Senator Barbara Boxer

Four-term U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer joins us to talk about California’s drought, her push to raise the federal minimum wage and the Democrats’ fight to retain control of the Senate, among other issues facing the state and the nation. We’ll also ask her about how the Netflix series “House of Cards” (which she binge-watches) compares to real-life Washington.

Barbara Boxer, U.S. senator (D, California)

  • Skip Conrad

    Given the water supply, how many residents can fit in the state? Why not support efforts to stabilize the population growth? When will we have enough people?

  • Kurt thialfad

    Why don’t you support the eVerify amendment to the minimum wages extension? We want eVerify. We want legal workers in our state.

    • jurgispilis

      That was the amendment proposed by Sen Jeff Sessions. Yeah, why did you vote against it?

    • Guest


  • jurgispilis

    What impact does immigration have on income inequality? One would think that supporting high immigration rates would only increase our income gap.

    • Guest

      Check the LCA database to learn how much immigrant tech workers are getting paid.

  • Guest

    What does Barbara Boxer think about the need to send a message to the NSA? Its top officials lied to Congress and ordered the NSA’s personnel engage in widespread illegal activities and then tried to cover it up. Their behavior is actually worse than that of organized crime and worse than the Stasi ever was. Don’t they need to know that if they do these things, prison is their final destination?

    • Chemist150

      She’s pals with Feinstein who leads the Constitution ignoring traitorous cronies.

  • anonymous

    Is this going to be another campaign stop like the one with Pelosi, or a real interview?

  • rematrav

    Is Senator Boxer familiar with the rigorous, non-partisan survey of research findings by David Neumark, Economics Professor at UC Irvine and William Wascher at the Federal Reserve? (Professor Newmark was featured on the PBS Newshour yesterday.) Two-thirds of the research finds that increasing the minimum wage also increases unemployment rates. The percentage is even higher for research that used the best “hard core” scientific methods.
    Sometimes well-intended policy gets the opposite of what is desired.

    • Skip Conrad

      I think that’s what the Dems want – to be regarded as “well intentioned”, but not actually get anything done.

      • Bob Fry

        Basically what Ralph Nader said years ago. The Big Two are Tweedledum and Tweedledee.

      • TrainedHistorian

        It’s worse than not getting anything done. They have been making things much worse: they promote the nonsense that legalizing millions of lower-skill undocumented immigrants and even creating a new W-visa for new unskilled immigrants is going to be great for everyone–even the lowest-paid workers already here who have to compete with them for jobs, schools, and especially rental housing, whose costs keep skyrocketing because of population growth. Then they smear anyone against this policy of devastating the least advantaged who are already here by constantly increasing the lower-skill labor pool as “racist.” Then they wring their hands and shed crocodile tears about how inequality has grown and the middle class is struggling! Then they blame the “evil” Republicans and bankers, while scrupulously denying that they themselves have had a very large hand in destroying a decent standard of living for the bottom half.

        At least the Republicans are more honest about their class bias.

    • Chemist150

      You can increase minimum wage if the money supply is sufficient. However, our debt is too high and is damaging our internal money supply and that is the true cause of unemployment which leads to lower wages.

      Raising minimum wage without addressing the money supply simply redistributes the money supply and hurts those that are most disadvantaged the most.

      Whatever wins elections right? It’s easy to say we need to say “Raise minimum” wage instead of understanding a complex issue.

  • Skip Conrad

    Besides the minimum wage upgrade, there’s also the bill in Congress for extension of unemployment benefits, which strikes us as odd, since unemployment insurance is a state role. Consider that we import 125,000 foreign workers per month who compete directly with American workers. If Senator Boxer is serious about closing the income gap, she would never have voted for this shameful S744, this so-called Immigration Reform, which is a complete sell-out to foreign special interests which further increases US immigration rates which are already highest in the world, and actually rewards people who have broken our laws.

    In this effort, the Senator’s role is that of salesman, to make this garbage palatable. I’m sorry, senator, but I will pass on this smelly meal.

    For true immigration reform to work, there needs to be triggers. Triggers based on the unemployment rate – among Americans, and based on the supply of potable water.

  • Chemist150

    Having emailed the White House many years ago when they announced the “stimulus” suggesting they use it on water supply infrastructure, I’d like to know why we need to pay more now for what should have started many years ago.

    Instead of the “stimulus” building infrastructure to allow growth, it paved roads that didn’t need paved and should be handled under the general funds as an ongoing expense since the road was built. I see so much waste here in South San Francisco such as a 3 car length commuter lane which is difficult to get to, forces 3 lane changes immediately after just to stay on the highway. I won’t mention the other 3 obvious ones here. It simply makes me angry to see such disrespect for tax payer money.

    Bonds should be used for GROWTH and not pensions. Growth is what pays off debt, not more debt.

    Now increase the internal money supply instead of generating more debt which destroys it.

    • Guest

      Debt is money and money is debt.

      • Chemist150

        And debt payments?

  • jowibu

    I am very upset with the piece of legislation you authored with Roy Blunt to set up a special provision that would accommodate Israel’s desire to deny open visa exchange between our two nations to any American suspected of being a descendent of parents from the Arab world or who might hold a political position in favor of the Palestinian state.
    I personally do not qualify on the first account but I should be at the top of the list on the second one.
    I request a full explanation of your rationale for denying common civil rights to a large portion of our population just because it might piss off Israel. My advice is let them be irritated.

  • Sean Dennehy

    Businesses choose to get rid of jobs as a response to increasing the minimum wage or mandate healthcare. Let’s prevent them from doing so.

  • MistOfTheCity

    Your CA colleagues in the House and all of SF and Marin county governments including Mayor Ed Lee OPPOSE the GGNRA plans to restrict public access and recreation including dog walking in our dense populated area with little other greenspace.

    Will you also oppose the GGNRA’s drastic plan?

  • novictim

    Sen. Boxer, how can you say that excess labor does not lead to lower wages?

    That is magical thinking, Senator. You need to work in construction or gardening or harvesting and get real. We have known the IRON LAW OF WAGES for 200 years. Why deny it?

    Michael Krasny, are you going to just play soft-ball here? The Senator talks about billions of dollars coming into the economy from immigrant labor…but ignores that that money is going to the 0.1%! Living standards are on the decline and poverty are on the rise!

    Free trade is all about accessing global labor and has lead to domestic wealth consolidation through out the world. Allowing open borders to labor is just part of this process. You know this, Professor Krasny.

    • Chemist150

      According the Boxer, the Great Depression never happened.

    • Alexander Smart

      Indeed, excess labor or flooding our country with millions of Illegal Aliens, drives wages down! This is not rocket science! Sen. Boxer’s economic thinking here or anyone else’s of similar ilk, is absolute nonsense! Robert Reich, listen up!

      • novictim

        Professor Reich is a lost cause on this.
        Reich is one of those internationalist free trade zombies and he has tied his cart firmly to that horse.
        Reich has too many ties to international trade too do the right thing and say what needs to be said.

        He is all for people making better wages in the USA but he is against the institutional/trade changes that would raise wages.

        • Alexander Smart

          I see that we are pretty much in agreement. I didn’t realize that Reich had become blinded, apparently by his own wealth and had taken up the cause of those poor, wealthy elite until I saw him do one of those fashionable, fast draw cartoons in an attempt to convince us that up is really down despite our common sense!

  • Chemist150

    After that interview, it’s clear who one of the big donors of the SS (“Signal Society”) is for KQED.

  • TrainedHistorian

    Boxer says the current immigration bill will lead to “huge job growth” because people will “come out of the shadows” and get higher wages, and that it will not increase inequality and be just great for the economy. What MALARKEY. We were told exactly this same lie in 1986, if we just legalize the “undocumented” they will all come out of the shadows,and get higher wages, we won’t any more “undocumented” because the government will really (yes this time “really”) enforce laws against further illegal immigration, and it will benefit all classes of Americans ,…Earth to Boxer: since the 1986 fiasco of legalization we got MORE inequality, stagnant real wages for the declining middle class, declining real wages for those on the bottom, and millions more “undocumented” immigrants, about 8 million more than we had in 1986. This is because every legalization of the “unauthorized” just encourages more to come, expecting, even threatening another. As in 1986, Boxer and her colleagues have gutted any practical tools to prevent further illegal immigration in their current proposal, such as tracking those who overstay their visas on the grounds (Why? It’s too costly (!) even as much poorer India moves to create an electronic database of all their citizens).

    Will Boxer promise to RESIGN from her job if every nonsensical pie-in-the-sky promise that she made about the current immigration non-reform proposal (higher wages! no one in the shadows! huge job growth!) does not come to pass if and when it passes? No? I thought not. Conclusion: her promises on immigration non-reform are cynical short-term election-buying at its very worst.

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