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April 13, 2014

Armerding column: Obama's equal pay exaggeration leads us all into danger

A couple of disclaimers before wading into the inflammatory topic of gender equity:

n I support realistic equality: Equal opportunity and equal pay for equal work with all other things — experience, skill, training and performance — being relatively equal. I don’t include the fantasy that equal opportunity must yield equal results. If it did, I would have spent part of my career making millions playing in the NBA and a decade or so after that making a few more million as a folk-rock star.

n I have worked for several female editors during my career, all of whom were excellent. All of whom, I am sure, were paid more than I was — as they should have been.

That said, I don’t believe that President Obama, with a stroke of his “executive-order” pen this past week, is going to cure whatever malicious pay inequities between the genders may or may not exist in a nation of more than 150 million workers.

I don’t believe the president thinks it will solve anything, either; even left-leaning media have acknowledged that this initiative is entirely political, designed to distract voters from the lies he told about his signature legislation, Obamacare, and to curry favor with female voters, who were a major reason he holds the office he does.

This is all about trying to hold onto Democratic control of the Senate during this fall’s mid-term elections with an initiative that has about as much depth as a slogan on a bumper sticker: Democrats love apple pie! Republicans hate apple pie! Vote Democrat!

Indeed, the absurdity of the whole thing was highlighted when the president’s spin machine went into overdrive after a few spoilsports pointed out that the median annual salary last year for women working in the White House was $65,000, while for men it was $73,729.

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