Leo W. Gerard

President’s Perspective

Leo W. Gerard USW International President

The GOP Has Money to Kill

The GOP Has Money to Kill

Shock and awe describes the budgets issued last week by Republicans in the House and Senate. The shock is that the GOP never stops trying to destroy beloved programs like Medicare. Awe inspiring is their audacity in describing their killing plans as moral.

When the House released its budget last Tuesday, Georgia Republican Rep. Rob Woodall said, “A budget is a moral document; it talks about where your values are.” His chamber’s spending plan shows that Republicans highly value war and place no value on health care for America’s elderly, working poor and young adults.

The opposite of win-win, the GOP budgets are kill-kill. Despite the GOP’s successful demand in 2011 for spending caps, Republicans now want more money for the military. War kills, as too many families of troops deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan know. By contrast, Republicans gouge domestic spending, condemning Americans to die unnecessarily from untreated disease. The GOP intends to revoke the health insurance of tens of millions by repealing the Affordable Care Act, voucherizing Medicare and slashing Medicaid. The Republican plans mandate overtime for the Grim Reaper. 

More ...

Why Does Jeb Bush Keep Touting His Failures?

Bill Scher

Bill Scher Online Editor, Campaign for America's Future

Jeb Bush, while very much a conservative, refuses to run as far to the right as possible to win the Republican nomination. This is rational. He knows winning the primaries with too much pandering means a likely loss in the general election.

Instead, he is distinguishing himself from the pack by stressing his record from being a two-term governor. This would normally be rational, especially since he’s up against several Republicans with particularly thin records.

But Jeb is developing an odd habit of breezily touting parts of his record that don’t look good up close.

More ...

Jeb Bush Calls For The Elimination Of The Federal Minimum Wage

Bryce Covert

Bryce Covert Economic Policy Editor, Think Progress

At an event in South Carolina last week, Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush was asked whether he thinks the country should raise the minimum wage or whether the wage should be left up to private companies.

“We need to leave it to the private sector,” he responded. “I think state minimum wages are fine. The federal government shouldn’t be doing this.” He went on, “The federal government doing this will make it harder and harder for the first rung of the ladder to be reached, particularly for young people, particularly for people that have less education.”

Watch:

More ...

Five Ways The GOP Budget Will Harm American Families

Terrance Heath

Terrance Heath Online Producer, Campaign for America’s Future

Republicans in Congress today will vote on budget proposals that are essentially meaningless, that they lay out how the GOP would like to structure federal policy and priorities.

The White House has its own fact sheet about the House Republican budget. The National Priorities Project has created a detailed comparison of all the budget proposals up for consideration: President Obama’s budget, the House GOP budget, the Senate GOP budget, and the Congressional Progressive Caucus budget. And here at CAF, we put together a graphic for sharing on social networks that compares the GOP budget with the Congressional Progressive Caucus budget.

 

The numbers are familiar by now. The House GOP budget contains $5.5 trillion in cuts. Yet, what would $5.5 trillion in cuts to “discretionary non-military spending” mean for the day-to-day lives of American families? How would the House GOP Budget affect a hypothetical average American family? Here are five areas where families will feel the effects.

More ...

GOP Balances Budget on Backs of Vulnerable

GOP Balances Budget on Backs of Vulnerable

Union Matters

ALEC’s Shrinking Universe

In one of my favorite episodes of Star Trek: the Next Generation, Dr. Beverly Crusher is trapped in a universe that threatens to shrink until she is its only occupant.

The conservative activist organization called the American Legislative Exchange or ALEC now finds itself in a similar situation.  On March 24th, the Center for American Progress, in its email newsletter called The Progress Report, predicted, if not the demise at least the continuing diminution, of ALEC.

Here at Union Matters, we’ve discussed ALEC before.  Specifically, ALEC exists to offer cookie-cutter bills that right-wing state legislatures use to accomplish conservative goals.

But ALEC and its agenda aren’t without opponents.  On March 23rd, British Petroleum, which employs many USW members, announced that it is cutting ties with ALEC.  And BP is only the most recent mega-company to do so.  In 2012, superstars of the business world such as Coca-Cola, Kraft, Walmart, Amazon, Johnson & Johnson, and Miller/Coors, withdrew support for ALEC because of the latter’s buttressing restrictive voter ID legislation and Stand Your Ground gun laws.

More ...