Although the Equal Pay Act of 1963 already requires equal pay for equal work, presidential candidate Obama wants more. Thus he is co-sponsoring the Fair Pay Act, which calls for equal pay for “equivalent” jobs, however that is to be interpreted. Compared to this bill, Senator Clinton’s Paycheck Fairness Act is restrained. It directs the secretary of labor to “develop guidelines to enable employers to evaluate job categories.” Employers would not be made to comply with the guidelines, although they would certainly be pressured to do so. Burdensome as these provisions are, the Fair Pay Act is worse.

Writing in The New York Sun, Diana Furchtgott-Roth, a former economist at the U.S. Department of Labor and a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute, goes to the heart of the matter:

“Comparable worth” is based on an assumption that women are inferior and weak, chronic victims, and unable to succeed on their own, and so need government wage protection. [Obama’s bill] may get more female votes in Iowa, the first 2008 battleground – but he demonstrates lack of judgment as a presidential candidate.