Larry Elder

A quick way to kill debate is to accuse your political adversary of "lying."

Still, it's hard to figure out what else propels President Barack Obama to falsely assert, yet again, that employers rip off female employees by paying them 23 cents less per dollar than men -- for doing the same work.

In his last State of the Union address, Obama said: "Today, women make up about half our workforce. But they still make 77 cents for every dollar a man earns. That is wrong, and in 2014, it's an embarrassment. A woman deserves equal pay for equal work. She deserves to have a baby without sacrificing her job." See, the president begins the statement with a fact. That is, women on the whole make 77 cents on the dollar compared to the earnings of men, on the whole. But here, as he has other times, Obama has added for the same work, or, as in this case, "equal pay for equal work." This makes the statement not only flat out false, but insultingly so.

MSNBC's "Morning Joe" co-host, Mika Brzezinski, echoed Obama: "Of course, women get paid 77 cents for every dollar men earn for the same exact job, so it's something that needs to be rectified, obviously." (Now according to the Daily Beast, at $2 million, Mika makes half of what Scarborough makes. Time to hire a new agent perhaps, but it does not excuse falsely telling woman that they face a 23-cent ovary discount.)

Even the federal government -- that Obama serves as chief executive -- knows this is nonsense.

In 2009, the U.S. Department of Labor found that, after controlling for obvious education and job differences, the gender "wage gap" shrank to only 95 percent. The Labor Dept. report also noted women often make different choices than men: "A greater percentage of women than men tend to work part-time. Part-time work tends to pay less than full-time work. A greater percentage of women than men tend to leave the labor force for childbirth, childcare and elder care. Some of the wage gap is explained by the percentage of women who were not in the labor force during previous years, the age of women, and the number of children in the home. Women, especially working mothers, tend to value 'family friendly' workplace policies more than men. Some of the wage gap is explained by industry and occupation, particularly, the percentage of women who work in the industry and occupation."

Even the 5 percent "gap" has a non-exploited explanation. The Labor report said:


Larry Elder

Larry Elder is a best-selling author and radio talk-show host. To find out more about Larry Elder, or become an "Elderado," visit www.LarryElder.com.