Monday, September 22, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Sorry Ladies

The Guv's budget proposal appears to hand pain to women.

Sorry Ladies

  (A brief discussion twixt Baer & Baer's editor, a.k.a. BE)

JB: I wonder if Tom Corbett cleared his budget cuts with his wife and/or daughter.

BE: Why would he?

JB: Because yesterday, the day he announced sweeping cuts in programs run by women, was International Women's Day, an event celebrated in 28 countries and recognized by the United Nations since the early 1900s. AND since it's March, it's also Women's History Month.

BE: Wait. You said programs "run by women." What programs?

JB: Credit state Rep. Mike Gerber (who, by the by, has a great name for politics; you know, Gerber's baby food in every grocery store; every mom knows the name; and he could run an ad along the lines of "Gerber: He's for you, baby").

BE: You're getting off track. Why credit Gerber?

JB: Because the Montco Democrat pointed out to me yesterday that areas hit hardest in Corbett's budget proposal -- schools, hospitals, social programs -- are areas that disproportionately employ women.

BE: I hadn't thought about it.

JB: Somebody did. Check this out: according to the most recent employment and earnings data from the U.S. Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics, women make up 82 percent of elementary and middle school teachers; 82 percent of social workers; 94 percent of child-care workers and 92 percent of registered nurses.

BE: Sounds like the ladies could get lacquered.

JB: There's more. Those huge cuts in higher-ed that are expected to hike tutition costs at state-funded colleges and universities hit females more than men because, according to a new White House report on women, more women now attend college than men. Here's a Marketwatch story about it.

BE: So maybe all the women elected officials will battle the budget?

JB: Wish them luck. Pennsylvania ranks 42nd among states in the percentage of women in public office. And in our legislature, among the 16 majority-party leadership posts, the people who control the process, there's only one woman, Republican Rep. Sandra Major, of rural Susquehanna County. She's the House GOP caucus boss.

BE: So you're saying it could be a tough times for women?

JB: I'm sayin' when mommy's not happy, nobody's happy. GRRRR!

John Baer Daily News Political Columnist
About this blog
John Baer has been covering politics and government for the Daily News since 1987. The National Journal in 2002 called Baer one of the country's top 10 political journalists outside Washington, saying Baer has, "the ability to take the skin off a politician without making it hurt too much." E-mail John at baerj@phillynews.com.

John is the author of the book "On The Front Lines of Pennsylvania Politics: Twenty-Five Years of Keystone Reporting" (The History Press, 2012). Reach John at baerj@phillynews.com.

John Baer Daily News Political Columnist
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