While Hewlett-Packard Benefits From The Stimulus, Fiorina Claims It ‘Manifestly Has Failed’

After winning the GOP nomination for the California U.S. Senate race last week, former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina has been quick to tout her chief executive credentials in her race against Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA). While claiming to fight for “millions of Californians [that] are struggling without a job,” Fiorina has mounted a fierce defense of her record off-shoring American jobs and has glossed over her rocky tenure at Hewlett Packard.

Portfolio named Fiorina one of the 20 worst CEO’s of all time, saying she was “busy pontificating on the lecture circuit and posing for magazine covers while her company floundered.” And Fiorina’s even gone as far as saying that “of course” she would still cut 10,000 jobs, like she did in 2003, if she were the HP CEO today.

Moreover, the former HP CEO has made a concerted effort to criticize the stimulus package, asserting the economic recovery act “has done nothing” for unemployment in California. In Sacramento on Wednesday, Fiorina reiterated her misguided rhetoric at a press conference held at Rex Moore Electrical Contractors & Engineers, a Sacramento electrical company:

“If you’re a business owner and there are stimulus dollars that might help your customers buy more of your product or might help you, of course you’re going to accept the stimulus dollars,” Fiorina said. “But that is not an argument that the stimulus package has worked because the stimulus package clearly, factually, manifestly has failed because people are losing their jobs for every single dollar that’s out there.”

Interestingly, both Rex Moore and the window-making plant Fiorina’s campaign visited yesterday both benefited from stimulus funds — the first receiving $447,000 subcontract through the program and the latter advertising that customers could receive energy tax credits. The New York Times also reported that there is another California business benefiting from the Recovery act: Fiorina’s former company, Hewlett-Packard. The Times called this “the kind of benefit to private industry that Fiorina says has been missing from the stimulus program. “


As The Wonk Room’s Pat Garofalo has pointed out, the Senatorial candidate’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.”

Additionally, while Fiorina argues “people are losing their jobs” because of the stimulus, she clearly fails to recognize the stimulus’ positive impact in California. Although the Golden State is undeniably still struggling economically, the more than 70,000 jobs created as a result of the stimulus are difficult to ignore. Furthermore, according to the Congressional Budget Office, the Recovery act has already saved or created 2.8 million jobs — an estimated 3.7 million by September.

Nina Bhattacharya