Debate Can Highlight Obama’s Assault On The Right To Work
June 13, 2011
Continued high unemployment, a weak housing market and anemic economic growth make clear that President Obama’s policies have not resulted in economic recovery. Despite trillion dollar deficit spending in the form of “stimulus,” the President’s policies have placed the economy in real danger of a double dip recession. Today, seven Republicans will take the stage before a New Hampshire audience in the first nationally televised debate in the New Hampshire primary. My advice to them is this: speak honestly and forcefully about the Obama Administration’s failed economic policies and their job-killing impact on American employers.
Under our federalist system, every state has a right to make its own decisions about its economic future. Under our free market system, private companies also have a right to make important strategic decisions, such as where to build a manufacturing facility. Allowing the private sector to determine when, where and how to create jobs is the key to true economic recovery.
Unfortunately, the Obama Administration’s big government economic policies violate both the principles of federalism and democratic capitalism. For example, an increasingly aggressive regulatory agency named the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) filed a complaint in April against the Boeing Company claiming that the airplane manufacturer had illegally retaliated against organized labor by building a new manufacturing facility in South Carolina, even though Boeing is actually expanding and maintaining its headquarters in Washington State. The Palmetto State, however, is a right to work state. In essence, the NLRB is attempting to dictate where a major U.S. company can conduct its business because of a state’s public policy. This is unacceptable.
The Granite State is currently engaged in a debate about whether to become the nation’s 23rd right-to-work state. I support the view that employees should be free to choose whether or not to join a union in the workplace. Right-to-work states enjoy faster job creation and attract more new businesses than states without such protections, according to recent studies and economic data.
I also respect the fact that others think differently. The current debate, however, is taking place exactly where it should be: in the New Hampshire State House between legislative leaders and the governor with input from the people. The federal government has no standing in this debate.
The federal bureaucracy should not be permitted to wield its power to discriminate against states because it disagrees with their economic policies. Likewise, the federal government cannot be allowed to determine where U.S. companies build or expand their businesses.
Boeing’s plant in South Carolina is slated to create around 1,000 new jobs. The federal government’s involvement in this issue not only threatens those Boeing jobs, but countless others. When a rogue federal agency is allowed to pursue a political agenda by restricting the freedom and mobility of capital, causing significant harm to the overall economy, we know it’s time for new leadership.
Several of the Republican candidates for president have spoken out about this issue, but I believe this is representative of the President’s failed command and control policies on the economy, as exemplified by his NLRB appointees. Using as an example the NLRB’s attacks on job creators, free markets and states that have enacted right-to-work laws, this is something that must be communicated to each and every voter. Few Americans are better positioned to make the case against the Obama Administration’s damaging economic policies and usurpation of state sovereignty than the candidates who are seeking the GOP nomination.
Here in New Hampshire, against the backdrop of our own right-to-work debate, the Republican candidates for President should distinguish for voters their policies in contrast to those of the Obama Administration and its regulatory agencies. As a matter of principle, we cannot abide by their assault on our economic freedom and our federal system.
As a practical matter, there is a moral imperative to put Americans back to work in a vibrant economy so they can support their families, contribute to their communities and realize the American dream. That means allowing the private sector to create real, permanent jobs, and that will happen through less government regulation particularly from hostile agencies in Washington.
Ovide Lamontagne was a Republican candidate for the United States Senate during the 2010 election cycle. He is currently a shareholder and business lawyer with the regional law firm of Devine, Millimet & Branch, P.A. and is Chairman of the Granite Oath PAC.