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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Chris Christie Doubles Down on Trump’s Debunked Birther Claims

Justin Salhani

Justin Salhani World Reporter, ThinkProgress

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie (R), Donald Trump’s transition chairman, was grilled on Sunday on both Fox News Sunday and CNN’s State of the Union about the birther issue. In both, he continued to push Trump’s widely-debunked claims that Hillary Clinton started the racist conspiracy theory based on the idea President Obama was born in Kenya and therefore constitutionally not eligible to be president of the United States and that he had accepted Obama’s citizenship after the release of his birth certificate in 2011.

Last week, Donald Trump addressed the press from the soon-to-open Trump hotel in Washington, D.C. where he said he would finally put the birther issue to bed. After an array of military vets gave their endorsements to Trump, the reality television star said that President Obama had, in fact, been born in the United States. “Hillary Clinton and her campaign of 2008 started the birther controversy. I finished it.” He took no questions.

Then, Trump’s vice presidential nominee Mike Pence told ABC the issue was over. But Trump’s proxies haven’t let this issue die. Christie on Sunday repeated the clearly debunked claims that Trump dropped the issue in 2011.

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Stiglitz Speaks: Globalization’s Grand Failure, Apple & Bad Trade Deals

Richard Eskow

Richard Eskow Writer, Host, "The Breakdown;" Senior Fellow, Campaign for America's Future

Nobel prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz has a new book out entitled “The Euro: How a Common Currency Threatens the Future of Europe.” On “The Zero Hour,” we spoke with Professor Stiglitz about the tension between globalization and democracy, the mistaken thinking that gave rise to the euro experiment, and what that experience can tell us about the need to resist bad trade deals like the Trans-Pacific Partnership, renegotiate older ones like NAFTA, and invest in jobs and growth in the United States. He also expressed opposition to a tax giveaway that’s reportedly in the works for corporations like Apple.

Stiglitz described the euro as “a fascinating experiment from an economist’s perspective,” adding that “it’s a failed experiment” but “there’s a lot we can learn.” As with globalization overall, he said, “the economics advanced faster than the political institutions that would make it work.”

Stiglitz noted that 62 percent of the voters in Spain, Portugal and Greece have voted against the draconian austerity policies imposed upon them by the Germans and the European Central Bank. He shared the concern that these policies are undermining European democracy and giving rise to extremist parties and movements on the far right.


Why You Really Must Get Behind Hillary Now

Robert Reich

Robert Reich Former U.S. Secretary of Labor, Professor at Berkeley

Can we have a word? I continue to hear from many of you who say you won’t vote for Hillary Clinton because, you claim, (1) she’s no better than Donald Trump, or (2) even if she’s better, she’s still corrupt, and you refuse to vote for the “lesser of two evils,” or (3) you don’t want to reward the Democratic Party for corrupt primaries that gave the nomination to Hillary instead of Bernie Sanders.

Please allow me to respond.

(1) Anyone who equates Donald Trump with Hillary Clinton hasn’t been paying attention. Trump is a dangerous, bigoted, narcissistic megalomaniac with fascist tendencies who could wreak huge damage on America and the world. Hillary isn’t perfect but she’s able and experienced. There is simply no comparison.

(2) Even if you see Hillary Clinton as the “lesser of two evils,” the greater of two evils in this case (if you see the choice in these terms) is seriously evil. You’ve probably had occasion in the past to vote for someone who doesn’t meet your ideals, when the alternative is someone who falls much further from those ideals. This doesn’t mean you’ve sold out or compromised your principles. You’ve just been realistic and practical. Realism and practicality are critically important now.

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Union Matters

Election 2016: Members Speak Out

Roche Schultz
Local 14614

Roche Shultz, 42, of Hurricane, W.Va., is vice president of Local 14614 in District 8. A 10-year member of the USW, he works for Solvaira Specialties, a fiber producer.

“I think Donald Trump is dangerous. He says all of the right things, but I think he uses the people’s weaknesses against them when he talks about issues like your Second Amendment rights and trade.  We’re going to end up getting hammered by him if he gets elected.

“Hillary Clinton will keep ‘right to work’ from becoming national legislation, and hopefully she will tax the rich people who are outsourcing jobs and selling their products back here in the United States.

“Some people pay their fair share, while others outside the country are not paying their share yet they’re making profits off of us. I think that’s wrong.

“Hillary’s plan to improve the nation’s infrastructure would help my local because we build roads. If we spend money to rebuild roads, bridges and schools, that would put more people to work.

“I see Hillary pushing to raise the minimum wage. The more money that working people make, the more money they spend. That helps small businesses to grow and hire more workers.”


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A Middle Class Burden

A Middle Class Burden