ALLEN ON WOMEN’S POVERTY: RIGHT ON PROBLEM, WRONG ON SOLUTION

Richmond, VA Today, George Allen received a rare accolade – a “true” rating from Poltifact on the statement that women’s poverty rate is the highest it’s been in 17 years. While Allen is correct on the problem, he’s very wrong on the solution.
 
Politifact Virginia reports, “’Much of the reason is related to a wage gap,’ said Joan Entmacher, vice president for family economic security at The National Women’s Law Center. ‘A large reason in the difference between poverty among men and women is primarily related to the wage gap, she said.’”

Recently, Politifact VA confirmed Virginia women earn only 77 cents for every dollar paid to their male counterparts, resulting in thousands of dollars of lost income, and a higher poverty level. Tim Kaine agrees this is a problem that must be addressed, which is why he supports equal pay legislation like the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act and the Paycheck Fairness Act to provide women the tools they need to combat the persistent wage gap. George Allen  has refused to support any of these pieces of legislation and even voted against the Family and Medical Leave Act three times in Congress, calling it "harmful." 

If one reads further into the reasoning, it's clear there is actually another way Allen's plans would continue to harm women's economic opportunity. As Politifact reports, "'Entmacher said cuts in public spending during recent years have particularly hurt women. 'Teachers were the largest group of public sector employees affected and teacher jobs are held at a rate of about 70 percent by women,' she said."

Allen’s Cut, Cap and Balance pledge, combined with his promises to Washington lobbyist Grover Norquist to never raise revenue, would result in deep cuts to education and likely a reduction of the teaching force, costing wages and jobs for many Virginia women, and hindering education for our young people.
 
Just like other issues that have come up in this campaign, George Allen has plenty of rhetoric but few solutions to solve the challenges that face women and families across the nation and the Commonwealth. Allen’s refusal to support equal pay legislation and family leave laws is just another indication that reelecting him to the Senate wouldn’t help the unacceptably high level of poverty for women – it would actually make it worse.

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