- - Friday, May 2, 2014


Welcome to the latest skirmish on the fake war on women — it’s called the “wage gap.”

According to the Census Bureau, the median earnings of women are only 77 cents of every dollar earned by men. How insulting. How unfair. Don’t despair, though, because President Obama has signed two executive orders banning the scourge of gender inequality from the land. Whew. Who could argue with that moral trumpet call — equal pay for equal work?

The White House, that’s who. According to the 2013 Annual Report to Congress on White House staff, women on Mr. Obama’s staff make on average about 12 percent less than men. According to Jay Carney, White House spokesguy, the reason that Obama administration female employees make only 88 cents for every dollar the men make is — well, he didn’t really have an explanation at a recent press conference.

In the office of Colorado Democratic Sen. Mark Udall, who will run for re-election this fall, the reason his female staffers make only 82 percent of what the boys make, is — well, we don’t know that, either. We do know, though, that he’s definitely for women earning the same as men because he was a Senate co-sponsor of the Paycheck Fairness Act. As Mr. Udall recently insisted, “It’s simply unacceptable for businesses to pay women less than men doing the same work.” Why is what’s unacceptable for business perfectly OK for a politician like Mr. Udall?

Wait, there’s more. Current Democratic House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, who a few years ago was the very first female speaker ever, certainly must pay her fellow females the same as the boys. Well, no — she pays the girls 8 percent less — but you can be sure she voted for the Paycheck Fairness Act. At least she’s doing better than the president.

I wonder who pays women the lowest salaries of anyone in the Colorado congressional delegation? That would be Democratic Rep. Jared Polis. This man is a multimillionaire politician who pays his female staffers 65 cents for every dollar his male staffers earn. Wait until his hyper-liberal Boulder constituency finds out.

Actually they won’t care. By the time the November midterm elections roll around, Mr. Polis and Mr. Udall will probably have quietly given their female staffers huge pay raises so Republicans won’t be able to brand them hypocrites.

Those Colorado Republicans include Rep. Cory Gardner, who’s running against Mr. Udall, and Rep. Mike Coffman, the Democrats’ No. 1 target for defeat in November. Those same Republicans have all along actually been paying women more than their male staffers. According to reporting on the numbers by Colorado Peak Politics, Mr. Gardner pays his female staffers $1.04 for every dollar the men make — that’s 25 percent more than his opponent, Mr. Udall, pays women. Women do even better in Mr. Coffman’s office, where they get $1.12 for every dollar the men earn. Republicans are more likely to promote women as leaders, too. Consider that of the 30 women running for the U.S. Senate in 2014, 18 are Republicans and just 12 are Democrats.

Remember this next fall when the Democrats start wheeling out their heavy artillery to fire up the wage gap and the fake war on women again. Remember that they don’t really care about women getting equal pay for equal work; they just want us to think they do. They invent issues like this (there are already laws against gender-based wage discrimination) to exploit our desire for equality. They really care about just one thing: our votes.

Joy Overbeck is a Colorado journalist and author.

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