The Republican's Are Stealing From You!
by Scott Morrow, President DMAL Retiree Chapter
From the perspective on a Retiree Chapter President, things have gone horribly for retired workers since January of 2017. On the bright side, we fought hard and kept the RepubliCON’s 60th attempt to repeal the PPACA and Medicaid, as we know it, from passing in the Senate. Certainly Retirees and Postal workers will be literally hurt by the scuttling of the clean water rules (executive order [EO] 02/18/17) substantially increasing the mercury and arsenic in our drinking and bathing water. Elimination of the clean power plan that would reduce the 50,000 deaths annually from polluters (EO; 03/28/17). Anyone else who eats wild Alaskan Salmon to avoid the mercury and other pollutants in most fish will lose that under the Trump America-First Offshore Energy Strategy (EO, 04/28/17). "Promoting Free Speech and Religious Liberty" and "Establishment of the Presidential Commission on Election Integrity" are both Con’s from the Republicon’s to make it harder for retirees to vote and easier for churches to buy elections (EO’s, April and July 2017). The commission has already closed down because they just could not find anyone committing voter fraud except the handful of Trump supporters who voted twice in 2016. “Restoring State, Tribal, and Local Law Enforcement’s Access to Life-Saving Equipment and Resources” puts more military weapons of war on our streets to suppress protests that affects all of us (EO; 08/28/17). “Revocation of Executive Order Creating Labor-Management Forums” directly negatively affects workers and could contravene Union contracts requiring such forums. (EO; 09/29/17)
Last December, under a new rule proposed by the Trump Department of Labor, restaurants can take servers' tips and "pool" them in order to disperse some to dishwashers, bussers, etc.: but it does not actually require them to do so, and, instead, allows employers to pocket some or all of the wait-staff's tips.
On Dec. 15, 2017, the Trump National labor Relations Board (NLRB) announced in PCC Structurals Inc. that it would expressly overrule its own precedent form their 2011 decision in Specialty Healthcare & Rehabilitation Center of Mobile. In Specialty Healthcare, the NLRB had replaced these factors and created a presumption that favored the unit description submitted by the union absent an “overwhelming community of interest” with other excluded employees. One day earlier, in Hy-Brand Industrial Contractors Ltd., the Trump NLRB overruled its 2015 Browning-Ferris decision on joint employer status and returned to the joint employer standard the NLRB applied for decades prior to that decision. In Bowning-Ferris, the Obama NLRB had made it easier for unions to bargain with joint employers regarding hiring, firing, discipline, supervision, and direction. On Dec. 14, 2017, the Trump NLRB discarded the Lutheran Heritage Village-Livonia standard for determining whether facially neutral work rules might violate the National Labor Relations Act if “employees would reasonably construe the language to prohibit Section 7 activity.” These three changes drastically hurt workers and especially UNION workers.
From the perspective of a person who loves freedom, equality and the American Way the insane administration has entered in all-out war against such values. Revocation of Federal Contracting Executive Orders in March of 2017 to allow discrimination against employees based on sexual orientation or identity, The nomination of Mick Mulvaney to both the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is a disaster. His first act at CFPB was to kill the rule that would have required your retirement planner to work in your best interests instead of theirs! In addition, his second act was to request ZERO dollars for the CFPB budget wiping out protections from the vulture banksters for workers and retirees. OPM now takes twice as long to process requests from APWU members and retirees.
This list goes on and on but I would be remiss leaving out the latest, greatest RepubliCon tax scam. Yes, Union Workers and many APWU retirees WILL see a modest tax cut at least temporarily. For example, the single largest expenditure for retirees is sickness care what with lifesaving m3dications alone inflating 5000% in many cases. On schedule A, itemized deductions, they can now deduct those out of pocket expenses above 7.5% of their AGI or line 38 of Internal Revenue Service (IRS) form 1040 for the next two years and then that goes UP TO 10% until completely phased out by 2027. All of you getting the pittance of tax relief will see your tax cut expire completely by 2027 and most of you will have any cut consumed by your contractual COLA pay increases within a few years. Meantime, one set of brothers, David and Charles Koch will see an annual tax cut of around $1,200,000,000!
The dire consequences of such con jobs is that negotiations will be much more challenging for APWU and now the RepubliCON’s are planning cuts to Medicare and Social Security (Pre-paid out of every pay check for decades) after they demolish the PPACA and Medicaid. Many APWU members are able to get Medicaid to pay for their parents or grandparents stays in assisted living homes, as do some of our current retirees. Either these elderly will be thrown out into the street or the costs to stay in the facility will explode when Medicaid doesn’t pick up over half the tab as they do now.
Meantime, for those of you duped by the “deficit” and debt” scams it is no surprise that the Republicon’s usually double or triple the debt when they control power while screaming about it when democratic party members control the power. For anyone interested in the facts do a search on Jude Wanniski and the “Two Santa Claus” scam the RepubliCON’s have been peddling since Ronnie Raygun took office. This administration and the 115th Congress have manufactured over a trillion more dollars in deficits with the tax scam and another trillion dollars to manufacturer MORE THERMO-NUCLEAR warheads!
My writings have continuously focused on the fact that elections have consequences. Please avoid being part of the 100,000,000 American’s who felt their vote didn’t count in 2016 and plan on voting November 6th for candidates that support you, your family, your Union, USPS and retirees. Thanks!