By Rick Manning – January 22, 2013 will be remembered for a number of things. It is the first day after President Obama’s second inaugural, and it marks the second day of his final term in office. Yes, only 1,458 days until he finally leaves.
But there is one little noted celebration occurring in the bowels of the federal bureaucracy. This also is the day that Labor Secretary Hilda Solis ends her reign of terror over our nation’s labor market. In commemoration of this occasion, below are Solis’ five greatest “accomplishments” as determined by a group of expert Labor Department observers.
Number 5: Hid Big Labor Bosses multi-million dollar payouts from the public. Solis, a former union official, will undoubtedly be showered with praise by these union bosses who don’t have to worry about what the “little” worker, who gets dirty for a living, thinks about their extravagant lifestyles. Hilda’s hiding union boss payola was one of the first things she ‘accomplished’ in her tenure, when she rolled back disclosure regulations. Now, Hilda can go back into the union graft, er, pay, system herself as an equal. After all, due to Hilda Solis, Labor Boss payments are buried deeper than Jimmy Hoffa.
Number 4: Solis is the Manti Te’o of jobs, preferring imaginary green jobs over real mining ones. As a result, she was a co-conspirator in accomplishing the almost impossible task of aiding and abetting Obama’s loss of the United Mine Workers Union endorsement in 2012.
Number 3: Forcing government contracts to the 7 percent over the 93 percent of the U.S. workforce. In Solis World, the seven percent of the private workforce that is represented by her labor masters should get to work on building federal government funded bridges, roads and other projects, while the 93 percent who don’t pay dues that translates directly to campaign cash just don’t rate getting a job.
Ironically, in spite of Hilda’s yeoman efforts, private sector union membership during her tenure actually fell to a record low of only 6.9 percent of the workforce, down from 7.2 percent when she took office. Of course with public employees five times more likely to be unionized than those in the private sector, Hilda should have felt right at home among her union peeps leading the labor department.
Number 2: Incredibly, in spite of having more than one-third of her Labor Department “colleagues” in union solidarity, Solis managed to alienate them early and often. The very union local that represents the Labor Department government workers has been engaged in a running war with Solis over her continuing contempt for the littles.
Not only has she attempted to drive the lowly union members out of underground parking at the Labor Department through dramatically increasing the rates, but her self-proclaimed award winning elevator poster indoctrination program featuring various Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transexual advocacy efforts has suffered from the indignation of being ripped from the walls by her very own people. It got so bad that Solis had to send out a memo threatening the jobs of anyone caught tampering with her war-like posters. Sadly, she never put as much effort into defending American jobs as she did in defending her “art.” Now, that is a true believer.
And Finally Number 1: Most incredibly, Hilda Solis has helped destroy the hope of millions of Americans that they will ever get a job in the American economy. The wreckage on her watch is astonishing.
Hilda’s broom swept away the dreams of more people than the entire populations of all but eleven states. It takes a special lady to drive 8.3 million Americans, who are 16 years of age or older, entirely out of the labor force during just a four year stint. That’s right, gone from the labor force. Where’d they go? Who knows? Hilda just made them disappear — almost Pinochet-like.
Consider that Solis managed to oversee a labor market with three years of an Obama-proclaimed growing economy, and yet somehow under her fine stewardship a whopping 127,000 more Americans are unemployed as she leaves than when Obama first walked through the door in January 2009.
In some perverse way for Hilda this is good news, because as long as Congress keeps borrowing money from China to extend unemployment benefits, these voters will toe the big government, deficit spending line. After all, the more people on the government dole, the fewer who can complain about it.
In fact, Hilda should consider changing her name to Katrina, as it will take America at least a decade or more to fully recover from the devastation she has wrought.
It is on this note that I wish former Labor Secretary Hilda Solis best wishes, and a sincere hope that she does just as good of a job for whatever gigantic labor union hires her next, as she has done for the country over the past four years.
That would be a true public service.
Mr. Manning (@rmanning957) is the VP of Public Policy and Communications at Americans for Limited Government and a former Labor Department official.