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Trump attacks union leader on Labor Day President Donald Trump started his Labor Day with an attack on a top union leader, lashing out after criticism from AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka. Trump tweeted Monday that Trumka "represented his union poorly on television this weekend." He added: "it is easy to see why unions are doing so poorly. A Dem!" The president's attack came after Trumka appeared on "Fox News Sunday" over the weekend where he said efforts to overhaul the North American Free Trade Agreement should include Canada. Trumka, whose

organization is an umbrella group for most unions, said the economies of the United States, Canada and Mexico are "integrated" and "it's pretty hard to see how that would work without having Canada in the deal." Trump said Saturday on Twitter that there was "no political necessity" to keep Canada in NAFTA. But it's questionable whether Trump can unilaterally exclude Canada from a deal to replace the threenation NAFTA agreement, without the approval of Congress. Any such move would likely face lengthy legal and congressional challenges.

Trump administration negotiations to keep Canada in the reimagined trade bloc are to resume this week as Washington and Ottawa try to break a deadlock over issues such as Canada's dairy market and U.S. efforts to shield drug companies from generic competition. Trump wants to get a trade deal finalized by Dec. 1. Trumka also said of Trump: "the things that he's done to hurt workers outpace what he's done to help workers," arguing that Trump has not come through with an infrastructure program and has overturned regulations that "will hurt us on the job."

Asked about the low unemployment rate and economic growth, Trumka said "those are good, but wages have been down since the first of the year. Gas prices have been up since the first of the year. So, overall, workers aren't doing as well." On Monday, Trump touted the economy, saying "Our country is doing better than ever before with unemployment setting record lows." He added, "The Worker in America is doing better than ever before. Celebrate Labor Day!" The unemployment rate of 3.9 percent is not at the best point ever — it is near the lowest in 18 years.

Trump cancels scheduled pay raises for most federal employees In a letter to House and Senate leaders, Trump claimed federal agency budgets cannot " sustain such increases." President Donald Trump announced Thursday that he was canceling pay raises for most federal employees that had been set to go into effect in January, citing government budget concerns. In a letter to House and Senate leaders, Trump wrote that he’d decided “across-the-board” pay raises as well as locality pay raises for civilian federal workers in 2019 would be frozen. “I have determined that for 2019, both across‑the‑board

pay increases and locality pay increases will be set at zero,” he wrote. “These alternative pay plan decisions will not materially affect our ability to attract and retain a well‑qualified Federal workforce,” Trump added. In the letter, Trump said a 25.7-percent pay raise for localities, as well as a 2.1percent pay increase for acrossthe-board pay, both scheduled for January 2019, would add billions to the federal deficit. Specifically, he pointed to the scheduled locality pay raise as costing $25 billion. “We must maintain efforts to

put our Nation on a fiscally sustainable course, and Federal agency budgets cannot sustain such increases,” Trump wrote in the letter. He cited Title 5 of the U.S. Code of Laws, as the basis for making the change, saying that the measure allows such decisions when a “national emergency or serious economic conditions” affect “the general welfare." The move comes just nine months after Trump signed his $1.5-trillion tax cut bill into law and five months after he signed a mammoth $1.3trillion spending bill.

Democrats and other critics of the tax cut bill attacked it as a gift to corporations and the wealthy, with little to help average Americans. The combined effect of both bills is expected to send the government's budget deficit toward the $1 trillion mark next year, according to an analysis by the Congressional Budget Office. Deficits would grow to $1.5 trillion by 2028, the report projected, and could exceed $2 trillion if the tax cuts are fully extended and if Washington doesn't cut spending.

GPO/WEP Information Read answers to the frequently asked GPO and WEP questions. Links to Other Information Centers  Social Security Online information on the WEP and the GPO (SSA)  The National Education Association on GPO and WEP (NEA)  California Retired Teachers Assn. on GPO and WEP (CalRTA)  The financial condition of Social Security (SSA)  Texas American Federation of Teachers (Texas AFT)

Social Security Fairness Repeal the Government Pension Offset and the Windfall Elimination Provision

Read these for detailed official information on the effects of the GPO (15 pages) and WEP (7 pages), their history and the arguments for and against. Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) • The Government Pension Offset (GPO) Rhode Island Alliance for Retired Americans, Inc. • 94 Cleveland Street • North Providence, RI • 02904-3525 • 401-480-8381 •

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RI ARA September 9, 2018 E-Newsletter  

RI ARA September 9, 2018 E-Newsletter  

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