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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

For Single Elderly Women, Poverty Increased

Posted by Joan Entmacher, Vice President for Family Economic Security | Posted on: September 13, 2012 at 09:45 am

NWLC’s analysis of yesterday’s Census data shows poverty rates generally stabilized after three years of increases. But one notable exception is the significant increase in the poverty rate for women 65 and older living alone, which rose to 18.4 percent in 2011 from 17.0 percent in 2010.

We can’t yet explain why poverty increased for this already vulnerable group of women; the poverty rate for all women 65 and older was unchanged from 2010 at 10.7 percent. But we do know that single elderly women are especially reliant on income from Social Security. So we’re worried that policy makers continue to look to the Simpson-Bowles report as a model for deficit reduction, including its proposal to reduce Social Security’s annual cost-of-living adjustment by changing the measure of inflation to the “chained consumer price index,” because this proposal would especially hurt women.

Some politicians seem particularly intrigued by this idea, since it sounds like a technical change that might not be recognized as a benefit cut, and it starts out small. But the cut from the chained-CPI gets deeper every year. That’s particularly harmful to women because they live longer than men.


It's an American Classic - Our Social Security System

Posted by Joan Entmacher, Vice President for Family Economic Security | Posted on: August 14, 2012 at 04:26 pm

What's an American classic? Something that stays fresh and wonderful generation after generation. Something that says, "This is America." Like ice cream cones. The Statue of Liberty. Sunday drives. The March on Washington and "I have a dream." I Love Lucy. And our Social Security system.

Social Security - It's an American Classic!

On this date in 1935, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act. On its 77th birthday, we hail Social Security as an American classic! Why?

  • Social Security has brought Americans together across generations. Working together, we've built a system that provides income and security for workers and their families when they need it — when income is lost due to retirement, disability, or death.

Public Sector Job Cuts Aren’t Just Hurting Women’s Employment

Posted by Joan Entmacher, Vice President for Family Economic Security | Posted on: August 09, 2012 at 12:44 pm

If you read our blog or our report on how women are doing three years into the recovery, you know that public sector job losses are really slowing the recovery for women. For every 10 private sector jobs women have gained in the recovery, they’ve lost more than four public sector jobs.

But the impact of the unprecedented public sector job cuts we’ve seen recently is far broader. A new report from Brookings highlights these key facts:

  • Teachers (overwhelmingly women) experienced the largest number of public sector job losses. But the biggest percentage declines were in public safety jobs: emergency responders (-43.5%), air-traffic controllers (-28.5%), and fire fighters (-18.9%).
  • The percentage of workers employed in the public sector (federal, state and local) as a share of the population is at its lowest level in over 30 years.
  • If public sector employment had remained steady since the start of the recession, the economy would have an additional 1.7 million jobs and the unemployment rate would be 7.1 percent instead of 8.2 percent.

And public sector job cuts aren’t just hurting workers, their families, and the economy today. The Brookings report also looks at the long-term impact on the economy of the cuts in just one area – education. Fewer teachers mean more students per class: and recent research, cited in the report, finds that larger class sizes mean lower wages for today’s children when they join the workforce.


What if we all stood up for working families? Call Right Now

Posted by Joan Entmacher, Vice President for Family Economic Security | Posted on: July 31, 2012 at 01:23 pm

End Tax Cuts for the Richest 2%, Not Working Families    

Take Action
Tell your Representative to vote for tax fairness!    

Call 1-888-744-9958 today!

Whew, that was a nail biter!

Last week, the Senate voted 51 to 48 to stand up for tax fairness. This week your Representative will cast a vote on two tax cut bills — one that would help millionaires and one that would help working families.

Demand Tax Fairness Now: Call 1-888-744-9958 and listen to easy instructions and a sample script.

H.R. 15, introduced by House Democratic leaders, would end Bush-era tax cuts that benefit only the richest 2% of Americans and extend improved tax credits for low- and moderate-income working families.

H.R. 8, introduced by Rep. Dave Camp (R-MI), would leave no millionaire behind by continuing Bush-era tax cuts for the richest 2% of Americans — and end improved tax credits for low- and moderate-income working families.

And here's the kicker. More than one in three families with children — and three out of four low-income families with children — would lose out under H.R. 8.


A Victory for Tax Fairness! How did your Senators vote?

Posted by Joan Entmacher, Vice President for Family Economic Security | Posted on: July 26, 2012 at 04:07 pm

Did your Senators do the right thing?

Take Action
Find out how your Senators voted on ending the Bush-era tax cuts for the richest 2 percent. And send them a quick message!
Take Action

Yesterday, the Senate voted 51 to 48 to end the Bush-era tax cuts for the richest 2 percent of Americans. Ending these tax cuts would save $1 trillion over the next 10 years and help protect programs that are critical to women at every stage of their lives.

While some Senators did the right thing, others did not. Take two minutes to find out how your Senators voted and send them a message.

Our advocacy isn't done when the vote is tallied. We need to make sure your Senators know that you are watching their votes because this issue will come up again.