- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 4, 2012

Never in my worst dreams could I imagine that the day would come when an American president would stand up and urge companies to break federal law — and then, amazingly, tell them under his personal authority that the taxpayers would pay their penalties (“McCain: Obama acting beyond authority,” Web, Wednesday). That’s exactly what President Obama has done. Worst of all, it has been for political reasons during an election season.

Under the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notice (Warn) Act, employers are required to give workers a minimum of 60 days notice before potential mass layoffs. Major layoffs, expected for defense contractors, are likely with the massive defense cuts slated to occur on Jan. 2. Robert Stevens, chairman and CEO of Lockheed Martin, one of the largest defense contractors in the key battleground state of Virginia, had told Congress that his company was looking at laying off about 10,000 workers from its workforce of 120,000 employees.

Mr. Obama, always looking out for No. 1, whether it be flying to Las Vegas after a terrorist attack or fundraising instead of meeting with Israel’s prime minister, told these contractors to break the law. Then he said he would stick taxpayers with the bill for the penalties.

We have a president who acts unilaterally, does an end-run around Congress and then tells others to break our laws. This is a crime.

MARY PARK

Tracy, Calif.