Democrats have relentlessly accused presidential candidate Mitt Romney and the Republicans of conducting a war on women. Mr. Romney's recent comment about using "binders full of women" to fill positions triggered hyper-scrutiny of his hiring practices and set the social media world ablaze with criticism of Republican policies ("Romney, Obama advisers butt heads over binders, Big Bird and 'Romnesia,'" Web, Sunday).
If anything warrants scrutiny, it is the body of Democratic-sponsored legislation designed to help women. For example, the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Restoration Act makes it easier for employees to bring discrimination claims against employers. Any law facilitating such lawsuits will cost employers and dampen their enthusiasm to hire any member of a minority who could play the discrimination card. Another example is the Paycheck Fairness Act, which Senate Republicans blocked. It would have further facilitated lawsuits and exposed employers to the possibility of paying unlimited damages. Then there is Obamacare, which is billed as a step forward for women, but which raises taxes on middle-class families and increases the cost of hiring for many businesses.
Republicans have taken a deep interest in women's issues, and proposed market-driven solutions. Republican Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison was the lead sponsor of a law that created the Homemaker IRA, which evened the playing field for women who remove themselves from the workforce to raise families by allowing them to contribute as much to their individual retirement accounts as do their working spouses. What's more, Republican policies of lower and flatter taxes directly help women by reducing the marriage penalty and stimulating job growth.
Far more women than men receive college degrees, and women compose more than 50 percent of U.S. workers. Women are also the country's leading consumers. Clearly, the fastest way forward for gender equality is electing politicians who believe in the free market and realize that waging war on businesses with added regulations, burdens and higher taxes in the name of fairness is damaging to women and all Americans alike.
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