Media Trackers: The Bullock-Tester Gender Wage Gap

Aaron Flint posted on April 08, 2014 15:12 :: 1108 Views

The GOP is tearing into the White House over the “gender wage gap”:  

The NRSC, RNC and NRCC also released a memo today on the Democrats’ dishonest rhetoric and inaccurate math. If we used their methodology, women only make 88 cents for every dollar a man does… in the WHITE HOUSE.

So, to localize, what about from a Montana perspective?

Montana Media Trackers has the must-read story: High Profile Montana Democrats Don’t Back Up Equal Pay Rhetoric

While (Democratic Governor) Bullock touts the work of the Equal Pay Task Force, a Media Trackers study of 2012 employee salary data from the Montana Department of Justice (MDOJ) — which Bullock headed as Attorney General from 2009 until 2013 — maintained a substantial pay gap between men and women in Bullock’s final year of leadership.

According to the data, MDOJ had 790 employees in 2012. Just over 44  percent were women. Female employees made on average about $18/hr, while male employees made on average about $25/hr, meaning that women who worked for Bullock earned a mere 72 percent of the earnings of their male colleagues in 2012.

And it turns out that Democratic U.S. Sen. Jon Tester actually pays the women on his staff even less in comparison to men according to the Washington Free Beacon.  According to the Free Beacon’s investigation, Tester pays his female staffers just 66 percent of what male staffers earn.

Aside from the blatant hypocrisy coming from the left, there are also problems with the gender wage gap arguments being put forth.  Additionally, the proposed Paycheck Fairness Act could have some negative unintended consequences for women. 

The Heritage Foundation’s Genevieve Wood has this:  

The problem with the 77 percent statistic, calculated by the U.S. Census Bureau, is that it doesn’t compare the salaries of women and men in the same profession. Instead, it lumps all professions together. So, if high school teachers make less than congressmen (talk about something that ought to be fixed!), and there are more women who are teachers and more men in the U.S. Congress, then yes, the numbers will show that men make more than women. But if you compare the salary of a congresswoman to a congressman, guess what? They make the same.

As for gender-based discrimination, adds:

#1 – It attempts to outlaw something that is already illegal.“Gender-based wage discrimination has been illegal since the Equal Pay Act of 1963 and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. If a woman is truly the victim of wage discrimination, she already has the ability to sue.”

Here’s more from James Sherk, also with The HeritageFoundation, on the Paycheck Fairness Act: 

The PFA allows employees to sue businesses that pay different workers different wages—even if those differences have nothing to do with the employees’ sex. These lawsuits can be brought for unlimited damages, giving a windfall to trial lawyers.
How would it hurt workers? Well, you can’t get a raise for being a high-performing employee—male or female—if it’s mandated that everyone with the same job title makes the same salary. Sherk notes the downward pressure it would put on pay…

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