This isn’t anything new. The Obama administration pays its female staff thousands of dollars less than their male ones. So, why hasn’t the press called him out on it? Save for a few publications, like the Daily Mail out of London, there has yet to be a concerted effort on behalf of the news media to ask Obama about this overt hypocrisy.
All of the White House salaries are released to the public, and this disparity should be even more blaring with the president’s remarks celebrating the 50th anniversary of the passage of the Equal Pay Act:
The day that the bill was signed into law, women earned 59 cents for every dollar a man earned on average. Today, it’s about 77 cents. So it was 59 and now it’s 77 cents. It’s even less, by the way, if you’re an African American or a Latina. So I guess that’s progress, but does anybody here think that’s good enough?
THE PRESIDENT: I assume everybody thinks we can do better.
AUDIENCE MEMBER: We can.
THE PRESIDENT: Yes, we can. (Laughter and applause.)
Over the course of her career, a working woman with a college degree will earn on average hundreds of thousands of dollars less than a man who does the same work. Now, that’s wrong. I don’t want that for Malia and Sasha. I don’t want that for your daughters. I don’t want that to be an example that any child growing up ends up accepting as somehow the norm. I want every child to grow up knowing that a woman’s hard work is valued and rewarded just as much as any man’s.
So to anyone who says 77 cents on the dollar sounds pretty close to equal, I say, you’re math is bad. (Laughter.) You wouldn’t like it if your vote only counted in three out of four elections. (Laughter.) You wouldn’t like it if your daughters or sons went to school but they only got taught three out of four days a week, or four out of five days a week. You wouldn’t like it if you were forced to work every fourth day without pay. Men would be complaining about that. (Laughter.) They wouldn’t think that was equal or fair.
First, our children attend school five days a week, but that’s beside the point. All of this pandering towards women – in preparation for the 2014 midterms – is for naught. As the Daily Mail noted on June 10:
An analysis of his administration's 2012 Annual Report to Congress on White House Staff shows that the median wage for female professionals in the Executive Office of the President was $9,000 less last year than for their male counterparts.
[I]n January that the median 2012 salary for female White House employees was $62,000. For men, it was $71,000.
That wage gap narrowed slightly from a $11,000 difference in 2011.
The White House did not respond to a request for comment about whether its gender pay gap opens up the president to fair criticism and complaints of hypocrisy.
His [Obama] administration is not expected to disclose the White House staff's 2013 salary numbers until after the end of the year.
Of the 20 White House staffers earning the top salary of $172,200 in 2012, just six were women. And the president's cabinet, made up of 15 high-level officials, includes just three women.
So, women are shortchanged in the Obama White House, and aren’t well represented in the president’s inner circles. How’s that for being progressive? There’s a $9,000 pay gap in an administration that “want[s] every child to grow up knowing that a woman’s hard work is valued and rewarded just as much as any man’s.”