The New War on (Working) Women

woman working momCommentary by Susan Brinkmann, OCDS

In spite of the “war on women” rhetoric and calls for “equal pay” and “more family leave”, working women have suffered unprecedented economic setbacks during the current administration whose policies have left record numbers of women either out-of-work completely or making far less than what they’re worth.

According to an article appearing in The Washington Times, economist Stephen Moore lays out the dismal track record the Obama Administration has with working women.

“During Mr. Obama’s six and a half years in office women have suffered steeper declines in take home pay than men have. Women have also experienced sharper declines in employment and a faster rise in poverty. The financial squeeze has been especially severe for single women,” Moore reports.

The Census Bureau’s latest report on income and poverty through 2014 found that households have lost nearly $1,300 in income after inflation under the current policies, with women suffering the most. Median inflation-adjusted income for women fell by nearly four cents on the dollar versus slight gains for men.

During the last six years, two million more women have slipped into poverty, making the current poverty rate among women now 16.1 percent – the highest in 20 years.

“The poverty rate among single mothers of children under 18 (39.8 percent) is nearly double that of single fathers (22 percent) and that gap has widened under Mr. Obama’s reign,” Moore reports.

We all know that labor force participation is at its lowest level since 1978 but what the media too often fail to report is that the biggest decline in employment has been among women. It currently stands at just 56.4 percent, the lowest level in 25 years.

“Liberals counter that the gap between women’s wages and men’s wages has narrowed in the last five years. But the major explanation for this is that so many fewer women are in jobs now,” Moore explains. “Women who fall out of the workforce tend to be at the lower end of the income scale — so perversely, the gender gap appears to have fallen. This statistical illusion hides that for millions of women not able to find work under the Obama recovery, their earnings have fallen to zero.”

There are several reasons for this dire downturn among working women such as how the current administration burdened the economy with punitive tax rates, $7 trillion in new debt, minimum wage hikes, regulatory overreach and the so-called Affordable Care Act which has caused health insurance premiums to sky rocket.

Moore’s article is a wake-up call to women to listen closely to the policy ideas being bantered around by presidential candidates these days. The so-called “gender pay gap” is nothing more than a manufactured crisis designed to give some politicians leverage over the women’s vote. Yes, there’s still a pay gap, but one that has shrunk from a 36 cent difference to just 16 in the last few decades. There are common sense reasons for what remains, none of which have anything to do with inequity but everything to do with women’s life choices.

Women, beware! Politicians are counting on you to be uninformed. The last thing they want you to know is who is waging the real war on women.

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