Smith: Hands off our success: Mr. President, why Chattanooga, Tennessee?

Smith: Hands off our success: Mr. President, why Chattanooga, Tennessee?

July 29th, 2013 By Robin Smith in Opinion Columns

Robin Smith

Photo by Contributed Photo/Times Free Press.

In selecting sites to promote, again, your economic recovery policies, Mr. President, why visit a state where 90 of 95 counties voted against you in 2008 flipping control of its state legislature for the first time in its post-Reconstruction history to Republican control of both chambers? Why stand in one of the 91 counties opposing your policies and your campaign of 2012 that saw a super-majority of pro-growth Republicans in the state legislature elected for the first time in our history?

Amazon, Volkswagen, Wacker and other businesses have moved to a right-to-work state for nonunion workers, to a non-income tax state allowing more take-home pay for their employees, to an "all-of-the-above" energy state that keeps the cost of doing business lower, and to a state protected from jackpot justice of slip-and-fall trail lawyers through tort reform, just to name a few benefits.

These benefits directly result from policies planted in the garden of the free enterprise and commerce in Tennessee, cultivated and tended, weeded of thorny, invasive regulations, interests and malignant spending that choke out good growth and yielding a supply of jobs for our hard-working families.

Why not stop in Detroit, Mr. President, to tout your economic policies?

Remember, in October 2012, your weekly address proclaimed your refusal to "let Detroit go bankrupt."

Now that city, previously known for its manufacturing muscle embodied in America's automotive industry, is literally bankrupt. The spectacle proves that policies are consequential and that manipulated markets seized by taxes, union control and the inevitable inability to compete close businesses and, therefore, hurt middle- and lower-class workers because jobs are destroyed.

This philosophy of tax-the-rich, big-government-little-citizens being used by Detroit and many other cities is failing.

They are using your policies, Mr. President.

Back in the 2008 election cycle, your 506 campaign promises included three that were predicted then as problematic and have now proven to demonstrate failure.

"Health care for all" was your pledge to drive down the costs of health care and increase accessibility. The Affordable Care Act "train wreck," so named by Democrat Senator Max Baucus, is actually increasing costs for the majority who will have coverage and creating havoc for small businesses.

In Tennessee, both Republicans and Democrats learned that our TennCare program almost destroyed our state's budget. The bi-partisan reform of our Medicaid program was a solution that deserves recognition.

Your pledge to reform the Patriot Act stirred the pot of civil liberties a few years ago. Yet, ironically, it is your Department of Justice that sought the expansion of and implemented the "secret interpretation" of Section 215 of the same Patriot Act allowing access to all domestic calls and information regardless of suspicion. This tyrannical expansion of an anti-terror tool is now defended by you and many of the same civil liberties folks.

"Defend labor rights" was a third sweeping promise in your 2008 playbook that may be one of your real agenda items in Chattanooga. "Understand this. If American workers are being denied their right to organize and collectively bargain when I'm in the White House, I will put on a comfortable pair of shoes myself, I'll walk on that picket line with you as President of the United States of America."

Amazon, Volkswagen, and other companies that have chosen Tennessee's environment of success are here because of leaders such as Sens. Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker, and Gov. Bill Haslam, who stand on conservative principles.

Welcome to our city, county and state, Mr. President. Please take notes. But rewriting our path to success is off-limits.

Robin Smith served as chairwoman of the Tennessee Republican Party from 2007 to 2009. She is a partner at the SmithWaterhouse Strategies business development and strategic planning firm.