Recently the Hill published a story, the gist of which was that Andy Puzder’s “hometown” newspaper, the St. Louis Post Dispatch, thought that he was unqualified to be Secretary of Labor. What The Hill does not mention is what all of us from St. Louis know only too well: the editorial board of the Post will follow the line taken by the Democratic Left, and therefore is highly unlikely to find that anyone President Trump nominates to any office is qualified. In the same editorial, the Post also took shots at Rick Perry, Ben Carson, and Betsy Devos.
Yet I cannot remember any time when the Post found that one of Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaCutting through the noise of COVID risk: Real-life consequences of oversimplification Russia-Ukraine conflict threatens U.S. prestige Appeasement doesn't work as American foreign policy MORE’s nominees was unqualified for a job. So what we have here is a Democratic paper that doesn’t like the nominees of a Republican President. That’s hardly news.
And I have to add that the Post Dispatch is not Mr. Puzder’s “hometown paper.” Mr. Puzder was born near Cleveland, Ohio, and recently moved to Tennessee from Southern California. He hasn’t lived in St. Louis for fifteen years, though he went to school and practiced law there in the 80’s and 90’s.
That was when I got to know Andy. He comes from a working class background; he worked his way through school working a number of jobs while supporting a young family. He knows what it is like to juggle bills and to make trade-offs by paying only the important ones first. He’s also been the CEO of a national company. In that capacity, he saw how government regulations can kill jobs, hurt economic growth, and cut workers off from the path of opportunity – the path that Andy himself took. That’s why he’s been speaking and writing for ten years about the importance of both strong worker protections and regulations that don’t make it too costly for businesses to actually hire people.
Andy knows that business and workers need each other. There are no jobs without business; there is no labor without jobs; and there is no business without labor. And the more jobs there are, the greater the demand for labor to do them, and the higher wages will go because of the increased demand. Andy lived that truth, and saw it in operation, both as a young worker and as a mature CEO.
His philosophy is one focused on strong worker protections and a productive economy that creates jobs and opportunities for all Americans. This is a philosophy we need in Washington and in government, and we need people in government who believe it and are willing to stand and make a reasoned case for it.
I doubt that any Senate Democrats will support Andy’s nomination, but it’s not for any of the reasons cited in thePost Dispatch or being thrown around the Internet. It’s because the interest groups of the Liberal Left have bought into the idea that the government can’t help workers unless at the same time it is hurting business. That’s not only false; it’s pretty close to the opposite of the truth. Andy understands that thoroughly and will advocate for it effectively, which is exactly why the nation’s workers really need him to become Secretary of Labor.
Rep. Wagner represents Missouri’s 2nd District.
The views expressed by this author are their own and are not the views of The Hill.