By Representative Ron Paul
With jobs so hard to come by for many Americans, you would think a private company deciding to create more than 1,000 jobs would be cheered by Republicans and Democrats alike.
But President Obama's National Labor Relations Board is doing everything it can to stop Boeing from opening a new plant in North Charleston.
And as sad as it may seem, at the heart of the board's actions is political cronyism at its absolute worst.
Since South Carolina is a right-to-work state, workers at Boeing's new plant can't be forced under the threat of losing their jobs to hand over a portion of their hard-earned money to union officials in dues.
The labor board's attempt to force Boeing to stay in a non-right-to-work state where the union bosses can force workers to pay up or be fired is political payback for their undying support during the last presidential campaign.
If the Obama administration succeeds, it could result in the virtual destruction of right-to-work laws all across the country: No longer could private companies decide for themselves where to move or open new facilities; the government would now take on that responsibility and make decisions based solely on what benefits the big-labor elite. Right-to-work states would be left out in the cold.
According to the National Institute for Labor Relations Research, right-to-work states had more than double the job growth of forced-unionism states over the past decade. In other words, big-labor control over American workers is a drag on our economy.
It was organized labor's stranglehold that drove the big three automakers to the brink of bankruptcy -- until American taxpayers were forced to rescue them. And it's not just in the private sector. Big labor's control of government workers in California, Illinois and elsewhere has driven those states to the brink of bankruptcy.
Once government union bosses gain "bargaining power" over government workers, the idea of providing taxpayers with the best service at the lowest cost goes out the window. Instead, electing big-government politicians who support skyrocketing salaries, bloated pension packages and other ultra-costly perks becomes priority No. 1.
That's why I believe the fight against the National Labor Relations Board in South Carolina is so important.
During these tough economic times, throwing our economy under a big labor lock and key would be a tremendous mistake.
Unfortunately, not all of my opponents have a history of always standing up for right to work.
Mitt Romney has come out against a national right-to-work law to end forced union dues nationwide.
Congresswoman Michele Bachmann cosponsored and voted for a big-labor bill to override dozens of state laws and begin forcibly unionizing state and local government workers nationwide.
Gov. Rick Perry signed a bill forcing Texas police and firefighters under union boss control, paving the way for all of Texas' state and local government employees to be put under organized labor's thumb.
On the other hand, I have a 100 percent right-to-work voting record.
I've never supported forced unionism -- and never will. And I'm proud to say I've been awarded the prestigious Everett Dirksen award by the National Right to Work Committee.
As a congressman, I've been a consistent cosponsor and supporter of national right-to-work legislation. Such a law won't put more federal code on the books or make government any bigger; in fact, it will help shrink government by repealing forced-dues mandates in federal labor law passed under FDR.
Along with cutting taxes, spending and regulations, passage of right to work would go a long way toward getting our economy moving again.
With so much at stake in this fight, and considering the ever-declining state of our fragile economy, it's never been more important that the Republican nominee for president be 100 percent committed to standing up for fighting forced unionism.
I assure you that the National Labor Relations Board won't destroy any right-to-work laws under my watch.
Mr. Paul, who has represented Texas in the U.S. House since 1979, is seeking the Republican nomination for president.