President Barack Obama is straining to woo women voters to support him for reelection in spite of his sketchy record when it comes to issues affecting females.
Obama was asked during this week‚??s debate how he would ‚??rectify the inequalities in the workplace, specifically regarding females making only 72 percent of what their male counterparts earn?‚?Ě
The president claimed to have ‚??fixed‚?Ě that problem with the first bill he signed into law ‚?? the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act.
‚?ĚIt’s named after this amazing woman who had been doing the same job as a man for years, found out that she was getting paid less, and the Supreme Court said that she couldn’t bring suit because she should have found about it earlier, whereas she had no way of finding out about it. So we fixed that,‚?Ě Obama said.
How does the new law guarantee equal pay, as its title suggests? By amending the Civil Rights Act to reconfigure the statue of limitations for filing a discrimination lawsuit.
And although Obama preaches equal pay for women, he doesn‚??t do so when it comes to his own staff.
Men working in the Obama White House last year made an average of $71,000 a year, 18 percent more than women who averaged $60,000 a year. Of the 21 staffers earning the top income of $172,200 annually, only seven were women. At the bottom of the rung, 51 staffers earned the lowest salary of $42,000 ‚?? 30 were women.
Democrats meanwhile defended that pay inequity and say the gender pay gap in the White House is smaller than in the overall economy.
But as a Senator, Obama also paid women just 83 cents for every dollar a man earned, or $54,400 for men, $45,150 for women, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reported in 2008.
Pulitzer Prize winning author Ron Suskind quoted a top Obama aide in his book ‚??Confidence Men: Wall Street, Washington and the Education of a President‚?Ě who described a hostile work environment in the White House for the female staff.
‚??This place would be in court for a hostile workplace because it actually fit all of the classic legal requirements for a genuinely hostile workplace to women,‚?Ě Anita Dunn was quoted as telling the author. The chief communications officer later said she was misquoted.
On Obama‚??s campaign web site itemizing issues for women, the ‚??equal pay‚?Ě legislation is one of only a few listed that includes abortion and free birth control.
Then there‚??s Julia, the fictitious character created by the Obama campaign that leads voters though an informational graphic on everything Obama has done to help women.
Julia‚??s life begins with the head start program for all children, that actually began under former President Lyndon Johnson, to Pell grants, also created by Johnson, to Obamacare, that will cost thousands of dollars more each year in insurance premiums, but includes ‚??free‚?Ě birth control.
And thanks to the Lilly Ledbetter Act, ‚??Julia is one of millions of women across the country who knows she’ll always be able to stand up for her right to equal pay.‚?Ě
Interestingly, a poll released Thursday by a group called Generation Opportunity found that the top issues among women ages 18 to 29 are taxes, too much federal spending, and the weak economy.
The poll said that 77 percent wanted to see less government spending, 68 percent agreed that lower taxes on businesses meant more jobs, and 90 percent said some aspect of their daily lives had changed because of the faltering economy.
‚??Young women don‚??t want someone who just talks a good game, they want someone who gets the job done,‚?Ě said Amber S. Roseboom, vice president of the group.
‚??They are sick of empty promises, flashy gimmicks, and meaningless endorsements. They are paying for this administration‚??s failures personally through the lack of job opportunities,‚?Ě Roseboom said. ‚??The message to Washington and to candidates from young women is clear ‚?? get out of the way ‚?? lower taxes and lower federal spending to get this economy moving again.‚?Ě