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McCain Pays Women More Than Obama

McCain: More Women in Top Jobs, Pays More Than Obama

Remember when Obama said, "now is the time to keep the promise of equal pay for an equal day's work, because I want my daughters to have exactly the same opportunities as your sons?" It was in the big speech, just for the record.

Um, awkward then to read this afternoon that apparently in Obama's own office, he pays his female staffers, on average, 78 percent of the amount he pays men working for him. Of the top 10 highest paid positions, in Obama's office women hold five of the positions, and Obama pays all his female staffers an average of $12,472 less than the average male salary.

Meanwhile over in the McCain camp seven women occupy the top 10 wage-earning slots and make, on average, 101 percent of the male salary. The women working for McCain earn 24 percent more than those working for Obama, interesting given the controversial position McCain took earlier this year to oppose legislation expanding the ability to sue for equal pay. For what it's worth, women outnumber men on both staffs, and all numbers came from the Report of the Secretary to the Senate.

To see what NOW has to say about the situation,


President of NOW Kim Gandy said this of her feelings on the apparent disparity:

It depends on what positions they’re in. Certain positions are paid more than other positions. I do know quite a number of women very high up in his staff and in his campaign who are extraordinarily strong supporters of women’s rights. We don’t advocate people be hired because of their gender. We advocated people be hired and paid without regard to their gender.

Well that's an entirely fair position, my question is this: given that one of Obama's own campaign ads makes the claim, "Today women work to help support their families but are paid just 77 cents for every $1 a man makes. It’s just one more thing John McCain doesn’t get about our economy," while he's only paying 78 cents on the dollar, does it make the claim less credible?


Join The Conversation
snowbunny11 snowbunny11 8 years
Argh this is so old, but that is exactly the point! If you don't talk about your salary, how will you know that you are getting discriminated against? That was the ENTIRE point of the Ledbetter legislation, that you must file a complaint (meaning you've hired an atty. etc) 180 days after the FIRST instance of discriminatory pay may not give the person proper ability to regain their losses. We know that discriminating based on gender or race is illegal; that just simply isn't the question and shouldn't have been discussed here. The point is not that Obama must pay the females on his staff the same as the males; he must pay them the same if they have the same education, experience and job responsibilities. For all of you who say you don't discuss your pay, and that you don't support the Ledbetter act, you are basically saying that if your employer had sent out the following memo, "Dear HR that all women will be making less than the men did because tI do not think women shouldn work outside the home, and want to discourage it by paying them less. Women will be paid $10 an hour, and men will be paid $45 to do the same job." YOU COULD NOT SUE unless you brought the suit in the first 180 days. All Congress wants to do is change that law! P.S. don't sign away your right not to talk about salary. It's not legal, first of all, and secondly, why would you do it? That is what Ledbetter did, and it cost her millions over her lifetime.
stephley stephley 8 years
I'll discuss salaries and have for years - once I got out of school and found out how often women were paid less than their male counterparts, I figured the secrecy seldom worked to our advantage.
True-Song True-Song 8 years
Like what? Did you predict we would segue into the etiquette around discussing money?
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 8 years
I could have bet money the comments were going to be just like predictable!
Michelann Michelann 8 years
It depends who you're asking and why. If it's a pretty good friend, and you're interested because you're thinking of moving to that area, it's probably okay. But if you're just curious, it seems a little nosy. Furthermore, you never know who you're going to make uncomfortable.
True-Song True-Song 8 years
I don't think asking about rent is polite mainly because it seems like a pretty big peephole into income generally.
popgoestheworld popgoestheworld 8 years
Is asking about rent rude? If so, I'm in trouble. I love hearing what apts in different neighborhoods are costing in my city. I do always preface it by saying: "Do you mind if I ask how much..." but it's still pretty blunt I guess. Salary, I don't touch. I always think it's weird when people just announce that sort of thing or ask me a pointed question about it.
True-Song True-Song 8 years
Yeah, I feel like an oddity, too. I try to deflect, like "Oh, it was expensive but worth it, the store had a lot of different models for all price ranges," or "Well, I've been lucky to get raises to keep up with the cost of living, but I still wouldn't mind winning the lottery." And if I want to know, I try to ask subtly, like "Oh, we've been thinking about getting one of those. I keep meaning to get online to get an idea of the cost," or "My friend just moved into tat neighborhood, and it looks so cute but I hear the market is really hot there." People will volunteer their own info if they feel comfortable.
Michelann Michelann 8 years
Torg, I also think it's strange to discuss money with people who aren't close friends or family. It's just inappropriate most of the time. I'm thankful for rules that say you can't discuss wages, it gives a nice excuse for me to keep private things private. For some reason, however, not everybody feels that way. I don't know if it's a generational thing, and maybe I'm just the odd one out in my age range.
True-Song True-Song 8 years
Just for my two cents, discussing salary at my company is a terminable offense. On the other hand, I think I just read something somewhere about a court that ruled that was I don't know. I wouldn't answer a question like that directly, anyways. But I think I'm generally more squeamish about talking about money. I don't think it's polite to ask how much something costs, what someone pays for rent or mortgage, how much someone makes, etc. (But apparently I'm not squeamish at all about discussing bc...?)
harmonyfrance harmonyfrance 8 years
harmonyfrance harmonyfrance 8 years
Yeah. It's still extremely awkward though. And of course you are at the discretion of the person your asking. They may or may not tell you the truth.
Michelann Michelann 8 years
Really? Well, okay, I was under a different impression. If it's not against the rules, ask away.
harmonyfrance harmonyfrance 8 years
That's actually not common practice.
Michelann Michelann 8 years
I'm pretty sure most employers make you sign a contract saying you won't discuss your wages with other coworkers.
snowbunny11 snowbunny11 8 years
Mydiadem, what a good insight to add to this debate! I agree that men are a lot more likely to ask for raises, and think they are supermodel worthy. I just think women are expected and taught to be a lot less assertive. And women HAVE to ask what their coworkers are making, I mean, it's such a tricky thing to do, but we need to stop worrying about being nice and polite when it comes to money, that is screwing us over. Tink: well golly gee, you're right! I have never thought too much about the teleprompter, but now I realize what a huge issue it is. I could never trust someone who reads a teleprompter. I'm definitely voting for McBush and Moosealini now!
kastarte2 kastarte2 8 years
Mydia I love the Simpsons avatar!
mydiadem mydiadem 8 years
What I like about this website is that there isn't mindless candidate bashing and real policy issues are being discussed. That being said, how else can you respond to a comment like the one tink made than with sarcasm? Its ridiculous! On to the topic though, my sister works in law and faces discrimination in pay (and other ways) all the time. Men are given better pay for less or equal qualifications and things like if they have a wife and kid at home to support are discussed as rationale. While single mothers in the same office can only roll their eyes because the partners don't give them the same pay or respect. But in most corporate settings, especially larger companies, I do think that the discrepency in pay is more likely due to women not asking for raises. This might seem cynical but just like all men think they have a chance with that supermodel they also have the somewhat delusional confidence to think they are worth that big raise and ask for it. Its our job as women to make sure we are getting paid fairly and recognize that we are worth that raise and go after it. I'd like to learn more about the specifics of the legislation being discussed because I would think there is real discrimination out there that can be prevented.
popgoestheworld popgoestheworld 8 years
organic, that sentence by itself doesn't bother me one bit. I am not in favor of Obama raising taxes, even though the raise is coupled with cuts in other areas. However, once I saw "puppet" I couldn't take the rest of the post seriously. That is the problem with rhetoric like that. You anger or alienate someone up front, and then even if you have a point later on, no one wants to listen because you insulted them right off the bat. And both sides do this by the way. I was just amused with the plea at the end to vote for McCain. It seemed that perhaps she thought she was actually presenting an intelligent argument that might get people to reconsider.
organicsugr organicsugr 8 years
"I am a huge McCain/Palin fan. Please read-up on the issues folks. In our crisis economy, Obama raising taxes is the LAST thing we need." How about this? Doesn't everyone know tax hikes are great for the economy?
popgoestheworld popgoestheworld 8 years
It's hard not to be sarcastic when someone comes in and insults Obama by basically calling him names and misrepresenting his policies. I just found it ironic that she then asked people to vote for McCain. I would find it much more compelling if someone came in and said, here are the policy reasons why McCain is so much better than Obama. But suggesting that Obama is a puppet and that McCain's war-heroism is what qualifies him? That is hardly the kind of rhetoric that McCain supporters should use if they're actually trying to convince people to vote McCain.
Great-Sommelier Great-Sommelier 8 years
Tink, I understand what you are saying.
Islander71 Islander71 8 years
Thanks Tink..I know what you mean even if others just use your comment as a stage for their sarcasm.
kastarte2 kastarte2 8 years
Thanks Tink! Thanks to your insightful post I'm going to reconsider my vote! Or not...
popgoestheworld popgoestheworld 8 years
With a compelling argument like yours, tink, filled with information on all the critical issues, how could we not vote for McCain? :oy:
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