12.06.2010 2

The New Solis State

By Rick Manning

15.1 million Americans unemployed.

The entire state of Ohio has a population under 12 million people. The commonwealth of Pennsylvania is at around 12.5 million people. Illinois is around 13 million. In fact, every state except California, Florida, New York and Texas, has a population lower than the 15.1 million who are unemployed going into the Christmas season.

If the 15.1 million were a state, they would have 21 members of Congress, with 23 votes in the Electoral College in 2012.

When these 15.1 million are combined with those who are underemployed the total number of people who either don’t have work or are working at jobs well below their expertise and training reaches 26.1 million Americans — more than the population of any state except California.

Yet, to hear US Department of Labor spokesperson Carl Fillichio tell it, they are doing “great work.”

The great work includes engaging in a wholesale attack on the private sector using the taxpayer paid legal force at the Labor Department to attack any company that has the temerity to not be unionized. It is ironic that the government announced that the unemployment rate jumped .2 percent to 9.8 percent on the same day that Americans for Limited Government exposed internal Labor Department documents that reveal Obama’s plans to attack our nation’s job creators.

It is sad, that Obama officials like Fillichio, will go before a group of socialist leaning labor publications to complain that the main stream media won’t tell their positive story. Of course, you learn all you need to know about the mindset at Obama’s Labor Department through Fillichio’s accomplishment list which includes shutting down a mine and putting 130 miners out of work.

While Fillichio claimed that the mine was closed due to fatalities, it actually has not had any fatalities in at least the past five years, and in 2009, received the average amount of safety citations for a similar sized mine according to a report by NPR. An outlet that clearly just won’t give Fillichio’s Labor Department a break.

Of course, the just released Labor Department Solicitor’s plan may provide more light on the subject than Solis’ shill. The closed mine is non-union. The mine is owned by Massey Energy, a major non-union employer, who came under attack due to the tragic death of 26 miners at a West Virginia coal mine that they own.

So, even though the Kentucky mine that Fillichio brags about closing had an average safety record, they received the extra special enforcement treatment and the Labor Department closed them, along with the jobs of 130 miners. Of course, Labor attorneys are trying to get the employer to pay the miners as if they were working demonstrating their “concern” for the workers.

Now, I don’t know for certain whether the mine deserved to be closed or not, although the reports seem to point to some selective enforcement targeting, but the very fact that this closing is one of the few “accomplishments” that Solis’ public relations flak can come up with clearly shows their dilemma.

The fact that the Labor Department’s big accomplishment is throwing 130 workers into the unemployment lines is instructive. This Administration would rather close a mine and impose massive fines that force employers in other arenas to close, than to do the hard work to help create safer workplaces.

This brings us back to the 15.1 million unemployed Americans, who are facing a bleak Christmas due to Obama’s great recession.

Just four years ago, before most Americans had heard of Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi, the unemployment rate was 4.6 percent, and in the last year of the Bush Administration records show that the workforce was safer than at any time in history.

Now, an unemployment rate above 9 percent is the new norm with the past nineteen months resting above 9.4 percent — the longest period of sustained unemployment at this level since the Great Depression. The Labor Department response is to brag about throwing people out of work.

The left wing spinmeisters are so desperate that in the past couple of days, we have listened to lame duck Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s cronies in the House proclaiming that unemployment insurance payments create jobs and tax cuts don’t.

We have official documents leaked showing how the Obama Administration is going to wage a war using government attorneys on the private sector (the ONLY source of legitimate job creation in America.)

We have the House passing a massive tax increase on the private sector job creators.
The only thing that is surprising about any of this is that with this economic policy, only 15.1 million Americans are unemployed.

Secretary Hilda — a great job indeed.

Rick Manning is the Director of Communications for Americans for Limited Government.

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