I had a dynamic conversation with Riverside City Councilman Steve Adams who is throwing his hat into the Congressional race for the 41st District this November. If elected he would represent Riverside, parts of Moreno Valley, Perris and Etiwanda. After our discussion he has won my vote; we need someone in government who understands business, can balance a checkbook, understands how the economy works and has common sense. Adams is a proper fit.
The first issue we broached upon was the importance of job creation. Over the last ten years Adams explained that the city of Riverside had strived to create thousands of new jobs and its success evident in being named the top job creator in the nation. Key to job creation in Riverside was the expansion of UC Riverside’s medical school into a complete and self-contained institution. This has already created 40,000 high-paying and long-term jobs that have spurred the creation of entry and middle level employment, and could potentially bring in $1 billion to the region. Adams intends to continue that growth.
Adams and I agree on the fact that government interference has a negative impact on industry, and what affects me personally is the housing industry. With the FHA lowering its limit of home prices from $500,000 to $350,350, it inhibits a large segment of potential homebuyers with good credit who could well afford a mortgage payment but not the hefty down payment, from home purchase. This needlessly hinders the economic recovery of the housing market and the tertiary trades vital to our local economy.
Overregulation and high taxes are destroying this economy and eliminating jobs in California. Big businesses are fleeing this overtaxed state; Toyota recently closed down its facility in Torrance and relocated to Texas, leaving 30,000 jobless. Adams argued that if taxes were lowered, the economy will spring back and he will strive to make this region competitive to Los Angeles, Orange and San Diego counties by bringing in high-paying jobs that will naturally create middle and entry level ones.
Adams pointed out that the goods movement has had a negative impact on the Inland Empire for the last fifty years in terms of air quality and traffic congestion. 48 percent of the goods imported to the U.S. enter through Long Beach and Los Angeles because they are deep-water ports that can support large tankers. Approximately 70,000 trucks and 188,800 trains pass through the region daily, causing inferior air quality and traffic congestion. Adams’ proposal, which I think is very reasonable, is to prohibit trucks from operating in the daytime which would immediately open up the freeways, solving the congestion issue, and clean up the air. This could be put into effect immediately without imposing taxes.
When asked about energy independence, Adams, like myself, believes it’s imperative. It’s absurd that in 2014 we still have to depend on other countries to set our oil prices when we have more in reserves than anywhere. In California, Adams said, there has been much overreaction over drilling from conservation groups, but he underlines the importance of tapping into our natural resources citing North Dakota as an example. As a direct result of its oil production, there is a mere 2 percent unemployment rate. I remember in 2012 when McCain and Palin simply threatened to drill, the price of gas dipped from $4 to $1.89. If we could become energy independent we wouldn’t have to concern ourselves with the likes of Iran and Iraq and it would shift the geopolitical dynamic on the global level.
In terms of education Adams share my view that vocational training, mentorship and internship programs need to be part of core curriculum in order to better prepare students for future success because 70 percent of high school graduates aren’t college-bound. The goal is to equip students with the skills they need to land gainful employment and avoid being a ward of the state, the government or their parents.
I’ve always said that college isn’t a guarantee of future success. If there weren’t guaranteed student loans a high school graduate would probably think twice about spending $60,000 a year on tuition to simply get some degree in something. Today universities are getting rich while students are in predicaments where they will never be able to pay off their student loans.
Adams has my endorsement for senator of the 41st district and I urge you to vote for him as well. He has political experience, understands economic principles and most importantly possesses common sense.