Leo W. Gerard

President’s Perspective

Leo W. Gerard USW International President

Trump: Valueless

Warren Buffett threw down the gauntlet to Donald Trump again last week. It happened after Trump lied about Buffett’s federal income tax payments on national TV.

During the second presidential debate on Oct. 9, Trump said Buffett “took a massive deduction,” suggesting it was the kind that the Republican nominee used for years to dodge income taxes.

The next morning, Buffett reported to the world that he paid federal taxes every year since 1944 when he was 13. He owed $7 then. Last year, he paid $1.8 million, about 16 percent of his $11.6 million income. He gave $2.858 billion to charity that year. Yes, that’s billion with a b.

By contrast, Trump’s “charitable” foundation is under investigation for self-dealing, and he is the first presidential candidate in 40 years to refuse to disclose any federal income tax information.

In August, Buffett, who is six times richer than Trump, challenged the Republican nominee to a tax throw down. The point of honor in that duel would be revealing their returns. Buffet pointed out that both men are under audit, so that would be no excuse to chicken out. Still, Trump begged off.

It’s not enough for a presidential candidate to boast before adoring crowds. It’s crucial that candidates both embody and demonstrate American values. Those standards don’t include lying or shirking taxes or bragging about sexual assault or creating a charity to pay a candidate’s own bills. Buffett demonstrates American values in both words and actions. Trump displays utter obliviousness to those values.  

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Small Businesses Speak Out Against Donald Trump’s Tax Plan

Dave Johnson

Dave Johnson Fellow, Campaign for America's Future

“Tax cuts skewed towards the wealthy elite starve our communities of much-needed resources while further tilting the scales towards large corporations and the rich.”
– Stephen Rouzer at Main Street Alliance

If you cut taxes for the rich and giant corporations, what happens to the rest of us? Tax cuts mean budget cuts, so what suffers is education, infrastructure and all kinds of things government does to make our lives better and our local businesses stronger.

Republicans argue that pushing wealth and income to the top few has a “trickle down” effect. They say wealthy people (like Paris Hilton) are “makers” who “create jobs” and therefore deserve to have heaps of money pushed their way for their benefit. They say that government spending on things that make the lives of We the People better really just makes us into “takers.”

But in reality, policies that push more and more of our country’s resources into the largest hands put our smaller hands at even more of a disadvantage. The giant corporations have huge advantages over small, local businesses just due to their size; huge tax breaks on top of their size-given advantages just make it that much harder for smaller businesses to compete. So the “WalMart business model” of undercutting and bankrupting a community’s small businesses and draining entire regions of wealth gains even more power. After decades of these “trickle down” policies, this is also known as “look around you.”

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What you need to know about debate fact-checks: Donald Trump lies. A lot. Tremendously. Big league.

Throughout the presidential campaign, from the primaries to the general election, Donald Trump has been a special kind of liar. So why would things change during the third and final debate of the campaign? Trump continued to lie an astonishing amount, according to fact-checks. He repeated his many-times-debunked claims to have opposed the invasion of Iraq and to have been endorsed by a government agency. He claimed that the stories of women who say he’s sexually assaulted them have been largely debunked, which they haven’t, and that he hasn’t said they weren’t attractive enough for him to sexually assault anyway, which he has definitely said. He made a series of outlandishly false statements on the Middle East. But as much as the content of his lies is important and eyebrow-raising, their frequency is maybe more noteworthy. 

So let’s look at a couple key numbers:

  • NBC News fact-checked 36 statements from the debate, 29 of them by Donald Trump. They found 25 of them to be some variation on false or wrong, with an additional “half right.”
  • The New York Times fact-checked 29 statements, 18 of them by Trump. Classifying the statements red, yellow, or green, Trump got two greens, seven yellows, and nine reds. By contrast, Clinton got eight greens, two yellows, and one red.
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Union Matters

Election 2016: Members Speak Out

Joe Shelley
Local 9-508

Joe Shelley, 43, of Hanahan, S.C. has been a union member for a decade and serves as recording secretary for USW Local 9-508 at KapStone Paper and Packaging.

“For me, right to work is the big difference between Trump and Hillary Clinton. He supports a national right to work. And she opposes right to work.

Right to work has been in South Carolina for as long as I can remember, and I know its dangers. It is designed to cut union funds and not allow us to do good things for our members. That endangers unions.

“If unions do well, the middle class does well and communities do well. So right to work is a threat to the middle class and to communities. And Donald Trump supports that threat.”


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How's It Feel, Trump?

How's It Feel, Trump?