Trump Transition

What my sisters who marched don't understand: Trump's policies will help women (and the US)

Bryan Llenas reports from New York City

 

Do not blame the women. Blame the media, Hillary Clinton, Hollywood, and liberals everywhere who have turned a blustery, untutored, occasionally crude but highly effective candidate into a monster.

Donald Trump was elected president because he said what people wanted to hear and promised what they craved – a departure from the mind-numbing political correctness of the past eight years and a vow to place jobs and security at the top of the nation’s agenda.

Donald Trump is unorthodox and impolitic, but he is also smart. He saw the political winds shift – when the media and his opponents did not -- and took full advantage. For this they cannot forgive him.  

Millions of women are frightened; you can hardly blame them. To win their vote, Hillary Clinton convinced them that the president will wage a War on Women, voiding equal pay laws, overturning Roe v Wade and taking away critical health care coverage. The media picked up the drumbeat and has not put it down.

I’d march too if any of that were true. But it is not.

Though Vice President Mike Pence is an abortion opponent, and though President Trump also backed the pro-life movement during his campaign, his cabinet appointees have acknowledged that abortion is legal in the U.S. In particular, Sen. Jeff Sessions, Trump’s pick for attorney general, vowed during his Senate confirmation hearings to respect Roe v. Wade, saying, "It is the law of the land, it has been settled for some time," Sessions said. "I will respect it and follow it."

Though abortion is an important issue for many conservatives, it clearly was not the driving force behind Trump’s campaign. Early on it became obvious that he had not studied up on the political orthodoxy regarding abortion, when he made the shocking remark that women deserved “some sort of punishment” for terminating a pregnancy. He quickly backtracked, but the kerfuffle revealed not some sinister position from Trump, but rather that it was not a priority issue.

Trump is going to have to pick his fights going forward, and there will be many. It is inconceivable that he would spend his political capital taking on one of the most divisive issues faced by our country, especially one to which he is not committed. It isn’t going to happen.

Similarly, the Trump campaign, and the president, have long championed equal pay for equal work. Women’s groups argue that the data proves discrimination; statistically, women only earn 79 cents on the dollar compared to men. Many studies have debunked that assertion, pointing out that the so-called “pay gap” is a function of the choices women make, such as choosing to work part time in order to raise their children, or a difference in the kinds of jobs women hold.

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 makes it illegal to discriminate against employees based on gender, race, religion or national origin.

The push for more legislation, such as the Paycheck Fairness Act which has been endorsed by Hillary Clinton and many other liberals, makes it easier to sue over discrimination and makes the punishments more severe for violating the law.

It also ladles onto employers more paper work and requirements of the sort that have enlarged the federal government and beaten down small businesses in recent years. For example, it would “require the EEOC to collect from employers pay information data regarding the sex, race, and national origin of employees for use in the enforcement of federal laws prohibiting pay discrimination.”

Further, it would authorize the making of grants “to eligible entities for negotiation skills training programs for girls and women. Directs the Secretary and the Secretary of Education to issue regulations or policy guidance to integrate such training into certain programs under their Departments.”

This is the kind of regulatory excess that has puffed up the bureaucracy and driven employers crazy. And here’s why it’s not necessary: all employers need to know is that discrimination is illegal and the Justice Department will come down like a ton of bricks on any company that violates that requirement. White Houses choose what laws they prioritize. We don’t need more legislation; we need a strong signal that President Trump will not tolerate women being underpaid.

Since Trump is known to have promoted women in his own company, since he chose a woman to be the first in our history to lead a national presidential campaign, since he clearly considers his own daughter the equal of his sons, his credentials on this front appear excellent. Hillary Clinton said on the campaign trail that Trump does not believe in equal pay for equal work; Politifact debunked that charge and rated it “half true.” That would appear generous.

As to ObamaCare, women across the country know that the law is not working and needs revision. Here, again, the Left has been in full alarm mode, warning that Trump will strip millions of their insurance. Does any intelligent person actually believe that?

Trump and the Republican Congress have pledged to make insurance and health care available to all. They know that a successful overhaul of ObamaCare is one of their core priorities. The revamp will not be without bumps, but with soaring premiums and impossibly high deductibles, the current system is widely unpopular and seen as unsustainable. It needs to be fixed and Trump has pledged to do just that.

The White House needs to ignore the sniping media, ignore the protesters and get on with the campaign promises that got Mr. Trump elected – boosting hiring, reining in the smothering red tape that is discouraging our entrepreneurs, rebuilding our infrastructure, fixing ObamaCare, and making our country safe.

Those are not men’s issues or women’s issues – those are the nation’s issues.

Liz Peek is a writer who contributes frequently to FoxNews.com. She is a financial columnist who also writes for The Fiscal Times. For more visit LizPeek.com. Follow her on Twitter@LizPeek.