Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid [D-NV] hasn’t been very helpful either. President Obama loves blaming everything on Congress, specifically Republicans, but it’s Reid that keeps any bills from passing.
[Republicans] didn’t have time to filibuster anything, it was over so quickly. Moreover, their ability to take meaningful action was effectively nullified by four specific parliamentary maneuvers taken by Mr. Reid.
Why does the majority go to all this trouble? The simple answer is to protect its members from tough votes.
While your humble Editor pointed out that that tactic didn’t work out so well for the Democrats in 2010, it seems that the Democrats are perfectly willing to use the same tactic, in reverse, when they can. From William Teach:
OK, we’ve already established that Democrats understand that there are, in fact, reasons why there can be a pay gap. The White House suggested that there are “varying degrees of seniority” as to why women are paid less, on average, than men working in the White House. Democrats at a crosspost at Right Wing News exposed that they understand the issue. Democrats have even said the Paycheck Fairness Act is simply a shiny object. If they really thought it was important, they would have brought it to the floor soon after it was announce over a month ago. Oh, and let’s not forget that under the PFA, Democrats, who have been shown to pay women less, would have to pay them the same, regardless of seniority or any other reasons
(The Hill) The White House and congressional Democrats on Monday launched a full-fledged public-relations blitz in support of a paycheck-fairness measure in advance of a key Senate vote on Tuesday.
President Obama, directly inserting himself into the Capitol Hill debate over pay discrepancies between men and women, joined other Democrats in urging the Senate to move forward on a bill that he said would both promote fairness and help the economy.
And with Senate Republicans widely expected to block the paycheck measure on Tuesday, Obama also signaled that Democrats are ready and willing to use that vote against the GOP as both sides hunt for support from women this campaign season.
“Women are the breadwinners for a lot of families, and if they’re making less than men do for the same work, families are going to have to get by for less money for childcare and tuition and rent; small businesses have fewer customers,” Obama said on a Monday conference call. “Everybody suffers.”
Yet, the Obama White House pays women around $11,000 less a year on average than men. Shame on them! Even though there are perhaps valid reasons for the pay disparity. Doesn’t matter. They’ll have to pay women the same, as will Democrats in Congress. Unless they exempt themselves. And let’s not forget that this would also mean that women could not be paid more than men, even if they have, say, more seniority.
So, the Democrats who control the Senate are not willing to do their most basic job, and pass a budget, but they are more than willing to waste time to try to force a symbolic vote that would do no good even if passed: such would never be passed by the House.
While the esteemed Mr Teach focused on the political aspects, I’d point out the economic ones: if such legislation was passed, and was actually effective in raising pay for women, it would have the rather obvious — at least, obvious to anyone who isn’t a Democrat — effect of raising labor costs for American businesses. American industry is already facing huge pressure from foreign companies which are able to pay lower wages; a government-enforced increase in labor costs means that American companies which compete with foreign manufacturers will either:
- Have to raise their prices, and become less competitive with foreign goods, and lose business; or
- Have to maintain their prices to compete with foreign businesses, lose money, and therefore go out of business.
In either case, the result is fewer American jobs.
This is why, in the AP story Karen referenced previously, businessmen simply have no confidence in the Obama Administration and the Democrats. The Democrats are pretty good at trying to meddle in other people’s business, but not so good at doing their own jobs.
It’s sadly true that American wages have been essentially flat for the last three decades, and everybody would like a raise, but the fact is that American workers, who did not have to compete with foreign workers a few decades ago, do now, and that is what holds down American wages. The government cannot, just by order, increase wages in a real sense when the competition is not required to do so as well: either inflation occurs to make the dollar-denominated wages no better in real terms, or the increased wages harm American competitiveness, and real American jobs are lost. Realistically, both occur.
Our Democratic friends are driven by a noble sense of compassion, but economics is not a compassionate science. It is a simple economic truth: people will, overall, take the economic decisions that they see as being in their own better interests. In the past forty years, the aggregate result of those literally billions of decisions has been to purchase less expensive imported goods. The oh-so-well-meaning Democrats of today, whether they realize it or not, are simply trying to force more people to decide to buy imported goods.