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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 Patriot Tax

Posted by Joan Entmacher, Vice President for Family Economic Security | Posted on: May 14, 2008 at 08:08 pm

by Joan Entmacher, Vice President for Family Economic Security 
National Women’s Law Center

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Food Stamps or Tax Breaks for Racehorses? We're Betting on the Ponies

Posted by Joan Entmacher, Vice President for Family Economic Security | Posted on: April 25, 2008 at 03:21 pm

by Joan Entmacher, Vice President for Family Economic Security
and Kristina Gupta, Policy Fellow

We at the National Women’s Law Center have blogged about the Farm Bill before, but for those of you who may not know, the Farm Bill is a massive piece of legislation which includes a variety of programs – including agricultural subsidies, conservation, and nutrition programs. It comes up for reauthorization every five years, and negotiations between the House and Senate – and the White House – have been going on for months.

Reauthorization of the Farm Bill would mean an increase in funding for nutrition programs including food stamps and emergency food assistance. These increases are critically needed at a time when food prices are going through the roof, and are especially important for women – nearly 70 percent of adult food stamp recipients are women.

Yet, action on these critical nutrition improvements is stalled as some members of Congress continue to insist on dubious tax cuts and subsidies for wealthy farmers and agribusinesses.  One that borders on the ridiculous is the tax break for racehorse owners being promoted by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) (racehorse owners would be able to deduct the cost of their racehorse purchases over three years instead of seven). The congressional Joint Committee on Taxation estimates that this provision will cost $61 million in 2009 and $489 million between 2008 and 2017. Just to provide some comparisons: In 2009, the proposed tax break for racehorses could pay for food stamp benefits for an additional 49,000 Americans, Pell grants for an additional 23,000 students, or childcare subsidies for an additional 10,000 children.

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The Hot Fudge Sundae Diet Doesn't Work - and Cutting Taxes on Capital Gains Doesn't Raise Revenue

Posted by Joan Entmacher, Vice President for Family Economic Security | Posted on: April 21, 2008 at 07:56 pm

by Joan Entmacher, Vice President for Family Economic Security
National Women’s Law Center

There’s been a lot of discussion about the performance of the moderators at last week’s Democratic presidential debate. But not much attention has been paid to a misleading question on an important tax and budget issue posed by Charles Gibson of ABC News.

Gibson asserted that when the tax rate on capital gains was dropped the government took in more revenue, and that 100 million people who own stock would be affected if the rate was increased. Then he asked, “So why raise it?” Both points are seriously misleading, as the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities explains.

Cutting tax rates on capital gains income loses revenue over the long term. Extending the capital gains tax cut enacted in 2003, which lowered the tax rate on capital gains income from an already low maximum rate of 20 percent to 15 percent, would cost $100 billion over the next decade. The estimate comes from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office and Joint Committee on Taxation, and President Bush’s Office of Management and Budget included a similar estimate in the President’s budget. Protecting tax breaks for capital gains income means $100 billion less for investments in our families and communities.

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What the Public Is Thinking About Taxes

Posted by Joan Entmacher, Vice President for Family Economic Security | Posted on: April 15, 2008 at 09:01 pm

by Joan Entmacher, Vice President for Family Economic Security
National Women’s Law Center

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The Media Gets It: Downturn Hitting Poor Women & Families Hard

Posted by Joan Entmacher, Vice President for Family Economic Security | Posted on: April 01, 2008 at 02:24 pm

by Joan Entmacher, Vice President for Family Economic Security
and Kristina Gupta, Policy Fellow 
National Women’s Law Center

We observed a few days ago that the poor finally made it to page one. This week, the media continues to call attention to the ways the downturn is affecting economically vulnerable people, mostly women and children – just in time for the returning Congress to do something about it.

The Washington Post ran two excellent articles about the effects of the economic downturn. The first article talks about how states are dealing with budget shortfalls (unlike the federal government, almost all states must balance their budgets each year). Mostly, states are slashing services instead of looking for ways to raise revenue. The story highlights the effects of these cuts on the most vulnerable, including poor women in Cook County, Illinois, who no longer have access to free mammograms, and low-income Californians with AIDS who are losing access to life-saving retroviral treatments. The second article talks about the impact of rising energy prices on low-income people and the struggling middle-class. According to the article, more and more families are unable to pay their utility bills and are turning to private charities and the federal Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) for aid. But neither private charities nor the underfunded federal program are able to meet current needs.

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