Multiple establishment media outlets have debunked President Barack Obama’s campaign-trail claim that women are paid only 77 cents for every dollar paid to men, much to the delight of Republican activists.
GOP spokeswoman Kirsten Kukowski highlighted a report by CBS White House correspondent Major Garrett, who said Monday that the White House was being “roughed up by its own pay-equity rhetoric.”
Obama frequently argues that women are paid only 77 cents for every dollar paid to men. He’s pushing that line to paint the GOP as unfair to women, because he’s trying to spur turnout by Democratic-leaning women in the November election.
He gave a speech on the topic midday Tuesday and signed two minor directives that White House officials claim will help women narrow the supposed pay gap.
Obama’s 77-cent claim is skewed, because it ignores the reality that many women choose not to enter high-tech, risky or tough sectors, where pay is higher than in less stressful or dangerous jobs.
Labor Department reports suggest that the true gap between men and women’s pay is roughly six cents per dollar, far less than the 23-cent difference routinely claimed by Obama in his speeches.
Kukowski also highlighted a CNN report, which cited the Labor Department data to debunk Obama’s claim. The CNN report also pointed out that Obama pays his male White House staff roughly 12 cents more per dollar that he pays his female staff.
That disparity was highlighted in January by The Daily Caller and the American Enterprise Institute.
The CNN report also showed White House spokesman Jay Carney effectively admitting the 12-cent pay gap in the White House. “It is better than the national average,” Carney explained.
“Here they have a rollout of an issue of equal pay. It didn’t quite work out the way they intended,” the CNN correspondent added.
Obama’s 77-cent claim has long been debunked by free-market advocates.
“The 23-cent gender pay gap is simply the difference between the average earnings of all men and women working full-time,” Christina Hoff Sommers reported in January. ”It does not account for differences in occupations, positions, education, job tenure, or hours worked per week [and] when all these relevant factors are taken into consideration, the wage gap narrows to about five cents.”