Why Biden's choice for Labor secretary boggles my mind
Julie Su's nomination for Labor secretary is all about serving a narrow constituency over working Americans and that's just for starters
On March 1, President Biden nominated Julie Su to serve as the nation’s next secretary of Labor, and the choice checks all the expected liberal boxes. "If, in fact, you were not picked to be secretary of Labor, I would be run out of town," he joked to those assembled at Su’s introductory media event.
The rest of us, however, would have preferred someone qualified and capable of leading the agency in a manner that serves the public, not the president’s union friends.
Biden didn’t have to cast a very wide net to find his choice. Prior to her promotion, Su was serving as assistant secretary of Labor under departing Secretary Marty Walsh, who is leaving to head the union representing National Hockey League players.
BIDEN SAYS HE WOULD HAVE BEEN 'RUN OUT OF TOWN' IF HE DIDN'T PICK JULIE SU FOR LABOR SECRETARY
Walsh, the one-time mayor of Boston, more recently served as president of Laborers Local 223, and under his benighted leadership the union lost nearly one-third of its membership, while he pulled down salaries north of $200,000 every year between 2007-2015.
Since taking the Labor Department’s top spot in 2021, of course, Walsh has been the point man in Biden’s quixotic effort to reverse the dwindling union membership trends if it takes every cent taxpayers have.
In this respect, at least, Su is manifestly qualified to follow in his footsteps.
As California’s Labor secretary from 2019 to 2021, Su oversaw the state’s Department of Employment Security and, according to Orange County Register columnist John Phillips, "On her watch, 5 million Californians had benefits delayed and 1 million had benefits improperly denied."
Simultaneously, Su transferred somewhere between $30 billion and $40 billion in state money to undeserving criminals.
BIDEN LABOR SECRETARY NOMINEE OVERSAW BILLIONS OF DOLLARS LOST IN UNEMPLOYMENT FRAUD AS NEWSOM CABINET MEMBER
Former State Rep. and now Congressman Kevin Kiley, R-Rocklin, described this fleecing as the "largest fraud of taxpayer dollars in history."
Not even Su could shift the blame. During a Los Angeles Times Facebook live chat, she said, "I acknowledge that problem. I own it. I want you to hear from me directly that that is not acceptable, and we are going to fix it."
And her preferred method for doing so is by moving on to the U.S. Department of Labor, leaving the mess behind for someone else to clean up.
During the same Facebook forum, Su further conceded her Employment Security operation was woefully unprepared to cope with the unprecedented demand for unemployment assistance generated when California Gov. Gavin Newsom threw millions of residents out of work with his almost theatrical overreaction to the COVID pandemic.
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California Assemblywoman Cottie Petrie-Norris, the Democrat who chairs the Accountability and Administrative Review Committee, told the LA Times, "(Su) has done a tremendous job on many different initiatives, but she has not done a good job at running the Employment Development Department and, as a result, has wasted billions of dollars and, more importantly, caused heartache for millions of Californians."
Su also championed the drive to hike California’s minimum wage, a move wildly popular with her union allies, but one that poured gasoline on the fire burning in the state’s alleys, boosting retail prices, moving home ownership beyond the reach of even more state residents and forcing businesses to lay off low-skilled workers they could no longer afford to employ.
Thanks to her efforts, California currently shares with New York, Ohio and West Virginia the nation’s seventh-highest jobless rate at 4.1%, far exceeding the national average of 3.4%.
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In some cases, Su’s work in California did the opposite of what was promised. To cite just the most egregious example, Su was an enthusiastic supporter of the state’s AB5 Law, which has made it nearly impossible for independent contractors to operate in the state of California. The measure has "cost tens of thousands of freelance workers and independent contractors their economic livelihoods."
If this is the nominee Biden would have been run out of town for not nominating, it boggles the mind to ponder what the reaction would have been had he put forward someone even less qualified.
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