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Commentaries

Trade With China Is Not The Real Problem

Charles W. Jones, International President Emeritus

American workers have more — and bigger — problems than China

When Congress voted to give China permanent normal trade relations, they didn't do American workers any favors. But those union leaders who want us to use this single vote as a litmus test for candidates are wrong.

Some of our best friends in Congress voted for this bill -- people who have supported us on nearly every other issue. Refusing to support them because of a single vote is political suicide. All we will do is make it that much easier for our enemies to get elected.

Reporter  V39N4

Don't Let Reformers Destroy Social Security

Charles W. Jones, International President Emeritus

Social Security provides old age, survivors, and disability insurance — it is not an investment vehicle

In March, the Social Security Administration (SSA) released their latest projections for Social Security. They reported that the Old Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance (OASDI) funds will be able to meet all obligations for another 37 years — even if we change nothing about the system.

Reporter  V39N3

Voters Are Getting Smarter About Tax Cuts And The So-Called Surplus

Charles W. Jones, International President Emeritus

Tax cuts being proposed by presidential hopefuls would rob Social Security to reward the rich

It is a presidential election year, and that means we can expect to hear candidates promise us the moon, the stars, and even more, if we will only give them our vote.

Usually at least one of the candidates will try to buy his way into the White House by offering everyone a tax cut. This year is no exception. George W. Bush was the first one to jump on that bandwagon, but he was quickly followed by others.

Reporter  V39N2

We Need To Make Our Government Spend Our Tax Money More Wisely

Charles W. Jones, International President Emeritus

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) had it pretty rough last fall. In September they lost the Mars Climate Orbiter, a satellite that was supposed to study the atmosphere of Mars. Then in December, they lost its mate, the Mars Polar Lander, which was supposed to land near the south pole of Mars and study the polar surface.

NASA's goal for these shots was to determine whether there has ever been enough water on the surface of Mars to support life. Together, these failed launches cost a total of $356.5 million.

Reporter  V39N1

Where is that federal budget surplus?

Charles W. Jones, International President Emeritus

We don't actually have one yet, and claiming that we do is a deceptive and dangerous practice

Here's a little mathematical puzzle for you to ponder while you're digesting all that holiday turkey and pie.

No doubt you've heard that President Clinton has proudly proclaimed a $69 billion surplus for fiscal year 1998, and a $120 billion surplus for 1999. It is all over the newspapers and television.

Reporter  V38N6

Reporter  V38N5

Will big bucks buy the White House?

Charles W. Jones, International President Emeritus

Candidates are raising more money than ever before. Who is donating that money, and what will they get for their donations?

The George Bush for President Committee made an amazing announcement on June 30 of this year. They reported having raised a record $28.3 million in contributions during the second quarter of 1999, making his total for the year well over $36 million.

And election day is still nearly a year-and-a-half away!

Reporter  V38N4

We need solidarity in the voting booth as much as we do on the job

Charles W. Jones, International President Emeritus

Gains we make at the bargaining table can be nullified by actions of Congress or Parliament

In 1995, Canadian Boilermakers working in the railroad industry learned a lesson they will never forget - and neither should you.

These members of our union were proud to be represented by a union which has represented Boilermakers working on railroads for over 100 years. They looked forward to retiring on a Boilermaker pension.

Reporter  V38N3

Don't Give Up On Political Action

Charles W. Jones, International President Emeritus

We must participate in the process if we want to see our government work for us, not against us

Events in Washington over the past six months have discouraged many Americans. Voters sent a clear message to Washington in November, but it was ignored. The Republican majority in the House chose to spend months belaboring their case for the president's removal, despite clear signals that the Senate would not convict. Their colleagues in the Senate could have ended the matter quickly, but they chose instead to drag it out for weeks, only to end up where they began.

Reporter  V38N2

EPA clean air plan will create more work for Boilermakers

Charles W. Jones, International President Emeritus

Mandate to reduce NOx emissions spells golden opportunity for construction Boilermakers

Construction Boilermakers considering early retirement should look at the increased benefits two more years of steady work can bring. It could be 30 percent or more.

In September, Carol Browner, director of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), announced a wide-ranging plan for cleaning up the air in 22 states in the eastern U.S. Her plan mandates reducing smog-causing nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions by 1.1 million tons by the year 2003, or 28 percent by the year 2007.

Reporter  V38N1

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