Obama’s Secret War on Women
Women will pay a price for “paycheck fairness,” overtime rules, and Obamacare (PDF here)
By Diana Furchtgott-Roth
Summary: For years, President Obama and his supporters have accused their opponents of conducting a “War on Women.” The real War on Women, though, lies in the President’s healthcare plan and in his proposals on wages and working hours, which make it harder for women to get jobs and provide for their families.
In April, President Obama declared, “If Republicans in Congress want to . . . show that they, in fact, do care about women being paid the same as men, then show me. They can start tomorrow. They can join us in this, the 21st Century, and vote yes on the Paycheck Fairness Act.”
But passing the misnamed Paycheck Fairness Act would not help women. Neither would Obama’s other ideas for “helping” women: raising the hourly minimum wage to $10.10, increasing the number of women affected by rules on overtime pay, and the Affordable Care Act, a.k.a. Obamacare.
These ideas may make good soundbites to use in campaign ads, but the dirty little secret is that they would actually harm the employment prospects of women—and men. The Paycheck Fairness Act would raise the cost of employment, reducing jobs for both sexes. A higher minimum wage would reduce job opportunities for low-skill women. Raising the overtime pay ceiling to $50,000 a year would mean women whose earnings are below that level won’t be able to receive compensatory time off instead of overtime pay. Lastly, Obamacare forces women into part-time jobs while it discourages marriage.
Women are in a special position in the workforce because so many of them move in and out of the workforce in order to balance the needs of family with their careers. To see how important workplace flexibility is to women, look no farther than the Yale Law Women website. The young women who attend Yale Law School are some of the smartest in the country; it’s only a slight exaggeration to say that they could have any job that they choose. And what’s a major focus of their website? Family friendliness.
For the past nine years, the Yale Law Women website has announced its list of Top Ten Family Friendly Firms. The list is derived from a survey that “explores important family friendliness indicators such as the billable hour requirement, part-time and flex-time options, caregiver leave policies, and childcare availability.” Few women at Yale Law School have children, but they are already planning ahead to be moms with flexible schedules.
It’s time to peel back the President’s messaging on the Paycheck Fairness Act, the increase in the minimum wage, higher ceilings for overtime pay, and Obamacare. It’s time to take a critical look at those policies and at their [Click HERE for the rest]