Leo W. Gerard

President’s Perspective

Leo W. Gerard USW International President

Shiftless Corporations Renounce America

Shiftless Corporations Renounce America

Early last week, the drug firm Mylan stomped on the Stars and Stripes as it ditched America for the Netherlands. Then, on Friday, the drug company AbbVie similarly renounced America. For 30 pieces of silver, it will become Irish.

Medical device maker Medtronic deserted America for Ireland last month. The pharmacy chain Walgreens recently announced it may be next. It plans to dump the land of the free for the bows and scrapes of royal subjects.

Walgreens is willing to prostrate itself before Queen Elizabeth because the British corporate tax rate is lower. Anything for money, right AbbVie? These firms will still park their assets and staff and sales in America. They just won’t pay taxes on foreign income to the country that nurtured them, protected them from patent violators and unfair competitors, and provided them with educated workers, federally-sponsored research and development, and myriad other public services. Now, they can freeload instead. As a result, their U.S. competitors, as well as hardworking Americans, will pay more to cover the shirkers’ share.

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The Achilles’ Heel Of Paul Ryan’s Latest Antipoverty Program

Isaiah J. Poole

Isaiah J. Poole Executive editor, OurFuture.org

The Achilles’ Heel Of Paul Ryan’s Latest Antipoverty Program

There is at least one fatal flaw in Rep. Paul Ryan’s kinder, gentler version of how conservatives would change federal antipoverty programs: The proposal at the center of his vision, as are the conservatives in whose hands Ryan would entrust it, would be neither kind nor gentle.

The core of Ryan’s latest proposal to remake the nation’s safety net programs in a conservative mold, “Expanding Opportunity in America,” would be to combine 11 major federal programs into a single block grant to the states. Those programs would include the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (best known as “food stamps”), Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (“welfare”), several housing subsidy programs, child care assistance, low-income heating and weatherization assistance, aid to dislocated workers and the Community Development Block Grant.

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Walgreens May Face Consumer, Political Backlash if It Elects to Become a 'Corporate Deserter'

Robert Creamer Political organizer, strategist and author

Within the next several weeks Illinois-based Walgreens drug store chain is set to decide if it will become what President Obama referred to last week as a "corporate deserter" by - in essence - tearing up its U.S. Citizenship in order to cut its corporate taxes.

Walgreens recently bought a 45 percent stake in the Swiss drug chain, Alliance-Boots. It is now considering whether to complete a merger with the Swiss firm, so it can move its official corporate headquarters to lower-tax Switzerland, while maintaining most of its operations in the United States.

Forty-seven American corporations have used this this tax trick - known as an "inversion" -- over the last decade and the maneuver is increasingly favored by corporations that apparently have no loyalty to the United States - and instead have pledged allegiance entirely to their own bottom lines.

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Our Do-Nothing Congress Takes a Vacation

Jim Hightower

Jim Hightower Author, Commentator, America’s Number One Populist

 Our Do-Nothing Congress Takes a Vacation

Gosh, has it already been three weeks since Congress took a vacation?

Those poor stiffs must be pooped from trying to catch up on all the heavy lifting that piled up while they were away from their lawmaking duties. And -- gosh, again -- in just a few days, Congress will go back on vacation, this time for a five-week summer recess. So much to do; so little time.

That's why GOP Speaker John Boehner is now cracking the whip. He's spurring his colleagues to pick up the pace and stay focused on his No. 1 national priority -- namely, suing the president of the United States. It seems that Obama has had the audacity to try to do something about some of the bubbling crises -- immigration, living wage, student loans, etc. -- with which Congress (or more specifically the House, or even more specifically Boehner and his Republican stalwarts) has been ignoring, stalling or playing politics. So, of course, the president must be sued to prevent him from ... well, from taking actions to help people.

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Personal Power

Personal Power

Union Matters

Stop the Poster Organization for Cronyism in America from Weakening Whistleblower Laws

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce (“Chamber”) has declared a war against whistleblowers! It has released a report, “Fixing the False Claims Act: the Case For Compliance-Focused Reforms,” setting forth proposals to strip millions of Americans from coverage under the Act, limit damages, increase the burden of proof on demonstrating fraud and establishing barriers to block employees from contacting the Justice Department. Taken together, the Chamber’s “reforms” would completely undermine the False Claims Act (FCA). The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the last organization to want corporate accountability.

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