Leo W. Gerard

President’s Perspective

Leo W. Gerard USW International President

Americans Mourn Loss of Economic Independence

Americans Mourn Loss of Economic Independence

Americans devoted Friday to celebrating independence. Flags and fireworks, picnics and pledges of allegiance abounded.

But there’s no liberty and justice for all if Americans aren’t economically independent.  Low wages, debts and dim prospects all subjugate. This is the condition of a shocking number of Americans as income inequality rises. And their economic desperation and subordination occurred by design. 

CEOs and right-wing one percenters purchased legislation and court decisions that diverted the nation’s wealth to their penthouses. And despite their promises, not a dime trickles down to the workers whose labor created the wealth and whose productivity has risen even as their wages have not. The decision of the right-wing majority on the U.S. Supreme Court last week in the Harris v. Quinn case is another example of the one percent’s unrelenting erosion of the 99 percent’s economic independence.

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Republicans Keep Their Free Rides A Secret, But Won’t Do Much Else

Terrance Heath

Terrance Heath Online Producer, Campaign for America’s Future

By killing a key requirement that lawmakers disclose which lobbyists pick up the tab for their “all-expenses-paid trips around the world,” Republicans prove they can get things done when they really want to. Meanwhile, issues like immigration reform and infrastructure languish.

Republicans on the House Ethics committee couldn’t have picked a better moment to act. While the rest of the country focused on the Supreme Court’s devastating rulings for women and workers, members of the GOP-led committee quietly killed off a requirement that members of Congress who are treated to lavish, all-expenses-paid, global junkets must disclose it in their annual financial disclosure forms.

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Corporate America’s Mysterious Affinity for the Number 700,000

Ben Beachy

Ben Beachy Research Director, Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch

Corporate America’s Mysterious Affinity for the Number 700,000

The Chamber is at it again.  As negotiations drag and support flags for the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has come up with a new number to sell the controversial deal to a skeptical Congress and U.S. public: 700,000. 

That’s the number of U.S. jobs that the corporate alliance claims could be created by the sweeping pact opposed by a diverse array of members of Congress, small businesses, and labor organizations for its threats to, well, U.S. jobs. 

How did the Chamber get this number?  They don’t say.

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What's the Matter With (Tax Cuts) in Kansas?

Jared Bernstein

Jared Bernstein Senior Fellow, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

What's the Matter With (Tax Cuts) in Kansas?

Well, how about that? Cut taxes and you end up with less tax revenue. That's the punchline of this important piece by Josh Barro over at the New York Times on the outcome of recent tax cuts in the state of Kansas.

Barro does a fine job on the forensics at the crime scene, dissecting the ways in which tax cuts in Kansas have reduced revenue even more than projected, failed to generate the promised jobs boom, and in some cases, not even cut individuals' tax liabilities (this occurs in cases where the taxpayer no longer gets a credit for the tax that's been cut against some other tax still in place). But he misses the larger movement afoot in which Kansas is but one victim.

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The Limits of Corporate Citizenship: Why Walgreen Shouldn't Be Allowed to Influence U.S. Politics If It Becomes Swiss

Robert Reich

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

The Limits of Corporate Citizenship: Why Walgreen Shouldn't Be Allowed to Influence U.S. Politics If It Becomes Swiss

Dozens of big U.S. corporations are considering leaving the United States in order to reduce their tax bills.

But they'll be leaving the country only on paper. They'll still do as much business in the U.S. as they were doing before.

The only difference is they'll no longer be "American," and won't have to pay U.S. taxes on the profits they make.

Okay. But if they're no longer American citizens, they should no longer be able to spend a penny influencing American politics.

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U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell -- Not a Friend of Workers

U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell -- Not a Friend of Workers

Union Matters

Hey, Gov. LePage: Social Security is not Welfare

An article in the Daily Kos reveals what Paul LePage, the Republican Governor of Maine has to say about Social Security and Medicare. He labels them "welfare."
 
Conservatives often refer to the Constitution when there is something that they oppose.  But most often, it is clear that they haven't the foggiest notion of what the Constitution actually states. 

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