The White House vs. Boeing


President Barack Obama offered a national pep talk Monday, the first business day after Standard & Poor's dubbed the debt-ceiling deal a tepid attempt at fiscal restraint and responded by downgrading the federal government's bond rating,

"Markets will rise and fall," the president said, "but this is the United States of America. No matter what some agency may say, we have always been and always will be a Triple-A country. For all of the challenges that we face, we continue to have the best universities, some of the most productive workers, and the most innovative companies and the most adventurous entrepreneurs on earth."

All true. The important question, however, is whether this administration is actually willing to let those "adventurous entrepreneurs" and "innovative companies" prosper and create new jobs. When you consider what's going on with Boeing, it sure doesn't appear so.

The Republican chairman of the House Oversight Committee last week subpoenaed documents from the National Labor Relations Board's lawsuit against Boeing. Rep. Darrell Issa of California complains the NLRB's lawsuit is deliberately aimed at interfering with the company's ability to decide where to build its planes.

The case "is unprecedented in a global economy and hobbles a leading American job creator at a time of economic vulnerability," Rep. Issa said in a Sunday letter to the executive branch agency's acting general counsel, Lafe Solomon.

The NLRB alleges that Boeing violated labor laws by opening a new production line for its 787 airplane in South Carolina. Despite the fact that Boeing has simultaneously expanded its West Coast work force, the NLRB -- dominated by pro-union, Democratic appointees -- argues Boeing's South Carolina plans are an effort to punish Washington state union workers for past strikes.

The agency's solution? It aims to prevent Boeing from creating thousands of new jobs in right-to-work South Carolina.

The NLRB has agreed to provide some documents to Rep. Issa, but says revealing other sensitive files could hinder prosecution of the case and set a dangerous precedent.

Interesting. What about the precedent of allowing a federal board to dictate to a private company where it is allowed to invest its resources?

And where is Barack Obama? Is he riding to the rescue of this "innovative company" and its "adventurous entrepreneurs"? Of course not. The president, according to The Associated Press, says the case was brought by an independent federal agency and he's reluctant to interfere.

And for all those people lining up for the new jobs in South Carolina? There's always food stamps.

 

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