Friday, September 12, 2008

More on Obama the Male Chauvinist Pig

Barack Obama likes to talk a good talk, but it seems talk is cheap when Obama pays his female staffers.

In the Seattle Post Intelligencer, an Op-Ed was written and it attacks Obama on his criticism of McCain and Palin on equal pay.

"Now is the time to keep the promise of equal pay for an equal day's work," Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama said Aug. 28 in his convention acceptance speech. He told the crowd in Denver: "I want my daughters to have exactly the same opportunities as your sons."

Obama's commitment to federally mandated pay equity stretches from the Rockies to Wall Street and beyond. And yet it seems to have eluded his Senate office. Compensation figures for his legislative staff reveal that Obama pays women just 83 cents for every dollar his men make.

Again, on average, Obama's female staffers earn just 83 cents for every dollar his male staffers make. This figure certainly exceeds the 77-cent threshold that Obama's campaign website condemns. However, 83 cents do not equal $1. In spite of this 17-cent gap between Obama's rhetoric and reality, he chose to chide GOP presidential contender John McCain on this issue.

Obama responded Aug. 31 to Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's Republican vice-presidential
nomination. Palin "seems like a very engaging person," Obama told voters in Toledo, Ohio. "But I've got to say, she's opposed -- like John McCain is -- to equal pay for equal work. That doesn't make much sense to me."

Obama's criticism notwithstanding, McCain's payment patterns are the stuff of feminist dreams.McCain's 17 male staffers split $916,914, thus averaging $53,936. His 25 female employees divided $1,396,958 and averaged $55,878.

On average, according to these data, women in John McCain's office make $1.04 for every dollar a man makes. In fact, all other things being equal, a typical female staffer could earn 21 cents more per dollar paid to her male counterpart -- while adding $10,726 to her annual income -- by leaving Barack Obama's office and going to work for John McCain.

How could this be?

One explanation could be that women compose a majority of McCain's highest-paid aides. Among his top-five best-compensated staffers, three are women. Of his 20-highest-salaried employees, 13 are women. The Republican presidential nominee relies on women -- much more than men -- for advice at the highest, and thus, best-paid levels.

If anyone on McCain's Senate staff is unhappy, McCain's male staffers might complain they seem to get a slightly raw deal.

In short, these statistics suggest that John McCain is more than fair with his female employees, while Barack Obama -- at the expense of the women who work for him -- quietly perpetuates the very same pay-equity divide that he loudly denounces. Of all people, the Democratic standard bearer should understand that equal pay begins at home.

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