Looking back on the 2008 presidential election, how did voters come to the conclusion that Barack Obama would be best suited to lead the nation as its 44th president?
Simply put, Americans knew little about him. He was a community organizer, law professor, gifted orator, Illinois State Senator and recently elected U.S. Senator. His résumé was certainly thin compared to past presidential candidates and even those he faced in his party’s primary.
Nevertheless, Americans gravitated to his campaign, drawn in by the promises of “hope” and “change.” People didn’t seem to care about his spotty legislative record and lack of private sector and executive experience.
His work experience and record in both legislative bodies did little to foreshadow how he would govern as president. Would he be more of a centrist Democrat in the mold of President Bill Clinton, or seek to build a lasting liberal legacy like President Franklin D. Roosevelt?
After three years of his presidency, the answer is unmistakable.
From day one, President Obama has demonized free enterprise. In his class warfare rhetoric, the president blames free enterprise for the divide between the “haves” and “have nots.” This erroneous claim proves his lack of understanding on the subject. Through the use of knowledge, skills, ingenuity and determination, free enterprise allows anyone who works hard to achieve success. Any effective chief executive must understand this point—that free enterprise is responsible for the success story that is the United States of America.
It should come as no surprise that Obama’s economic agenda has done little to spur job growth and economic recovery. The construction industry in particular has been profoundly affected by these misguided policies.
One of Obama’s first actions as president was to sign Executive Order 13502, which encouraged federal agencies to require project labor agreements (PLAs) on federal construction projects exceeding $25 million in total cost. Conversely, under President George W. Bush construction companies competed in the federal bidding process based on merit. By issuing this executive order, Obama essentially said “do not apply” to the 86 percent of the construction industry that chooses not to affiliate with a labor union.
The ultimate affront to voters and small businesses was his massive health care reform package. Even after polls showed the public’s overwhelming opposition to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the president urged Democrats to use unprecedented parliamentary tactics to ram the bill through Congress.
To make matters worse, reports surfaced in April that his law will add more than $1 trillion to the federal deficit. This estimate does not even take into consideration the impact the law has on a company’s ability to hire new workers, expand its business or meet current payroll.
After being rebuffed by Republicans and Democrats in Congress on legislation like the Employee Free Choice Act (card-check), Obama leveraged his authority as president to influence the regulatory process in the hopes of circumventing legislative authority. One agency receiving much of his attention is the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). Obama has politicized the board by appointing pro-union zealots, resulting in blatantly one-sided decisions (i.e., the Boeing case). Most recently, the NLRB approved a policy that would drastically shorten union election time frames from an average of 40 days to approximately 20 days. These “ambush elections” deprive employees of the opportunity to hear both sides of the story, from the union and from their employers, before making a decision that will profoundly impact their paycheck, their company and their life for years to come.
Americans face a paramount decision on Nov. 6. Voters must ask themselves whether it is in the best interest of the country to re-elect Obama to a second four-year term or seek new leadership from former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.
For many, the decision is clear.
Romney’s background as a business leader and governor makes him perfectly suited to take on the nation’s present and future challenges. Voters experimented with an inexperienced chief executive and cannot afford to make the same mistake twice. As the last three years have shown, community organizing, academia and avoiding controversial decisions by voting “present” do not provide the skills and experiences necessary to be president of the United States.
Voters have the opportunity to elect an individual who has spent much of his life in the private sector creating jobs and making profits that could be shared with employees, shareholders and others. His successes in the management consulting industry are exemplary. Whether it was leading Bain & Company out of crisis or co-founding and growing Bain Capital, Romney has demonstrated a true talent for creating an environment that enables free enterprise and competition to thrive.
His public service follows a similar path. When scandal plagued the 2002 Winter Olympics, Romney was brought in to save the games and the country from international embarrassment. In little time, he restructured its budget, reassured corporate sponsors and restored public confidence. As governor, he put a pro-business plan into action that eliminated Massachusetts’ $3 billion deficit (without raising taxes), spurring job creation and a robust economy.
The merit shop construction industry would greatly benefit under a Romney presidency. His speeches, op-eds and campaign literature make his positions clear. As president, he would:
- eliminate PLAs on federally funded projects;
- repeal the health care law and the Davis-Bacon Act;
- protect a worker’s right to a private ballot; and
- support right-to-work laws.
In his February speech to the Associated Builders and Contractors
National Board of Directors, Romney made his platform even clearer: “If I become president of the United States, I will curb the practice we have in this country of giving union bosses an unfair advantage in contracting. One of the first things I will do—actually on day one—is I will end the government’s favoritism toward unions in contracting on federal projects and end project labor agreements. I also will make sure that workers in America have the right to a secret ballot and I will fight for right-to-work laws.”
Success has followed Romney throughout his entire career. Voters, especially those earning a living from construction, would be wise to allow that success to follow him to the White House.
To learn more about Romney’s pro-business agenda, visit www.mittromney.com