No 'God-Given' American Jobs Carly Fiorina: Election Is About The Economy And Destroying Jobs In California
Former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly "There Is No Job That Is America’s God-Given Right Anymore" Fiorina apparently thinks that it a good idea to make jobs a central issue of her Senate campaign against Barbara Boxer in California given what she told Chris Wallace during this interview on Fox News Sunday.
WALLACE: All right. Give us an overview of your sense of this race. Take a minute and lay out what you think the choice is for California voters.
FIORINA: I think this election is about the direction of our state and of our nation. And in particular, it is about the direction of our economy. We are destroying jobs in California.
So while Barbara Boxer comes to California to tout the impact of the stimulus bill, the reality is that the unemployment situation in California has deteriorated since the passage of the stimulus bill.
We now face 12.6 percent unemployment. We have 2.3 million Californians out of work, hundreds of thousands of them for more than six months. Hundreds of thousands of Californians have quit looking for work.
We're not just going through tough economic times in California. We are destroying jobs. And we're destroying them because of a government that is too big, taxes that are too high, regulations that are too thick. So this election is about jobs, but it's also about out-of-control government.
And the reason I am running for the Senate is because so much of the Senate's work impacts every family and every business in California and, indeed, in our nation. The Endangered Species Act...
Chris Wallace actually points out that Fiorina's record on keeping jobs in the United States hasn't been the greatest, but of course we don't get any follow up from him.
FIORINA: ... the health care bill, taxes -- all of these things are helping to create an economic situation that is getting worse in our state, not better.
WALLACE: But, Ms. Fiorina, if the issue is jobs, Senator Boxer says your record is what you did as the head of Hewlett-Packard. And the record shows, according to her -- and it's not just her; the facts are that during that time you laid off more than 30,000 American workers, and many of those jobs went to India and China.
FIORINA: It is true, I managed Hewlett-Packard through the worst technology recession in 25 years. And in those tough times, we had to make some tough calls.
It is also true that, net-net, we created jobs. We doubled the size of the company from 44 billion to 88 billion. We tripled the rate of innovation to 11 patents a day. We quintupled the cash flow. We improved the...
WALLACE: But -- but -- but...
FIORINA: ... profitability in...
WALLACE: ... but if I may...
FIORINA: ... every product segment and ...
WALLACE: ... what about the 30,000 American jobs that you let -- you laid off?
FIORINA: You know, every family and every business in California knows what it means to go through tough times. And every family is cutting back, and every business is laying off right now.
I don't say that with delight. I say that with sorrow. But yes, it is true that jobs are being taken out of California. By the way, China fights harder for our jobs than we do. Texas fights for our jobs. Nevada fights for our jobs. North Carolina fights for our jobs. We have to start fighting for our jobs in this nation and in our state. And what does that mean? It means something really basic, like let's give a tax break to bring manufacturing home. Let's make sure that agriculture remains a good credit risk. It has become a poor credit risk because of the impact of no water as a result of the Endangered Species Act.
Let's make sure that when we turn up wind factories in Texas the wind turbines aren't manufactured in China, which is what's going on now. The truth is in California you can't build a new manufacturing facility, and businesses are leaving in droves because of bad government policy.
WALLACE: All right.
FIORINA: That's what we have to turn around. And by the way, I know how to create jobs, and I know why they leave. And Barbara Boxer believes the only way to create a job is to tax people and grow government.
The reason people in California are outraged is because while they are going through tough economic times, and suffering with 12.6 percent unemployment rates, the federal government is growing its employees at 14.5 percent a year.
WALLACE: All right. Let me get to some of the other issues...
Think Progress' Wonk Room has more on Fiorina's record with overseas tax shelters and outsourcing or as she called it "right-shoring" American jobs.
By leaving profits overseas, U.S. companies can indefinitely postpone (i.e. totally avoid) paying U.S. corporate taxes.
As Martin Sullivan of Tax Notes writes, “The U.S. tax system does provide an incentive to locate production offshore.”
McCain adviser Carly Fiorina, former CEO of Hewlett-Packard, is well acquainted with this fact. At Hewlett Packard, Fiorina oversaw the sheltering of over $14 billion in profits overseas, bringing the companies effective tax rate down from 35% to 12%.
At a recent McCain economic event, Fiorina acknowledged the tax incentives to move offshore and explained that Hewlett Packard “left billions of dollars in cash overseas.”
In fact, Fiorina, has shown a consistent callousness towards Americans who have lost their jobs through outsourcing and offshoring:
– During her time as CEO, Fiorina was an outspoken defender of Hewlett-Packard’s offshoring, referring to it as “right-shoring.”
– In 2004, Carly Fiorina gave a speech in which she said, “there is no job that is America’s God-given right anymore.”
This callousness extends to McCain’s policies. Even as McCain opposes eliminating these incentives (which would encourage the creation of American jobs), he advocates a $175 billion tax cut for corporations and a expensing deduction called “the mother of all corporate loopholes.”
Fiorina, speaking for the campaign, has insisted that eliminating these incentives is unnecessary if the corporate rate is cut from 35% to 25% as McCain proposes, but, as George Stephanopolous neatly pointed out during an interview with Fiorina, this argument is absurd on its face: corporations face zero taxes if they leave their profits overseas, and 25% is still a whole lot bigger than zero.
They also debunked her talking points that the stimulus did nothing to create jobs in California when she made similar remarks this week on CNBC.
Second, it is not true that the stimulus has done nothing in California, even though that state is undeniably in terrible shape when it comes to the labor market. According to employer reports, more than 70,000 stimulus jobs have been created in the Golden State. Overall, according to the Congressional Budget Office, the recovery act saved or created 2.8 million jobs, and an estimated 3.7 million by September.
Finally, Fiorina is jumping on the bandwagon of right-wing politicians demonizing public employees. And while public employees do, on average, have higher salaries and benefits than private sector workers, it’s because they’re more highly educated and the government doesn’t pay its employees below poverty-line wages (which drags down the private sector average). Once you look at the top-end, public employees make far less than their private sector counterparts. As CAP’s Lawrence Korb and Jacob Stokes pointed out, “this makes sense: why do so many senior officials leave to take lucrative positions at private firms if not for the money?”
And of course, Fiorina’s only real solution to anything is to cut taxes. But that doesn’t do much good for those who are already out of work and have no taxable income, and it doesn’t spur demand that will give businesses more customers and thus a reason to expand.