Accuracy in Media

“I don’t think I’m letting you in on a secret when I say too many women still earn less than men on the job.” – Hillary Clinton to a South Carolina gathering of female Democrats on May 27, 2015.

Democratic Party presidential candidate Hillary Clinton used the famously debunked “gender pay gap,” or the “77-cent gap” or the “wage gap” myths put out by the Left in her recent May 27 appearance. But Hillary has her own history of gender pay gap. . The Washington Free Beacon pointed out how she paid her female Senate staffers 72 cents on the dollar compared to her male staffers. Brent Scher’s Free Beacon analysis pointed out, “During those years, the median annual salary for a woman working in Clinton’s office was $15,708.38 less than the median salary for a man, according to the analysis of data compiled from official Senate expenditure reports.”

When pushed on the issue, Hillary’s campaign staff did not respond directly to the Free Beacon. Her campaign spokesman, as FactCheck.org quoted, said, “The Free Beacon based their analysis off an incomplete, and therefore inaccurate set of numbers…The fact is, Hillary paid full-time men and women equally.”

Instead of sending the information to the Free Beacon, Hillary’s campaign turned to Buzzfeed and FactCheck.org. Buzzfeed, after looking over Hillary’s data, admitted that the annual salary numbers “are not publicly available.” The Free Beacon was had been using publicly available numbers. With the internal numbers, Buzzfeed noted that:

“The review of annual salary numbers, which are not publicly available, shows that over the seven-year period, the median salary for both men and women working for Clinton was $43,000. (That number addresses the total pool of employees, regardless of the years in which they worked. The median salaries for each year are different, but the median of the yearly figures is also equal for men and women: $40,000.)”

“During the seven years, women made more on average for Clinton, according to the data. Women made an average of about $56,000, while men made about $52,000.”

FactCheck.org had this to say:

“Taking out Hillary Clinton’s salary—we didn’t think it was fair to include her since she didn’t hire herself—the median annual salary for both men and women, regardless of how much of the year they worked, was identical: $40,000.”

FactCheck.org added that the Free Beacon analysis had not have taken into account when staffers would have taken a leave of absence, or only worked part of the year.

The Washington Post, not a conservative news outlet by any stretch of the imagination, gave the gender pay gap myth a “2 Pinocchios” rating, meaning the claim itself is false. The paper pointed out that women choose flexible careers over pay due to lifestyle preferences (i.e., child-rearing):

“They noted that women may prefer to accept jobs with lower wages but greater benefits (more flexible parental leave) so excluding such fringe benefits from the calculations will exaggerate the wage disparity. One survey, prepared for the Labor Department by the CONSAD Research Corp. during the George W. Bush administration, concluded that when such differences are accounted for, much of the hourly wage gap dwindled, to about 5 cents on the dollar.”

The Washington Examiner added to this argument, that women’s job choices are to blame and not gender discrimination for the “gender pay gap” myth. It quoted from American Enterprise Institute scholar Mark J. Perry, who said:

“Therefore, BLS data show that marriage has a significant and negative effect on women’s earnings relative to men’s, but we can realistically assume that marriage is a voluntary lifestyle decision, and it’s that personal choice, not necessarily labor market discrimination, that contributes to much of the gender wage gap for married workers,” Perry wrote.”

So, all in all, Hillary Clinton’s gender pay gap rhetoric is based on a myth.

We rate Hillary’s claim as: FALSE.

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