GOP Congressman-wannbe-senatorTodd Akin was asked why he voted against the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act at a town hall on Thursday. Akin's response suggests that a) he doesn't understand what federal law was prior to the Ledbetter Act, b)he doesn't understand what's in the Ledbetter Act, c) he's a misogynistic cretin who thinks it should be legal for employers to discriminate against women and d)that he will say he believes anything the GOP backer Koch brothers tell him to.
AUDIENCE MEMBER: You voted against the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. Why do you think it is okay for a woman to be paid less for doing the same work as a man?
AKIN: Well, first of all, the premise of your question is that I'm making that particular distinction. I believe in free enterprise. I don't think the government should be telling people what you pay and what you don't pay. I think it's about freedom. If somebody wants to hire somebody and they agree on a salary, that's fine, however it wants to work. So, the government sticking its nose into all kinds of things has gotten us into huge trouble.
It's been illegal to discriminate against women by paying them less since 1960s. The Ledbetter Act just made it easier for women to sue if they find out they're being discriminated against. Because, see, where Akin says that "If somebody wants to hire somebody and they agree on a salary, that's fine, however it wants to work," the reality is that employers don't generally say to women, "Hey, I'm going to pay you less than I'm paying men doing the same job as you." They just pay less, and keep quiet about it, because they're breaking the law. Which means it would be bad for them if the women they were discriminating against found out about it because there are consequences for breaking the law.
The only "freedom" Akin is talking about here is the freedom of businesses to break the law. Which he thinks is fine, because he doesn't think that equal pay should be the law, even in largely unenforceable theory. Just like he doesn't think there should be a minimum wage for anyone.
Note also how in this case "the government sticking its nose into all kinds of things" is not a good thing, according to Akin, but when it comes to women's vaginas more intrusive government is just fine.