House members take real action on creating jobs

-A A +A

On Sept. 8, President Barack Obama unveiled yet another stimulus plan, this one called the American Jobs Act. Like the Stimulus Act of 2009, his new $450 billion proposal seems more designed to satisfy the spending urges of the White House than to create jobs and real economic growth.
During an address before Congress that had all the markings of a campaign speech, he attempted to put the Republican-led U.S. House of Representatives on the defensive. The address, carefully crafted by some of his best speech-writers, aimed to create a sense of urgency about the bill while preemptively assigning blame in case it doesn’t pass.
Yet, if the president was truly as interested in job creation as he is in new spending, there’s a simple step the president can take – anytime he wants – to promote economic growth.
He could rein in the National Labor Relations Board, the job-killing federal agency that has, among other things, filed a lawsuit against the Boeing Company for its decision to build a facility to manufacture 787 Dreamliners in South Carolina.
After Boeing chose South Carolina for the new plant instead of Washington state, the National Labor Relations Board, which is charged with enforcing labor laws, filed a lawsuit. You see, South Carolina is what is known as a “right to work” state, meaning workers can’t be forced to join a union. Washington state, on the other hand, is a heavily unionized state that is home to an existing Boeing facility.
At the Boeing plant in Washington state, un-ions routinely mount strikes that disrupt production of Boeing aircraft. That’s probably one reason why Boeing preferred South Carolina for its new facility.
The NLRB is blatantly pro-union, and successfully suing to stop Boeing from opening a facility in a free-market state such as South Carolina would be considered a big win for organized labor. It would also be a nice reward for labor unions, which are a key constituency for the president’s political party.
It’s no secret that the president is a tremendous supporter of unions. Campaign donations from organized labor played a big part in his presidential campaign.
So it wasn’t a surprise last year when the president appointed Lafe Solomon, an attorney who was already known as an ardent advocate for organized labor, as the agency’s general counsel.
To avoid the usual scrutiny that presidential appointees go through, the president named Solomon to the position while Congress was in recess. Under Washington’s rules, people appointed during recess can serve for up to a year before being confirmed by Congress.
The president has been repeatedly urged to ask the NLRB, which is part of his administration, to stop its costly and ridiculous lawsuit against Boeing. Yet he has refused.
Ironically, it is Boeing that is creating jobs, not the Obama administration.
And now, the president and his party want to punish Boeing – and other job creators – to appease one of their key constituencies.
Fortunately, some members of the U.S. House are standing up for the free-market system and taking action against the anti-business practices of the NLRB.
On Sept. 15, the House passed a bill by Rep. Tim Scott of South Carolina that would prevent the NLRB from shutting down or relocating employers.
Other U.S. House members from South Carolina, Trey Gowdy, Joe Wilson, Mick Mulvaney and Jeff Duncan, also worked for its passage.
Unlike the president, these men understand that to truly get our economy moving again, we must first remove the obstacles that hinder economic growth, such as excessive regulation, taxation and red tape, which impose unnecessary costs on employers and discourage them from expanding.
Those obstacles include over-reaching federal laws that dictate where private businesses can locate, as the Obama administration is doing in the Boeing case.
In announcing his new jobs plan, the president sought to vilify members of the Republican-led House.
He’d be wise, however, to follow their example.

Richard Eckstrom is South Carolina comptroller