09.20.2012 1

Behind John Boehner’s Boo Birds

By Bill Wilson — There’s a convenient explanation for the boo birds that rained down on U.S. Speaker John Boehner during last month’s Republican National Convention.  According to the GOP  insiders,  the incident wasn’t a big deal – a mere smattering of discontent emanating exclusively from supporters of U.S. Rep. Ron Paul.

Is that really the case, though? Delegates offer conflicting accounts, but no matter what transpired Boehner seems to not understand what prompted the rebuke and public scorn.  No way to cover it over, the reality is that under his leadership, Republicans failed to keep their promises on spending–and failed to exercise their constitutional authority on behalf of taxpayers.

During the 2010 campaign,  the Republican campaign team promised America $100 billion in government cuts during their first year in office.   What we got instead was $130 million in bigger government.  Boehner also was unable to hold his own during the government shutdown and debt ceiling debates last year–handing key victories to the administration of Barack Obama.

Most egregiously, though, Boehner’s House and his hand-picked committee Chairmen have failed to leverage the immense power of the U.S. House on behalf of the American free market–enabling rogue agencies to mount a daily assault on our nation’s economic wellness.

The most widely reported example of this was the “fight” between Obama’s National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and aircraft manufacturer Boeing over the company’s decision to build a non-union plant in a right-to-work state.  This battle produced plenty of heated rhetoric, but in the end Boeing (which relies extensively on government contracts and subsidies) acquiesced to a host of demands from organized labor rather than fight for its right to locate facilities where it pleases.

Despite the transparent nature of this shakedown, 60 “Republicans” in Boehner’s majority joined Democrats in blocking an amendment that would have defunded the NLRB.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), which administers the Endangered Species Act, is another agency that’s currently waging war on American competitiveness.  In Utah, FWS is paying an estimated $10 million to remove carp from Utah Lake (carp the government put in the lake in the first place).  The goal of this project is to protect the June sucker, an endangered fish that is being bred at a nearby taxpayer-funded hatchery.  In addition to these expenses the government is contemplating the seizure of 700 acres of private property (valued at more than $20 million) to facilitate a river rerouting project aimed at providing “optimal spawning conditions” for the June sucker.

The real “suckers” here?  American property owners, business owners and taxpayers.

Need more examples?  Last August, Gibson Guitars was raided by federal agents for importing wood from Madagascar in violation of that country’s environmental laws–which apparently can now be enforced against American companies under a provision of the 100-year-old Lacey Act.  In citing Gibson U.S. Justice Department had the audacity to claim that its case–which was all about enforcing a foreign law aimed at slowing deforestation in Madagascar–was “good for American business and American consumers.”

The Gibson example is particularly noteworthy because under its president Henry Juszkiewicz the company has embraced the green movement–partnering with organizations like Greenpeace and the Rainbow Alliance.  Clearly such accommodation of the radical left does not shield anyone from Obama’s overreach.

The truth is no company–or consumer–is safe.  Right now the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration is bullying Hyatt Hotels on behalf of a service industry union representing some of its employees.  Meanwhile Obama’s Federal Communications Commission is plotting a new tax on internet access as part of its effort to compete with private sector providers in this industry.

Large and small, assaults like these are taking place every single day in America.  This outright attack on American producers and the very concept of private property is only going to get worse should Obama have a second term.  But regardless, the agencies are running wild and need to be reined in.  To stop them, Republicans don’t need control of the White House.  They don’t even really need the U.S. Senate.  What they desperately need, though, is for GOP leaders in the U.S. House to show real aggressive leadership.

The House has oversight over these rogue agencies.  It also has control over their budgets.  Accordingly, any time one of these agencies oversteps its bounds, Boehner’s majority has the power to drag the bureaucrats before the people they are hurting and demand that they stop.  And if they don’t stop, Boehner’s majority can write them out of existence in the budget.  Either the agencies respect the will of the People as expressed by Congress or they cease to exist.  Simple and direct.

Were that to happen, were the House to show this level of commitment to the American people,  those boos Boehner still has ringing in his ears would  turn to cheers.  More importantly, some of those standing in the unemployment line might be able to find a job.

Bill Wilson is the President of Americans for Limited Government. You can follow Bill on Twitter at @BillWilsonALG.

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