Hodge: Trump’s wage gap views highlight executive hypocrisy

Jayla Hodge

Editor’s Note: All opinion section content reflects the views of the individual author only and does not represent a stance taken by the Collegian or its editorial board.

This past Tuesday was the official Equal Pay Day, the day marking where women’s wages catch up with the wages of our male counterparts from 2016. In 1996, the National Committee on Pay Equity made April 4th national “Equal Pay Day” to help raise awareness on the gender wage gap and represent how much longer woman must work. Women work an additional three months on average to make the same yearly wages of men. The holiday was celebrated all over social media by many political figures including First Daughter, Ivanka Trump.

The new official White House adviser posted a statement to Instagram saying, “Closing the gender pay gap is critical to the economic empowerment of American women, and it is the responsibility of all Americans to come together in pursuit of equal pay. I am proud to work towards this goal alongside my father and in support of the administration’s commitment to women and families.”

Such bold support from the Trump’s on wage equality came as a shock to many due to Trump’s recent actions. On March 27, a mere week before Equal Pay Day, President Trump signed an executive order revoking the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces order. These orders created in 2010, introduced more protections for women in the workforce and demanded more transparency from corporations and companies that use pay walls to keep wages undisclosed leading to more wage discrimination between male and female employees. These orders were fought hard for and help keep sexual harassment and discrimination out of our workforce. These protections and issues are not being valued by our president.

This is not a media manipulation, but rather manipulation from the administration to the public. The actions of our president and his administration directly contradict their statements and public sentiments.

 

There are people, especially right-wing media outlets like Fox News, that support Trump’s executive order because they have written off the wage gap as a myth or discredit the many factual and reliable statistics. This is easily debunked. The wage gap is a real issue. According to national census wage reports women are paid  20 percent less than men on average.

Even though the president and his administration have created no policies or substantial work towards these issues, and they are derailing most of the progress that has been made. They have admitted and emphasized that the gender wage gap and employment discrimination are serious issues in our country.

We need to recognize the hypocrisy of our leadership. While some still claim President Trump is doing exactly what he said in his campaign, many of his actions have been double-sided and contradictory of themselves.

Another example of our commander in chief’s hypocrisy and snake-like behavior on behalf of his administration are exemplified through the First Family’s living expenses.

The First Family currently resides in three locations and is the first presidential family to not reside full time in the White House. According to budget request documents released by the U.S Secret Service to The Washington Post, it will take an addition $60 million in funding to keep with their security and travel expenses alone. Funding the First Family and their expensive lifestyle comes from taxpayer dollars. We pay for the First Lady to live in Trump Tower and for President Trump to fly back to his Florida estate, also known as the “Winter White House” every other week.

These are extravagances our country cannot afford to pay for and they are taking funds away from programs our country desperately needs. This is not “making America great.”

It is extremely hypocritical considering Trump’s new budget proposal. Trump has proposed cutting spending to many crucial programs and systems. Trump’s administration cut the education budget by $9.2 billion and decreasing funding towards environmental programs by 31 percent, almost dismantling the EPA. All of this on top of cutting other small budget programs dedicated to the arts and supporting other low income demographics.

Trump claims these programs are “not effective, that duplicate other efforts and they do not serve national needs.” Our country needs a better education system. Our country needs environmental protections , funding for clean energy and climate research. Our country needs orders that end workplace discrimination and ends the gender pay gap. What our country doesn’t need is a administration that lacks transparency and a president that cares more about his presidential privileges and business relations more than his citizens.

Sadly, it is not surprising to see actions like this from a president who has shown to blatantly disregard women in the past, but Ivanka Trump, who has built her platform advocating for women this serves as a serious red flag. We need a woman that will stand up and be a real voice for American women, not one that just uses her daddy’s.

Jayla can be reached at letters@collegian.com and on Twitter @Jayla_hodge