Labor Secretary Solis Again Politicizes Labor Day With an Error-Riddled, Hilarious Video

A year ago (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), yours truly wrote up how Labor Secretary Hilda Solis had produced a Labor Day video which was both a propaganda vehicle glorifying the Obama administration's alleged economic accomplishments and a straw-man attack piece targeting "some who will suggest that, when times are tough, it’s time to get tough on working people."

This year, she's done it again. Working with the thinnest of gruel given the true state of the economy, the video is so pathetic that it's difficult at times to keep from laughing. The political statement I have transcribed after the jump goes from 0:23 to 3:57 of the 4:45 video (bolds and numbered tags are mine):

Now there were times in our history when we had great prosperity during Labor Day. But today, I'm talking to you when many workers feel anxiety and uncertainty.

I've heard from many of you in my travels across the country, and more than anything else, no matter where I go and who I hear from, you've told me: "We need more jobs."

So I want to talk to you about that. I want to talk to you not only about the jobs we've saved, but more importantly about the jobs we're working to create. [1]

We're at a turning point in our history. We've been forced to take bold action to address the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, and put the brakes on an economic downturn.

Our economy is showing signs of steady progress, [2] but I know we aren't there yet.

We were losing 750,000 jobs a month -- a total of 8 million jobs -- before President Obama took office. [3] And although we've created 2.2 million jobs over the last year and a half, [4] and that's very good news, our nation's unemployment rate remains too high.

So the President and I will not stop working until every American is back on their feet, and we have fulfilled our goal to provide good and safe jobs for everyone.

To do that, our social safety net must remain strong. In challenging economic times, our unemployment insurance system serves as a crucial lifeline, not just to those who have lost a job through no fault of their own, but for our entire economy as well.

Last year we provided 23 million unemployed workers with help, [5] to pay their rent, to put food on the table, and keep local and small businesses afloat. This is the help they needed to seek new employment, or to get training in marketable new skills.

But that's not enough. We must make smart, targeted investments in our future. [6] That means training, education, research and technology that will lead to new ideas and new industries we haven't even thought of yet.

We must build new roads and bridges [7] and manufacture new products products right here in America. That's why we acted quickly to save the automobile industry, which has come roaring back in the last year, adding thousands of jobs.

And that's why this administration is bringing business, education and community leaders together to invest in emerging technologies that will create high-quality manufacturing jobs [6] that will allow us to sell our products all over the world. I've seen what's working, and it's amazing.

And while we've done the work to keep and create jobs, we've also ramped up our enforcement agencies to make sure workers stay safe and healthy, [8] and that employers are held accountable if they are not.

A workplace fatality is something no working family needs. [9] What they do need, however, is a voice, to ensure fair wages, safe workplaces, dignity, and respect. And that voice can only be guaranteed when they have the right to organize and bargain collectively.

We are at a turning point in our history. As we move forward, the debate about our economic recovery will only get more intense.

Some will argue that we need to cut back on unemployment benefits, cut back on worker training, cut back on giving workers an important voice on the job. [10]

On this Labor Day, I want you to remember: Your Labor Secretary will continue to fight for those things.


  • [1] -- This is a leftover line from last year's video which seems to have no direct tie-in to this year's. You will search in vain for any reference to jobs "saved" in this year's script, which is just as well.
  • [2] -- A similar line was also used in last year's video. This year, with 0.7% annualized growth during the first half of the year, and an average of 35,000 seasonally adjusted jobs added during the last three months, the statement is beyond embarrassing.
  • [3] -- This is the same discredited statement Harry Reid made in early August, and it of course remains as false now as it was then:


    The red box represents the high-water mark for seasonally adjusted employment while George W. Bush was President as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which is part of Solis's Department of Labor. The blue box is where total employment stood in January when Barack Obama took office. The difference is 4.433 million, not 8 million. Solis's statement is a flat-out falsehood, and anyone in BLS could have told her that if asked.

  • [4] -- The difference between the green boxes isn't 2.2 million; it's 1.886 million. The 2.2 million to which Solis is the increase in private-sector employment between December 2009 and June 2011. She should have said so. As it stands, the statement she made is also false.
  • [5] -- This is how they measure success. To paraphrase the old McDonald's slogan: "Over 23 million unemployed served."
  • [6] -- These two statements constitute another incredible embarrassment. It's as if the news of Solyndra, Evergreen Industries and other stimulus and green jobs "investment" failures have never broken through DOL's walls.
  • [7] -- Last year's video (I'm not kidding) said: "As a result of our quick and bold actions, millions of people are at work, building and rebuilding America’s roads, bridges, ports, and high-speed rail." This year, building "new roads and bridges" is something that we apparently need to start doing. You can't make this stuff up.
  • [8] -- I suppose this is impolite, but I must point out that in 2010, the first full year during which an Obama appointee was in charge (Bush's successor stayed until September 2009), there were 48 coal-mining deaths. That's was up from 18 in 2009, and was highest number recorded since 1992. Maybe cooperating with employers to improve safety, which was the guiding philosophy during the Bush 43 years, instead of promising to beat them up if every "i" isn't dotted and every "t" isn't crossed, which is the new guy's attitude might work better.
  • [9] -- (jaw hitting floor) Who writes this stuff? Who let it get through?
  • [10] -- Call this "The Return of the Straw-Man Argument."

If a Republican Labor Secretary had engaged in such an error-riddled, self-congratulatory production, I daresay that the establishment press would (correctly) have raked him or her over the, uh, coals.

Solis's 2011 sequel is so bad that the Republican National Committee ought to run snippets of it. That would serve two purposes. First, it would show the nation just how out of touch a key member of Obama's cabinet really is. Second, it would hopefully convince her to make this year's video her last.

Cross-posted at

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