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Hillary’s ‘Wage Gap’ Ad Omits Important Information About the Bill Clinton and Obama Administrations

Greeted by an overflow crowd, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks and meets with Iowa voters at Keota Junior Senior High School during a town hall in Keota, Iowa on Tuesday December 22, 2015. (Melina Mara/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

The Hillary Clinton presidential campaign has begun air ads in Iowa bemoaning the income inequality between CEOs and average workers in the country. But the ad doesn’t mention the wage gap was wider during President Bill Clinton’s administration than now.

Nor does the ad state that the gap between CEO and average employee pay has grown steadily during the Obama administration.

“On average, it takes three hundred Americans working for a solid year to make as much money as one top CEO,” the narrator says in the ad says. “It’s called the wage gap.”

The ad continues, “And the Republicans will make it worse by lowering taxes for those at the top and letting corporations write their own rules.”

The 300 workers figure most likely comes from a June 2014 study by the Economic Policy Institute, a liberal think tank, which found that the pay ratio between CEOs and the average worker was 295.9 to 1. That gap increasingly widened under the Obama administration. But it’s actually lower than the gap during the last year of her husband’s administration.

In 2000, President Bill Clinton’s final year in office and Hillary Clinton’s final year as first lady, the ratio of CEO pay to average workers was 384.4 to 1. Thus, using that same logic, under the first Clinton administration – which Democrats frequently site for a booming economy – it would take 384.4 workers to make the pay of one CEO during the Clinton’s final year in the White House.

By 2007, during President George W. Bush’s administration, the number had fallen modestly to 351.3, which came before the large economic downturn of 2008.

The Clinton campaign did not respond to inquirin

When Obama took office in 2009, the ratio was 193.2, meaning that on average, it would take almost 200 workers’ earnings to cover the earnings of one CEO, according to the EPI study. The pay gap steadily grew under Obama until in 2013, when the EPI numbers show it would take almost 300 workers to equal to the earnings of a CEO.

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