Leo W. Gerard

President’s Perspective

Leo W. Gerard USW International President

The GOP Has Money to Kill

The GOP Has Money to Kill

Shock and awe describes the budgets issued last week by Republicans in the House and Senate. The shock is that the GOP never stops trying to destroy beloved programs like Medicare. Awe inspiring is their audacity in describing their killing plans as moral.

When the House released its budget last Tuesday, Georgia Republican Rep. Rob Woodall said, “A budget is a moral document; it talks about where your values are.” His chamber’s spending plan shows that Republicans highly value war and place no value on health care for America’s elderly, working poor and young adults.

The opposite of win-win, the GOP budgets are kill-kill. Despite the GOP’s successful demand in 2011 for spending caps, Republicans now want more money for the military. War kills, as too many families of troops deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan know. By contrast, Republicans gouge domestic spending, condemning Americans to die unnecessarily from untreated disease. The GOP intends to revoke the health insurance of tens of millions by repealing the Affordable Care Act, voucherizing Medicare and slashing Medicaid. The Republican plans mandate overtime for the Grim Reaper. 

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Jeb Bush Calls For The Elimination Of The Federal Minimum Wage

Bryce Covert

Bryce Covert Economic Policy Editor, Think Progress

At an event in South Carolina last week, Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush was asked whether he thinks the country should raise the minimum wage or whether the wage should be left up to private companies.

“We need to leave it to the private sector,” he responded. “I think state minimum wages are fine. The federal government shouldn’t be doing this.” He went on, “The federal government doing this will make it harder and harder for the first rung of the ladder to be reached, particularly for young people, particularly for people that have less education.”


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Five Ways The GOP Budget Will Harm American Families

Terrance Heath

Terrance Heath Online Producer, Campaign for America’s Future

Republicans in Congress today will vote on budget proposals that are essentially meaningless, that they lay out how the GOP would like to structure federal policy and priorities.

The White House has its own fact sheet about the House Republican budget. The National Priorities Project has created a detailed comparison of all the budget proposals up for consideration: President Obama’s budget, the House GOP budget, the Senate GOP budget, and the Congressional Progressive Caucus budget. And here at CAF, we put together a graphic for sharing on social networks that compares the GOP budget with the Congressional Progressive Caucus budget.


The numbers are familiar by now. The House GOP budget contains $5.5 trillion in cuts. Yet, what would $5.5 trillion in cuts to “discretionary non-military spending” mean for the day-to-day lives of American families? How would the House GOP Budget affect a hypothetical average American family? Here are five areas where families will feel the effects.

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The Trade Onslaught We Should Be Watching

Taylor Garland

Taylor Garland Media Coordinator, Alliance for American Manufacturing

The Trade Onslaught We Should Be Watching

Steel imports increased by 38 percent in 2014.

The Obama administration likes to talk about exports. What they should be talking about is imports – steel imports in particular.

The domestic steel industry is facing a surge of foreign imports. Steel imports increased by 38 percent in 2014, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Already this year, there has been a 36 percent increase in steel imports from the same period in 2014.

So where is all this steel coming from? China. The Wall Street Journal reports:

China’s steel exports rose 63% to 9.2 million tons in January from a year earlier, a rise that puts them on pace this year to beat the 82.1 million tons China exported last year. That number increased 59% from 2013 and was the most steel ever exported by any country this century.

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Hey, Indiana: Hateful Discrimination is Not an American Value

Hey, Indiana: Hateful Discrimination is Not an American Value

Union Matters

ALEC’s Shrinking Universe

In one of my favorite episodes of Star Trek: the Next Generation, Dr. Beverly Crusher is trapped in a universe that threatens to shrink until she is its only occupant.

The conservative activist organization called the American Legislative Exchange or ALEC now finds itself in a similar situation.  On March 24th, the Center for American Progress, in its email newsletter called The Progress Report, predicted, if not the demise at least the continuing diminution, of ALEC.

Here at Union Matters, we’ve discussed ALEC before.  Specifically, ALEC exists to offer cookie-cutter bills that right-wing state legislatures use to accomplish conservative goals.

But ALEC and its agenda aren’t without opponents.  On March 23rd, British Petroleum, which employs many USW members, announced that it is cutting ties with ALEC.  And BP is only the most recent mega-company to do so.  In 2012, superstars of the business world such as Coca-Cola, Kraft, Walmart, Amazon, Johnson & Johnson, and Miller/Coors, withdrew support for ALEC because of the latter’s buttressing restrictive voter ID legislation and Stand Your Ground gun laws.

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