Editorial: Barbara Boxer is the clear choice for U.S. Senate

Opinion by Editorial Board
Nov. 2, 2010, 2:40 a.m.

The editorial board’s belief that Barbara Boxer will do a better job serving the people of California and this nation in the U.S. Senate than Carly Fiorina relies primarily on a review of key policy issues.

On the economy, Sen. Boxer supported the Toxic Asset Relief Program and Recovery Act that stabilized the economy and staved off a repeat of the Great Depression. She wisely defends her vote by citing sound academic research from Princeton economist Alan Blinder and John McCain’s former chief economist, Mark Zandi. Blinder and Zandi estimate that these interventions saved 8.5 million jobs and prevented a 12 percent decline in GDP. Fiorina, however, has called these economic policies “a failure.”

Instead, Fiorina has proposed an endless array of tax cuts–extending all the Bush tax cuts, eliminating the estate tax, temporarily eliminating the payroll tax and eliminating the capital gains tax for small business–that would leave a staggering hole in federal budgets. While some short-term tax cuts might be wise to stimulate the economy, Fiorina’s promises to rein in piling deficits and debts have been rendered utterly implausible by pledges not to raise any taxes or cut any money from the defense budget, which even political science professor Condoleezza Rice would not oppose reducing. The basic arithmetic of these contradicting suggestions does not add up.

In fairness, Sen. Boxer has not indicated specific steps to curb long-term fiscal shortfalls, but she has at least refrained from painting herself into a corner with impossible promises. Thus, we hope she will join with the president in compromising on structural tax and spending adjustments while continuing to make the critical investments necessary to revitalize the economy in the short-term and lay the foundation for long-run growth. Fiorina has given no indication that she will follow through on either of these priorities.

On energy and climate, Sen. Boxer has followed the CIA and the U.S. military in calling climate change “one of the very important national security issues we face” and boldly working to overhaul our nation’s energy policy, including co-authoring important proposed legislation with Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts. We are disappointed to report that Fiorina, however, has said she is “not sure” about the reality of climate change and made a television commercial deriding worries about “the weather.” It does please us that both candidates support increased federal funding for clean-energy research and development, but even in this area, Sen. Boxer has shown much greater commitment. Additionally, Fiorina has opposed the will of Californians by supporting offshore oil drilling on the California coastline, even after the disastrous Gulf oil spill this summer.

On immigration, Fiorina has reasonably proposed improved visa and guest worker programs as well as heightened border security, which the Obama administration is already working hard to impose, but consistently deflected questions on what to do with the undocumented immigrants already in America. Sen. Boxer supports a path to legalization.

On social issues, we prefer Sen. Boxer’s support for marriage equality and a wide variety of LGBT rights to Fiorina’s opposition. Similarly, we reject Fiorina’s views on the Second Amendment that tend to border on extremism, including allowing suspected terrorists to buy assault weapons.

On virtually every political issue the U.S. Senate will vote on in the next six years, Sen. Boxer will make better choices than her challenger. Thus, we urge you to fill out your ballot today and vote in favor of Sen. Boxer.

The Stanford Daily Editorial Board comprises Opinions Editors, Columnists, and at least one member of the Stanford Community. The Board's views are reached through research, debate and individual expertise. The Board does not represent the views of the newsroom nor The Stanford Daily as a whole. Current voting members include Chair Nadia Jo '24, Joyce Chen '25, YuQing Jian '25, Jackson Kinsella '27, Alondra Martinez '26 and Sebastian Strawser '26.

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