There’s no place more appropriate to highlight the contrasts in the U.S. Senate race between Carly Fiorina and Barbara Boxer than in the Central Valley. While Carly is again in the Valley today visiting farms in Arvin and Fresno and fighting against the pending 55 percent death tax hike, Barbara Boxer has been trying to play election year catch up on the issues that matter most to our state’s agriculture industry in an effort to save her own job come November.
But a short walk down memory lane shows just how little interest our state’s junior senator really has in supporting our nation’s farmers and ranchers. First, of course, is Boxer’s continued support for the death tax, which particularly hurts the agriculture industry, forcing families to sell parts or all of their ranches and farms in order to pay taxes on a deceased’s estate. Despite the tax’s devastating effects on the agriculture industry, Boxer has voted against relief at least 18 times.
Of course, we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention Boxer’s refusal to help get water flowing through the Central Valley again, choosing to defend a small fish instead of the very Californians who elected her. Boxer’s hypocrisy is all the more stunning in light of the fact that she voted in favor of helping the people of New Mexico when they faced a similar situation in 2003. Yet today, she refuses to take action to help her own constituents.
And given the hostile environment Boxer has helped create for Central Valley farmers and ranchers with sky-high taxes and restricted water flow, it’s no surprise that unemployment is so high in the region, topping 15 percent in several counties. These sobering statistics further reveal the abject failure of the big-government “stimulus” package Boxer promised would “save or create” 400,000 jobs. Since the stimulus passed in February 2009, we’ve seen little improvement in our state’s unemployment situation; in some cases, Californians are even worse off today than they were 18 months ago. And more recently, we’ve learned that our hard-earned taxpayer dollars aren’t funding jobs as we were promised. In the Central Valley alone, it turns out that nearly $1 million is being spent on administrative overhead at the Tulare County Workforce Investment Board instead of providing services to out-of-work youth and adults. Meanwhile, BP was awarded $308 million for a power plant in Kern County that is nowhere near being built.
In recent months, Barbara Boxer has been working hard to fool voters into believing she’s fighting for them. But especially in the Central Valley, Boxer has done nothing but stand and cheer on the sidelines as California’s farmers and ranchers are suffering a knockout punch from a looming tax hike on the American dream they’ve built, a small fish that seems to trump their families and livelihoods and an unemployment crisis that shows no signs of letting up anytime soon.