Leo W. Gerard

President’s Perspective

Leo W. Gerard USW International President

Donald Trump: Welfare King

Donald Trump puts on a show of being rich. There’s that private jet stamped Trump. He assures everyone, ad nauseam, that he’s really, really rich. But apparently it’s all a sham.

The Washington Post revealed last week that Trump is a charity case. Over the past several years, he repeatedly turned to a non-profit organization to pay his bills for him – more than a quarter million dollars in bills. (#Sad)

If Donald Trump really is a $10 billionaire as he repeatedly claims, there would be no reason for him to beg a foundation to foot his bills. It was fine for Trump to exaggerate his personal wealth while he was nothing but a reality TV star firing contestants for fun. But now that he’s a candidate for president of the United States, he’s got real responsibilities. And one of them is to release his tax returns, like every other presidential candidate for the past 40 years.

Before voting, the American people have a right to know whether Trump is lying about his wealth. But not just that, they have the right to know whether Trump remains among Republicans’ reviled 47 percent, the group that the GOP calls “takers,” because they pay no federal income taxes. New Jersey Gaming Commission records show Trump was a taker in 1978 and 1979, paying no federal income taxes in either year. Is he still paying nothing? That would make him quite a mooch, a welfare king, taking $885 million in tax breaks to construct his gilded buildings in New York and contributing not a cent in federal taxes. The Gipper would not approve.  

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Why Corporate Tax Deserters Shouldn’t Get The Benefit Of Being American Corporations

Robert Reich

Robert Reich Former U.S. Secretary of Labor, Professor at Berkeley

Apple is only the latest big global American corporation to use foreign tax shelters to avoiding paying its fair share of U.S. taxes. It’s just another form of corporate desertion.

Corporations are deserting America by hiding their profits abroad or even shifting their corporate headquarters to another nation because they want lower taxes abroad. And some politicians say the only way to stop these desertions is to reduce corporate tax rates in the U.S. so they won’t leave.

Wrong. If we start trying to match lower corporate tax rates around the world, there’s no end to it.

Instead, the President should use his executive power to end the financial incentives that encourage this type of corporate desertion. President Obama has already begun, but there is much left that could be done.

In addition, corporations that desert America by sheltering a large portion of their profits abroad or moving their headquarters to another country should no longer be entitled to the advantages of being American.

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Analysis of the Trump Meltdown

Carl Davidson

Carl Davidson Author and Writer, Beaver County Blue

Hillary Clinton cleaned Donald Trump’s clock Monday night, at least in terms of rational debate. But politics is also about the irrational, so the Democrats and their tactical allies still need to double down on their efforts in the next six weeks.

First, Trump doesn’t seem to know that assertions are no substitute for arguments. He can carry on about how he’ll ‘bring jobs back’ all he wants, but he never says how. HRC presented a package essentially for a high tech manufacturing, green New Deal industrial policy (borrowed from Sanders and Stein, to be fair) that actually would make sense. The closest Trump comes is to hint at tariffs, which would raise consumer prices at the cost for those jobs.

But here’s the rub. Take the birther stuff. No rational person believes that Obama’s mother, while taking a flight to Kenya to have her baby, also rigged the Honolulu hospital and newspaper records back then to show he was born there so that one day he might be POTUS.

So what do all those who support Trump’s claim really mean? It is simply that Obama is an African American, and as such, it was bad politics that he broke the color line to the Oval Office. This can be said in private, but not in public, at least most times. The  birther movement, fueled by Trump for years, was meant to ‘correct’ it by de-legitimizing Obama's election or, at least, by compelling Obama to display deference to the alpha white male.

And that is exactly what Trump did last night with his bombast about how it was HE that compelled Obama to show his papers.

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Panic? Not Hardly. But Democrats Must Focus On Our Base

Mike Lux Co-founder , Democracy Partners

Democrats far and wide are asking: is it really possible we might lose to the guy who seems to be trying to brand himself as the worst person in America? Spewing racist rhetoric and conspiracy theories? Check. Making one misogynistic comment after another? Check. Joking about the assassination of Hillary? Check. Encouraging his supporters to beat up protesters? Check. Cozying up to evil dictators? Check. He’s done it all and more, brazenly. And yet somehow Hillary is tied with him in some national polls, even behind in a few.

I will admit to being nervous, but I am always nervous before an election because surprising things often happen. I was far more nervous than most Democrats when we were ten points ahead in the aftermath of the two conventions and Trump’s idiocy in attacking a Gold Star family. You just never know what will happen in an election, even right up to the end. Indulge me in a little history on the topic of Election Day surprises (I won’t even mention all the times candidates who won were well behind in the late summer or September of the election year).

In 1980, right up until Election Day, the pollsters were talking about the election probably being one of the closest in history. A lot of people thought Carter would squeak out a win over Reagan. Instead, we got a historically big Reagan/Republican landslide that also lost us control of the Senate and working control of the House because things broke their way in the last few days. In 1994, very few people were predicting that Republicans would win the House and Senate; most forecasts had 20-25 House seat pick-ups for them. Instead, they picked up 52 House seats and 10 Senate seats.

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Union Matters

Election 2016: Members Speak Out

H. Craig Hunt
Local 133


H. Craig Hunt, 43, of Raceland, Ky., is president of Local 133 at Harbison Walker International (HWI), a supplier of refractories products and services. He has been a USW member for 25 years.

“This election is important because the Democrats need to get control of the U.S. House and hopefully regain control of the Senate so we can protect our workers’ rights, keep good paying jobs for working families and try to bring jobs back to America.

 “I support Hillary Clinton for president because she supports me. She supports working families, unions and the ability to organize labor so she’s on my side. The facts are that she’s always supported working families and good paying jobs here in America.

“Hillary is against right-to-work. Right now we don’t have right-to-work in the state of Kentucky where I’m from, but I believe if Donald Trump gets the job, he will push for a nationwide right-to-work law, which would destroy our unions and our ability to organize and collectively bargain for decent wages and working conditions.

 “Hillary will help fight against bad trade deals and fight for good trade deals. But Trump, I think he is going to do whatever he can to keep padding his pocket. He’s a businessman, and I never met a businessman yet who really cares a whole lot about me and my family.

“I think Hillary will protect our right to organize labor and grow our unions. Growing unions would help us. She would help to get wages up for all working people and I think she would try to protect our health care and keep it affordable.

“She’s more for the working family, and I think she has a plan to grow the U.S. economy instead of just building walls.”

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Prepared for the Presidency

Prepared for the Presidency