Leo W. Gerard

President’s Perspective

Leo W. Gerard USW International President

Petulance Isn’t Presidential

“Make me.” That’s how Donald Trump responded during the last debate when Hillary Clinton pointed out that he failed to use American steel to construct the Trump Hotel in Las Vegas.

Trump used Chinese steel. So he created jobs for Chinese workers. Not American steelworkers. He could have done the right thing. He could have inserted a clause in the contract requiring American-made steel. But he didn’t. Similarly, he could require that his dozens of signature Trump products from shirts to eyeglasses be made in America. But he does not.  The vast majority are manufactured overseas. Creating jobs in other countries.

Trump said during the debate that it was Clinton’s fault he didn’t use American steel. Like some sort of guardian, she should have passed a law forcing him to do the right thing, he said. With that, Trump described himself as a petulant brat, not a leader. A leader envisions what would be wise economically or morally for the nation, and takes that action to set an example, then urges others to follow. The president of the United States is the leader of the free world. For that person, leadership is an essential skill.

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GOP Senators Aren’t Happy That John McCain Was Probably Caught Telling the Truth

Ian Millhiser

Ian Millhiser Senior Constitutional Policy Analyst, Think Progress

On Monday, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) confirmed one of Democrats’ worst fears. If Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton wins the White House, but Republicans keep the Senate, the GOP “will be united against any Supreme Court nominee that Hillary Clinton, if she were president, would put up.”

If America wants to have a Supreme Court in five years, in other words, it better elect the same party to the White House and the Senate.

Not long after McCain’s comment, however, a new talking point was born. McCain’s own spokesperson said McCain did not actually mean what he said. The senator will “thoroughly examine the record of any Supreme Court nominee put before the Senate and vote for or against that individual based on their qualifications,” according to his communications director Rachael Dean. Though Dean also added that “McCain believes you can only judge people by their record and Hillary Clinton has a clear record of supporting liberal judicial nominees.”

At least three key senators have now picked up on this two-part message that 1) Republicans won’t just reject any old person Hillary nominates, but 2) we don’t like the kind of people she would actually want.

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), currently the chair of the Judiciary Committee, told reporters on Tuesday that “we can’t just simply stonewall” Clinton’s nominees, but “the type of people she’s going to appoint, I would say they are judicial activists.”

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Getting Beyond the ‘Buffett Rule’

Sam Pizzigati

Sam Pizzigati Editor, Too Much online magazine

Warren Buffett, the third-richest man in America, has always been a bit of a traitor to his class. The super rich, Buffett holds, ought to pay income taxes at a higher rate than average Americans because they have the capacity — and good fortune — to contribute significantly more to our national well-being.

Current tax law, Buffett goes on to explain, lets the really rich routinely avoid that responsibility. In fact, as Buffett has famously declared, his secretary pays taxes at a higher rate than he does.

Billionaire Warren Buffett still remembers when he first paid income taxes in 1944. All of us today have a reason to remember 1944 as well. Krista Kennell/Shutterstock.com

Buffett believes in tax fairness. Donald Trump, on the other hand, most certainly does not.

The Donald has personally lobbied Congress for tax breaks that ease the tax bite on wealthy real estate developers like himself. And his latest White House campaign tax proposal, the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities points out, would if adopted “raise after-tax income for those with annual incomes of over $1 million by 14.3 percent.”

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Union Matters

Election 2016: Members Speak Out

John Franke
Local 2635

John Franke, 45, of Johnstown, Pa., works for Johnstown Wire Technology where he is a member of USW Local 2635. He has been a USW member for a decade. He is vice president of the local and president of his unit.

“I want to retire. If they pass bad trade, my place is done, we are out. That is the main reason I support Hillary Clinton. I could go on for hours. Plus I don’t like Trump. His signs are everywhere in my area, but I know the facts on him. I just don’t like him. The difference is I am educated on him.

“Hillary Clinton supports labor and she supports unions. She votes on our side all the time. She has supported unions her whole life. I don’t think she will change all of a sudden now.

“Trump has not paid his contractors and did not support unions at the Taj Mahal in Atlantic City. Our district conference was in Atlantic City, and I picketed with those guys down there. And they are going to shut it down now. And then Trump has the nerve to say he is for unions, yet he won’t let his workers in Las Vegas unionize.”


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America's Biggest Freeloader

America's Biggest Freeloader