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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

What It Takes to Live on Minimum Wage

Posted by Joan Entmacher, Vice President for Family Economic Security | Posted on: April 26, 2012 at 03:44 pm

 Help Us Raise the Minimum Wage

Share Your Story
 Share your story about what it takes for women and families to live on the minimum wage.
 Share Your Story

$14,500.

That is what a woman makes working full time for a full year at the current federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour.

That's right — only $14,500 a year, which is below the federal poverty line for a family of three. For tipped workers, the federal minimum cash wage is only $2.13 an hour! And nearly two-thirds of minimum wage workers and tipped workers are women.

We want to increase the minimum wage for all workers, including tipped workers, to give working families a boost and help close the wage gap.

But we can't do it without your help. We want to hear about what it takes to live on minimum wage from women who've experienced it.

If you have a story to share, could you share it with us?

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Three Things You Should Know About the Future of Social Security

Posted by Joan Entmacher, Vice President for Family Economic Security | Posted on: April 24, 2012 at 01:54 pm

The Social Security Trustees just released their annual report on Social Security’s finances. It’s provoked a number of misinformed “the sky is falling” stories from journalists who should know better, as explained by the Columbia Journalism Review.

To get the facts, you can watch this short video which answers the question, “Will Social Security be there for me?” Or you can read on:

  • Social Security can pay 100 percent of promised benefits for the next 20 years, until 2033, even if Congress takes no action. And after 2033, Social Security won’t be broke; payroll taxes will still cover 75 percent of promised benefits.
  • It isn’t difficult to close the long-term financing gap and ensure that future generations get 100 percent of promised benefits. One way Congress could do it is by requiring high earners to pay Social Security payroll taxes on all of their earnings, which 94 percent of Americans who earn less than $110,100 a year already do.
  • Social Security will run a surplus this year—and the year after that, and the year after that, until 2020. That’s right—even though Social Security will take in less in payroll taxes than it pays in benefits this year, it will have money left over to deposit in the Social Security Trust Fund after it pays all benefits due. That’s because Social Security also earns interest on the $2.7 trillion in bonds it currently holds in the Social Security Trust Fund.  
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Time for Millionaires to Pay Their Fair Share

Posted by Joan Entmacher, Vice President for Family Economic Security | Posted on: April 11, 2012 at 11:23 am

Tired of fighting cuts to programs that women and their families depend on in the name of deficit reduction — while millionaires and billionaires haven't been asked to contribute an extra penny? Think it's time for millionaires and billionaires who pay lower tax rates than many middle-class Americans to start paying their fair share?

Take Action: Tell your Senators to support the Paying a Fair Share Act of 2012!

On April 16, we expect the Senate to vote on an important piece of legislation, the Paying a Fair Share Act of 2012 (S. 2230). The bill would ensure that those with incomes over $1 million annually pay at least 30 percent of their income in federal taxes. The legislation, introduced by Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, was inspired by billionaire investor Warren Buffett, who highlighted the unfairness of a tax system that permits him to pay a lower tax rate than his secretary.

It's time for this absurdity to stop.

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A Vision We've Been Waiting For

Posted by Joan Entmacher, Vice President for Family Economic Security | Posted on: March 30, 2012 at 10:17 am

Thank Senator Harkin for Working to Rebuild America

Thank Senator Tom Harkin!
The Rebuild America Act lays out a vision of a better America for women and their families. 
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Now this is more like it! You and I both know that we've had to spend a lot of time playing defense to protect critical programs and hard-won rights. But while we've been on the defensive, we've also been advocating for policies that lift up and support ALL Americans and that provide a clear path to a better future.

Now our efforts are paying off. Just yesterday, Senator Tom Harkin introduced the Rebuild America Act, which would improve economic security for women and their families. The Rebuild America Act makes investments to promote widely shared prosperity and finances them in a fair and fiscally responsible way.

This type of opportunity doesn't come along every day. Join us in saying 'Thank you!' to Senator Harkin for introducing this important bill!

What kinds of prosperity are we talking about? First and foremost — jobs. The Rebuild America Act recognizes the need for quantity and quality when it comes to job creation. The bill provides funding to help states and localities hire teachers and other public service workers — an especially crucial sector for women, who have lost nearly 70 percent of the public sector jobs cut since June of 2009. It also invests in infrastructure and manufacturing — and increases support for job training and education to expand access to these jobs among underrepresented populations.

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Slash and Burden: The Ryan Budget

You've heard of slash and burn, but how about slash and burden?

On Thursday, the House is expected to vote on a budget for Fiscal Year 2013 introduced by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI). The Ryan budget would devastate vital services for women and their families while giving trillions in new tax cuts to the wealthiest Americans and large corporations — on top of extending provisions of the Bush-era tax cuts that benefit only the very wealthy.

Let's make it clear that we will not stand for a budget that slashes programs for women and families and puts the burden of paying for tax breaks for millionaires and corporations on middle- and low-income Americans.

Tell your Representative to oppose the Ryan Budget. As your Members of Congress start budget negotiations, they need to know that their constituents expect them to protect programs for women and families — and to require the wealthy and corporations to pay their fair share of taxes.

What's wrong with Rep. Paul Ryan's Budget? For starters, it would:

  • Repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Insurance companies could continue to charge women higher premiums than men, deny coverage to women due to preexisting condition, and refuse to cover maternity care.
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