Leo W. Gerard

President’s Perspective

Leo W. Gerard USW International President

Donald Trump: Welfare King

Donald Trump puts on a show of being rich. There’s that private jet stamped Trump. He assures everyone, ad nauseam, that he’s really, really rich. But apparently it’s all a sham.

The Washington Post revealed last week that Trump is a charity case. Over the past several years, he repeatedly turned to a non-profit organization to pay his bills for him – more than a quarter million dollars in bills. (#Sad)

If Donald Trump really is a $10 billionaire as he repeatedly claims, there would be no reason for him to beg a foundation to foot his bills. It was fine for Trump to exaggerate his personal wealth while he was nothing but a reality TV star firing contestants for fun. But now that he’s a candidate for president of the United States, he’s got real responsibilities. And one of them is to release his tax returns, like every other presidential candidate for the past 40 years.

Before voting, the American people have a right to know whether Trump is lying about his wealth. But not just that, they have the right to know whether Trump remains among Republicans’ reviled 47 percent, the group that the GOP calls “takers,” because they pay no federal income taxes. New Jersey Gaming Commission records show Trump was a taker in 1978 and 1979, paying no federal income taxes in either year. Is he still paying nothing? That would make him quite a mooch, a welfare king, taking $885 million in tax breaks to construct his gilded buildings in New York and contributing not a cent in federal taxes. The Gipper would not approve.  

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The Missed Opportunity On Trade – And What We Must Do Next

Dave Johnson

Dave Johnson Fellow, Campaign for America's Future

The candidates discussed “trade” for a few minutes during the first presidential debate on Monday. Once again the opportunity for a meaningful dialogue on an important issue slipped away. Where do we go from here?

That was the subject of a teleconference Wednesday night between activists from around the country and Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.). The call was titled “Defeat the Trans-Pacific Partnership: bad for workers, bad for democracy, bad for People and the Planet.”

On the call, Sen. Merkley said that we have to “stop this gigantic trade deal, we have to stop it dead in its tracks.”

Merkley said to the activists on the call that they “have to be incredibly attentive during this period,” because even though the TPP is now opposed by top congressional leadership as well as both major presidential candidates, the tremendous pressure from multinational corporations on Congress could change that and tilt key members toward passage.

“We have to have a force inside the Congress and a grassroots force outside creating pressure and you all are that outside grassroots force. Because it is only with that attention and pressure that the swing votes will move,” he said.

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Trump Digs in on Why Refusing to Pay Taxes Makes Him ‘Smart’

Bryce Covert

Bryce Covert Economic Policy Editor, Think Progress

At the first presidential debate earlier this week, Republican nominee Donald Trump seemed to admit that he doesn’t pay anything in federal income taxes. But he’s spent the days since lying about what he said.

Speculating about why Trump has refused to release his tax returns during the debate, Democratic rival Hillary Clinton said, “Maybe he doesn’t want the american people, all of you watching tonight, to know that he’s paid nothing in federal taxes.” She noted that when Trump was made to hand over tax returns over the years, “they showed he didn’t pay any income tax.”

Trump broke in to say, “That makes me smart.”

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Trump Tries to Pretend He Didn’t Brag About Not Paying Taxes

Bryce Covert

Bryce Covert Economic Policy Editor, Think Progress

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump is the first candidate in 40 years who has refused to release his tax returns. At the presidential debate on Monday night, his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton suggested that may be because the public would see he didn’t pay any federal income taxes at all despite his self-professed wealth.

Trump seemed to admit that this was indeed the case. “That makes me smart,” he responded.

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Analysis of the Trump Meltdown

Carl Davidson

Carl Davidson Author and Writer, Beaver County Blue

Hillary Clinton cleaned Donald Trump’s clock Monday night, at least in terms of rational debate. But politics is also about the irrational, so the Democrats and their tactical allies still need to double down on their efforts in the next six weeks.

First, Trump doesn’t seem to know that assertions are no substitute for arguments. He can carry on about how he’ll ‘bring jobs back’ all he wants, but he never says how. HRC presented a package essentially for a high tech manufacturing, green New Deal industrial policy (borrowed from Sanders and Stein, to be fair) that actually would make sense. The closest Trump comes is to hint at tariffs, which would raise consumer prices at the cost for those jobs.

But here’s the rub. Take the birther stuff. No rational person believes that Obama’s mother, while taking a flight to Kenya to have her baby, also rigged the Honolulu hospital and newspaper records back then to show he was born there so that one day he might be POTUS.

So what do all those who support Trump’s claim really mean? It is simply that Obama is an African American, and as such, it was bad politics that he broke the color line to the Oval Office. This can be said in private, but not in public, at least most times. The  birther movement, fueled by Trump for years, was meant to ‘correct’ it by de-legitimizing Obama's election or, at least, by compelling Obama to display deference to the alpha white male.

And that is exactly what Trump did last night with his bombast about how it was HE that compelled Obama to show his papers.

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Union Matters

Election 2016: Members Speak Out

James Morgan
Local 2659

James Morgan, 30, of Belleville, Mich., works for Chemetall Group. He has been a member of USW Local 2659 for five years and serves as a trustee, and as Rapid Response and Next Gen chair.

“I am working to elect Hillary Clinton for my unborn child, to make sure when he or she comes into the world, it is a better place, not a Donald Trump place. I want this to be a country that is accepting, a country that provides plenty of opportunity. Hopefully when he or she comes into this world, we have free college tuition and things like that. 

“I want this to be the land of the free where we accept everyone whether you are black, Asian, Mexican or Muslim. We have all contributed. And that is what made America what it is.  We can’t shun people.  It is not just an American value. Acceptance absolutely is a union value. If you have been to a union event, you see people from all walks of life, and they are people who accept people from all walks of life.


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Flat Out Lie

Flat Out Lie