Leo W. Gerard

President’s Perspective

Leo W. Gerard USW International President

Donald Destructo

Donald Trump has perfected the swagger and boast of a professional wrestler.

While a guy like World Wrestling Entertainment CEO Vince McMahon is full of fake bluster and brashness for the sake of TV ratings, Donald Trump is the real McCoy: A reckless bully.  

That violent, provocative behavior makes Trump far too dangerous to get anywhere near nuclear codes. For Americans who want peace and security, not war, this man is too risky to inhabit the White House.   

That’s what 50 former national security officials whose careers span more than four decades said in a letter last week. They are Republicans. They include a former director of the CIA, the first director of national intelligence, and two former secretaries of homeland security. They warned Trump would be treacherous as president.  

And that was before Trump suggested in a speech last week that “Second Amendment” supporters assassinate Hillary Clinton if she’s elected so she can’t nominate judges to the Supreme Court. 

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Trump’s Estate Tax: An Aristocrat’s Gift to His Friends and Family

Richard Eskow

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

“There is a myth out there that…at heart, he’s really on the side of the little guy,” Hillary Clinton said recently of Donald Trump. “Don’t believe it.”

I agree. But I’ve never liked using the phrase “little guy” to describe America’s working men and women. A lot of people in this country are managing to survive against pretty long odds, and that’s a pretty big accomplishment in my book.

I have nothing against anybody who was born rich. But if anybody is a “little guy” in this story, it’s Trump himself — and I’m not just talking about his hands. It takes a little heart to be born into such wealth and yet be filled with such self-regard and selfishness. It takes a little heart to want so much for himself and so little for others, to bring out the worst in our neighbors and be so cruel to the strangers at our door. Come to think of it, maybe we should call this spoiled child of privilege a “little prince.”

Trump’s empathy seems to extend only as far as his aristocratic peers, for they—and only they—will directly benefit from his economic policies. His tax breaks for rich people and corporations have received a lot of attention. But his call to repeal the estate tax is even more precisely targeted toward his fellow princes and princesses, the other children of billionaires and mega-millionaires.

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Federal Court Slashes ‘Golden Week’ Of Early Voting In Ohio

Alice Ollstein Political Reporter, Think Progress

The 6th Circuit Court of Appeals issued a crushing ruling on Tuesday for Ohio’s Democratic Party, which has been fighting to restore early voting days in the crucial swing state ahead of this November’s election.

A federal district court ordered the state in May to restore the early voting days eliminated over the last few years by the Republican-controlled legislature, calling the cuts “unconstitutional” and “unenforceable.” Tuesday’s 2–1 appellate court ruling overturns that decision, and will allow Ohio to cut what is known as “Golden Week” — the time when residents can register and vote on the same day.

The two judges on the panel who ruled for Ohio’s early voting cuts — both George W. Bush appointees — said they did so because courts should give deference to states in deciding how to run their elections instead of being “micromanagers.” They argued that even without Golden Week, Ohio’s early voting policy is “really quite generous,” and said the cuts pose “no such infringement” on the “fundamental right to vote.”

Judge Jane Branstetter Stranch dissented, calling her colleagues’ fears of micromanaging “unfounded and antiquated.” Stranch, who was appointed by President Obama, said that voting is such a basic right that it deserves extra attention from the courts. The early voting cut, she argued, “imposes a disproportionate burden on African Americans” and is “linked to social and historical conditions of discrimination that diminish the ability of African Americans to participate in the political process.”

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Is Making Corporations Pay Wages “Burdensome Government Regulation?”

Dave Johnson

Dave Johnson Fellow, Campaign for America's Future

Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump and Republicans in general say “burdensome government regulations” are holding the economy back. Phrases like that sure sound ominous, as does another Republican favorite, “big government.” But what do the words actually mean?

Trump: “We’re going to get rid of all these ridiculous – everything is so bad – we’re going to get rid of the regulations that are just destroying us.”

In Trump’s Detroit “economic speech” he said, “The U.S. economy today is twenty-five percent smaller than it would have been without the surge of regulations since 1980. It is estimated that current overregulation is costing our economy as much as $2 trillion dollars a year – that’s money taken straight out of cities like yours.” (By the way, 1980 was the year Ronald Reagan was elected.)

What Are “Burdensome Regulations?”

“Burdensome regulations” is a vague term that sounds bad, like “big government.” What happens when you look at specifics? What are Trump and the Republicans talking about?

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Trump and Pence's Union-Busting Is Nailed Into the GOP Presidential Platform

Berry Craig

Berry Craig AFT Local 1360

Donald Trump brags that he has “tremendous support within unions.” He claims, “The workers of this country are going to vote for me, [because] I’m going to create jobs.”

Jobs? Trump, the narcissistic, neo-Know Nothing GOP presidential nominee, has yet to reveal anything remotely resembling a comprehensive jobs plan. Meanwhile, he's paying workers in China and other low-wage countries to make his line of duds and other products.

Unions? Trump says he prefers "right to work" states to non-right to work states like Kentucky. He chose a running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, who is gung-ho for RTW. (So are Kentucky Tea Party Republicans, Gov. Matt Bevin and Lt. Gov. Jenean Hampton.

Trump is cool with U.S. companies exiting one state for another. In other words, he’s down with bosses busting unions in non-right to work states and moving to right to work states.

At the same time, Trump has battled to keep his Las Vegas hotel workers from organizing a union.

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It Takes a Solid Foundation to Build a House

It Takes a Solid Foundation to Build a House

Union Matters

A Great Time to Be Rich

The richest 10 percent of families held more than three-quarters of America’s wealth in 2013, according to a new report by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). The entire bottom half, on the other hand, held just one percent.

More simply, the rich continue to get richer, while the poor drown in debt.

Wealth inequality, like income inequality, is a marker of economic health—or ill health. Greater inequality is directly tied to higher rates of poverty, disparate educational outcomes, and lower social mobility—the ability for someone who is born into poverty to earn enough to leave it.

This obviously hurts the people who struggle every day just to make ends meet, but it also leaves the entire economy more unstable and vulnerable to financial crises like the Great Recession.

Household wealth is calculated by totaling assets like real estate, stocks and bank deposits and then subtracting non-mortgage debt like credit card balances, auto loans, and student loans.

Total wealth in the United States doubled between 1989 and 2013, but nearly all the gains went to the people in the top 10 percent, according to the CBO report.

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