Barbara Boxer’s latest attack ad on Carly Fiorina attacks the former HP executive’s record on outsourcing and personal greed. What the ad doesn’t tell you is that Boxer is no less of an outsourcing advocate and is guilty of greed herself.
Rewind to the late 1990s. The Internet was booming and neither the technology bubble nor the housing bubble had really even formed, much less burst. Jobs in the technology sector were plentiful and dot coms were growing like blackberry bushes.
One of the consequences of this boom was a movement by lobbying organizations like the Information Technology Association of America (ITAA), to persuade Congress to raise the annual limits on H-1B visas issued. These visas allowed companies to hire workers from overseas, mostly India and China, to work in the U.S. The outsourcing lobby argued that the increase was necessary to fill the demand for technology jobs because of an alleged shortage of skilled tech workers in the U.S.
Why do I say ‘alleged’? It’s because there really was no shortage of skilled workers in the U.S.; this was all about hiring cheap labor. However, since the topic here is about Boxer’s attack on Fiorina and many of the outsourcing lobby’s goals are fait accompli, I won’t argue the merits of whether the increases in H-1B visas are right or wrong. I encourage those who are interested in that topic to search the Web for Dr. Norm Matloff and read his various writings on H-1B and outsourcing.
Apart from her attack on Fiorina, Boxer does not hide the fact that she is pro-outsourcing. In fact, she openly admits to supporting the increase in H-1B visas on her website here. In 1998, she voted in favor of passage of Senate Bill S1723, the American Competitiveness Act, a pro-outsourcing piece of legislation.
If you are going to support outsourcing, you cannot attack someone else for supporting it. After all, wasn’t Fiorina, as an HP executive, simply responding to a problem, i.e. labor shortage, by turning to outsourcing, which Boxer’s voting helped to make easier to implement?
Boxer is also a notorious supporter of illegal immigration, like the H-1B visa, another economically devastating by-product of the cheap labor movement. Not a good thing for someone who claims to support the American worker.
The ad’s hypocrisy is further compunded by Boxer’s attack on Fiorina for her accumulation of wealth while she ran HP. Boxer, who would have us believe she is ready for sainthood, is a millionaire, with a salary that has more than doubled since her arrival in Washington. She is also generous when it comes to lining the pockets of her family, as James Richardson’s post, Barbara Boxer Subsidizing Relatives with Campaign Contributions, so eloquently illustrates.
Boxer is shameless in accepting privately funded trips under the pretense of official business, including three trips to a Mexican beach resort with her husband. The average cost per trip exceeds $5,000, but no, she’s not greedy like Fiorina.
This is another desperate attack by an campaign that feels Fiorina breathing down its neck. The campaign is so desperate that it paid Maxine Waters (U.S. House, D-CA) for an endorsement. Hopefully more California voters wise up and see the campaign for what it really is.