Awkward: Obama White House Pays Women Less Than Men

Kate Hicks

4/11/2012 3:28:00 PM - Kate Hicks

Following Rick Santorum's concession, the general election season has ostensibly begun, with Mitt Romney all but formally declared the Republican presidential nominee. Naturally, Barack Obama's team has kicked the reelection effort into high gear, already issuing a factually-dubious list of reasons why Mitt Romney is pretty much the worst thing to happen to America, ever. Take reason number one:

Romney's positions are the most radically anti-women of any candidate in a generation: He supports banning all abortions, backed a so-called "personhood" amendment that could make certain forms of birth control illegal, and says he would "get rid of" federal funding for Planned Parenthood that provides preventive services like cancer screenings for millions of women.

It's no coincidence that this is the first of the five "great evils" that the Obama camp is attributing to Romeny and the Republicans. Earning the female vote in this election is crucial, and while currently, Obama leads Romney 54% to 36% among registered female voters (per an Gallup), this demographic is still in play. Romney has been turning his focus from winning primaries to winning women, and Obama isn't taking his lead with the ladies for granted.

Last week, for example, the president hosted a Forum on Women and the Economy, touting all the great pro-women policies he's endorsed or enacted as Chief Executive. In his remarks, he said:

Opportunity and equality don’t come without a fight. And sometimes, you’ve got to keep fighting even after you’ve won some victories. Things don't always move forward. Sometimes they move backward if you're not fighting for them.

As long as I've got the privilege of being your President, we’re going to keep working every single day to make sure those doors forever stay open, and widen the circle of opportunity for all our kids.

Furthermore, his Council on Women and Girls came out with a report detailing where women stand economically today -- and of course, it pointed out the disparities between men's and women's salaries:

The council's new report, "Keeping America's Women Moving Forward," mapped out the ways the administration says it has tried to safeguard women's economic security through different stages of life, from the college to the working years -- and then the preretirement period. The report also examined women's economic prosperity as compared with men's and enumerated some recent gains by women.

Women make only 77 cents for every dollar that men make when performing the same job, the report noted. But Obama signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act in 2009, which has allowed the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to pay women $62.5 million in monetary relief to redress discrimination, the report said.

So you'd think, logically, that the employer leading the charge in America for income inequality would be the president himself, right? He's all for equality -- just look at the hullaballoo over the Buffett Rule, after all! This is a man who wants "universal fair share-ity."

Except when he doesn't:

According to the 2011 annual report on White House staff, female employees earned a median annual salary of $60,000, which was about 18 percent less than the median salary for male employees ($71,000).

So, President Obama, you're going to travel around the country, accusing the GOP of waging some mythical "war on women," when your own White House can't even adhere to the standards it supposedly fights to uphold? And really, it's not like the men in your office are out there logging, or doing some other dangerous, non-female-friendly task; they're sitting in cubicles, same as women, presumably doing the same work, but for better pay. Though I suppose, when you take into account his "inner circle," there sure are a lot of men...Axelrod, Messina, Plouffe, and Carney all come to mind, and then there's Valerie Jarrett. All by her lonesome.

Say, what do you think the female pay average would be if she wasn't there to give it a nice ceiling?