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Joan Entmacher, Vice President for Family Economic Security

Joan Entmacher

Joan Entmacher is Vice President for Family Economic Security at the National Women's Law Center, where she leads a team working to improve policies important to the economic security of low-income women and their families, including tax and budget, child care, child support, unemployment insurance, Temporary Assistance to Needy Families, and Social Security. Ms. Entmacher is a leading expert on issues affecting low-income women. She has been invited to testify before Congress on several occasions, written numerous analyses and reports on income support policies and their impact on poor women, and spoken frequently at conferences, briefings, and to the media. Prior to joining the National Women's Law Center, Ms. Entmacher served as Director of Legal and Public Policy at the National Partnership for Women & Families, Assistant Professor of Political Science at Wellesley College, Chief of the Civil Rights Division of the Massachusetts Attorney General's Office, and attorney in the U.S. Department of Labor Solicitor's Office. Ms. Entmacher is a graduate of Yale Law School and Wellesley College.

My Take

The Phony Crisis in Social Security Disability Insurance — And Other Things Women Should Know About SSDI

Posted by Joan Entmacher, Vice President for Family Economic Security | Posted on: February 25, 2015 at 09:58 am

Some lawmakers are saying that Social Security is facing a crisis. The Senate Budget Committee recently held a hearing on “The Coming Crisis: Social Security Disability Trust Fund Insolvency;” today, a House subcommittee is holding a hearing on the “looming insolvency of the Disability Insurance program.”

Sounds scary—and that’s the idea. Cuts to Social Security benefits are really unpopular; in fact, a large majority of Americans supports increases in Social Security benefits and increases in taxes to pay for them. But some lawmakers want to cut benefits. Manufacturing a crisis and pitting groups against each other—young against old, retirees against people with disabilities—just might make it possible to push benefit cuts through.

So as the debate heats up over Social Security—and specifically Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)—here are a few things you should know.

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3 Things You Could Get For $79 Billion Other Than Business Tax Breaks

Posted by Joan Entmacher, Vice President for Family Economic Security | Posted on: February 13, 2015 at 04:04 pm

Before heading out for the President’s Day recess, the House of Representatives passed a package of business tax breaks that would cost $79 billion over the next 10 years. The bill doesn’t close any tax loopholes, so all of its cost would be added to the deficit.

At the National Women’s Law Center, we’ve been reviewing President Obama’s Fiscal Year 2016 budget—and it proposes much better ways to invest $79 billion:

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The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: 5 Key Developments in Budget & Tax Policy in 2014

Posted by Joan Entmacher, Vice President for Family Economic Security | Posted on: December 17, 2014 at 09:32 am
  • The government didn’t shut down—although it came very close--and Congress agreed to fund most agencies through the end of Fiscal Year 2015. A few programs, including the Child Care and Development Block Grant, received modest increases.  But most domestic programs face freezes or cuts in FY 2015—on top of years of cuts in programs vital to women and their families—and even deeper cuts in FY 2016.
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Poverty Among Seniors is Dramatically Higher Under the Supplemental Poverty Measure

Posted by Joan Entmacher, Vice President for Family Economic Security | Posted on: October 16, 2014 at 12:50 pm

For anyone who thinks that poverty among seniors is a thing of the past, the data released this morning by the U.S. Census Bureau should serve as a wake-up call.

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Whose Poverty Rate Increased Last Year? Older Women's

Posted by Joan Entmacher, Vice President for Family Economic Security | Posted on: September 16, 2014 at 03:30 pm

As we reported, today’s poverty numbers show no improvement in the poverty rate for women overall. Hispanic women saw their poverty rate decline; African

 American women did not.  We haven’t finished crunching all the numbers.  But we know that at least one group of women saw an increase in poverty: women 65 and older.

The poverty rate for women 65 and older increased to 11.6 percent in 2013 from 11.0 in 2012, a statistically significant change. The poverty rate for men 65 and older in 2013 was 6.8 percent, statistically unchanged from 2012.  More than two-thirds (68.1 percent) of the elderly poor are women.

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