The U.S. Women’s Chamber of Commerce Rejects Ryan’s Misogynistic Budget as an Economic Assault on Women and Women Businesses Owners

WASHINGTON, March 17, 2013 – Today, the U.S. Women's Chamber of Commerce calls on congressional leaders to reject the Ryan Budget as wrong for the future of America, and pledges to take the case to protect the economic future of women to every community.

"This alarmingly misogynistic budget attacks the economic interest and security of women at every level," states Margot Dorfman, CEO of the U.S. Women's Chamber of Commerce. "It attacks women as workers by assuring the destruction of millions of jobs," continues Dorfman.  "It attacks women as business owners by pushing down our gross domestic product thereby lowering consumer spending; and by continuing the unfair tax cuts and loopholes that grossly favor large corporations and the ultra rich over everyone else.  It attacks women as caregivers by undermining the economic security delivered through Medicaid and Medicare and sets up a chain reaction that may force millions of aging parents to move into their children's homes and be cared for by women who may then be pulled out of the workforce.  And, it attacks mothers of children by slashing the most basic of safety nets for food, nutrition and healthcare."

The U.S. Women's Chamber of Commerce maintains the following elements of the Ryan Budget are direct economic attacks on women:

  • Job Destruction:  The Economic Policy Institute estimates women could lose up to 930,000 jobs in the first year of the Ryan Budget.
  • Loss of Access to Affordable Healthcare:  Devastating cuts to Medicare and Medicaid would disportionately impact the economic well-being of women.  As women live longer than men and enter retirement with lower assets, they make up 70% of Medicaid and 55% of Medicare users.  Additionally, as seniors are unable to make ends meet due to the loss of the focused purchasing power inherent to these programs, they may be forced to move in with their children causing further economic and family hardships.
  • Healthcare Cost Prejudice:  The reversal of the Affordable Care Act will restore the ability of health providers to treat a person's gender as a pre-existing condition, thereby charging women $1 billion more for their healthcare every year.
  • Unfair Tax Advantages: By sustaining the many tax loopholes and tax favors for big business and the ultra rich, women-owned small businesses will continue to face an uneven and unfair playing field.
  • Loss of Access to Education (which drives future earnings):  Slashing Pell Grants by $83 billion would negatively impact approximately six million women annually.
  • Undermining Children's Health:  Slashing health and nutritional safety nets for children would cause millions of women to deal with sick children making it harder for working mothers to bring home incomes for their family.

"In addition to the hatchet clearly aimed at women's economic security, the most frustrating part of the Ryan Budget is that our members have told us their number one priority is a strong focus on jobs/employment and business growth – not extremist austerity," adds Dorfman.  "After a calamitous wrecking ball hit our economy and two presidential elections aimed squarely at the debate over the direction of America's future, it is clear American women need every ounce of our energy focused on fueling job growth, innovation, and consumer spending.  American women want our economy to keep moving forward with strategic cuts and investments for the future.  We do not want to push our financial condition backward and we certainly don't want to be attacked as this budget so surely has done."

"The U.S. Women's Chamber of Commerce view is that this budget isn't just harmful to the economic interest of women, it is an all out assault on the economic advances we have made over the last one hundred years," adds Dorfman.

The U.S. Women's Chamber of Commerce is the leading advocate for women on economic and leadership issues.  As the economic leader for women, the USWCC creates opportunities, drives progress, advocates, and provides tools and solutions to support the economic growth of women across America. The USWCC is a not-for-profit 501(c)6 organization founded in 2001 with over 500,000 members; its headquarters offices are located in Washington, D.C.  Contact the USWCC at 888-418-7922.

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