion piece equal pay published in U.S. News and World Report, Karin Agness wrote:

Since the Equal Pay Act was signed into law in 1963, sex-based discrimination in pay has been illegal. And since the enactment of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, it has been illegal to discriminate in the workplace based on sex.

The claim that the statistic that women make 77 cents for each dollar men make is evidence of rampant discrimination has been debunked by people across the political spectrum. One of the problems is it doesn’t take into account individual choices that men and women make – education, years of experience and hours worked, among others – that have a significant impact on earnings. The choices we make in the labor market – whether to take on dangerous work, long hours and overtime shifts, for example – matter and should be taken seriously.

Clinton’s rhetoric on equal pay doesn’t match up. As reported in the Washington Free Beacon, her women staffers were paid less than their male counterparts:

..the median annual salary for a woman working in Clinton’s office was $15,708.38 less than the median salary for a man, according to the analysis of data compiled from official Senate expenditure reports.

The analysis compiled the annual salaries paid to staffers for an entire fiscal year of work from the years 2002 to 2008. Salaries of employees who were not part of Clinton’s office for a full fiscal year were not included. Because the Senate fiscal year extends from Oct. 1 to Sept. 30, Clinton’s first year in the Senate, which began on Jan. 3, 2001, was also not included in the analysis.

The salaries speak for themselves. The data shows that women in her office were paid 72 cents for every dollar paid to men.

Endorsing the support of the 2015 Paycheck Fairness Act, which was reintroduced in the U.S. Senate on March 25 and would allegedly close the gender pay gap, would only lead to a sluggish economy, said Charlotte Hayes, senior editor and director of cultural programs of the Independent Women’s Forum. Approval of an act that would force employees to increase “fairness” in pay would decrease the number of jobs available, create unnecessary regulations, and increase the amount of frivolous lawsuits.

“We all know that some people come to work at 9 a.m.,” Hayes said. “Some people give up their weekends and travel. There are people who work really hard.”

IWF provides a voice explaining that the disproportionate number of women who take time out of the work place to raise children, care for elderly parents or opt for lower-paying, more flexible and fulfilling jobs, has more to do with preferences and choice than unequal opportunities.

The organization writes on its website, “Government efforts to close the wage gap by micromanaging wages or mandating benefits end up backfiring on women by diminishing choice and opportunity and creating a less flexible, dynamic workplace, which is what women really want and need.”

IWF Grassroots Director Ashley Carter said the pushes from the Left are “just scare tactics.” She said she thinks they target America’s youth, who are coming out of college. Everyone who enters the workforce is not equally skilled, therefore, is not equally compensated, Carter said. A woman doctor is not going to earn the same salary that a woman who works in retail earns.

“They tell college students, you’re not going to get what you want or what you think you deserve immediately, so vote for me, we’ll take care of that for you,” Carter said. “That’s just plainly not the truth.”

“Hillary Clinton is positioning herself as a champion,” Hayes said. “The middle class doesn’t need a champion. It needs government to get out of the way.”

Independent Women’s Forum’s mission is to improve the lives of Americans by increasing the number of women who value free markets and personal liberty. Sister organization of Independent Women’s Voice.
Follow us