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Bill Clinton Sees California's Economy 'Roaring Back'

Former president provided his view on economic recovery Thursday at the Outlook Conference organized by the Bay Area Council in San Jose.

The only president who has balanced the U.S. federal budget since 1960 expressed cautious optimism about economic recovery in California during his speech in Silicon Valley Thursday. 

"California will come roaring back," former President Bill Clinton said. "It will come back sooner if we work together."

Clinton received a standing ovation when he appeared at the Outlook Conference organized by the Bay Area Council in San Jose.

Forum moderator George Marcus, chairman of Marcus & Millichap Real Estate Investment Services, said he first met Clinton in Cupertino in 1990, and they have been good friends since.

Clinton said he's also good friends with Gov. Jerry Brown, who had earlier advocated his proposal of a tax increase as another speaker at the Outlook Conference. Clinton voiced his support for Brown's solutions to the California budget crisis.

Based on his own track record, Clinton said it takes approximating the spending level, approximating a revenue stream and a growth strategy to balance the budget. He said the growth strategy is especially important to ensure the increase of revenue.

Despite the currently slow economy, Clinton said he sees a lot of growth potential in California as well as the entire country. 

"We have a younger workforce than Japan and Europe. We'll have a younger workforce than China in 20 years," Clinton said. "It's easier to start a business here. And we're still the center of (research and development) in the world."

To sustain a strong workforce, Clinton said the government should take the lid off H1B visas.

To revive the economy, Clinton suggested lowering the mortgages that are worth more than the homes to their current price points and letting the home owners pay back the differences after the market recovery. He also recommended lowering corporate taxes as an incentive to businesses.

For competiveness, Clinton said America should improve the broadband infrustracture to increase productivity, and retrofit all public buildings to save energy.

When Clinton was asked to predict the outcome of this year's presidential election, he said it's going to be a close race, but President Barack Obama will win by five to six percent of the vote.

Another speaker at the conference, former secretary of state Condoleezza Rice, was asked about the possibility of her becoming a candidate for vice president. She said she doesn't see herself cut out for compaigning.

In her speech, Rice portrayed K-12 education in America as a "national security problem." Then she provided three solutions: higher pay for good teaching; setting higher expectations for students; lengthening the school day.

Rice said the United States has the shortest school day among industrialized countires. There used to be a need to let students out early to help their families with farm work, she said, but that's no longer the case today.

Another conference speaker Jeff Weiner, chief executive officer of Linkedin, shares Rice's view on education and Clinton's view on H1B visas. Weiner brought up the two issues when naming ways of closing the gap between unemployment and required skills of jobs available. 

Weiner added that America needs to invest more in a digital infrastructure, which informs job seekers of their dream jobs' skill requirements and helps employers find the most suitable job candidates. He said Linkedin is working on building such an infrastructure.

jameszwashington May 05, 2012 at 10:23 AM
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prousa May 05, 2012 at 11:54 AM
Yes of course any increase in employment should go to immigrants and H-1B's. And of course it's a "coincidence" H-1B's have always come overwhelmingly from low wage countries such as India (forget Japan or Western Europe). Actually immigration has become a big loser for the whole country except employers. When you consider employment, education and health costs, language issues, use of govt services, population congestion­, terrorism, disease, etc. how can you come to any other conclusion? It's a situation only an employer could love. We let in staggering numbers of foreigners in both high and low income profession­s under worker visas such as H-1B, L1, OPT, H-2B, etc. Of course these workers "coinciden­tally" come in very high percentage­s from the low wage countries such as India (forget higher wage Japan or Western Europe). Anyone think THAT'S an accident? Employers love it because the visa terms make it very difficult to switch employers. They have captive indentured workers for years to come.
Archie May 06, 2012 at 02:24 PM
We do not need more H-1b outsourcing visas. They are a problem, not a solution.
hoapres May 06, 2012 at 05:24 PM
We have enough unemployed Americans and don't need more H1Bs.
hoapres May 06, 2012 at 05:28 PM
http://www.baycitizen.org/census-2010/story/bay-area-residents-leaving-droves/ Another result of foreign worker visas is the ethnic cleansing of the Bay Area. While very few want to talk about it, the simple fact of the matter is that the racial composition of the Bay Area is rapidly changing. Good or bad is another matter all together but those are the facts of life.
twins.fan May 06, 2012 at 06:06 PM
What Bill Clinton meant to say is the more H1B visas will revitalize Bill Clinton's economy. Bill Clinton leaves out the part where he admits to being a paid political spokesman of people who benefit from replacing US STEM workers with cheap entry level workers from the third world, primarily India and Communist China. For instance, lets talk about Sant Singh Chatwal. Chatwal has spearheaded an effort to funnel millions of dollars of Indian money into pockets of Bill and Hillary Clinton. Chatwal, himself, is an actor of dubious reputation, having filed for at least 62 bankruptcies. During a recent visit in which Chatwal accompanied Bill Clinton to India, Chatwal was arrested for some sleazy business practices Chatwal had earlier created in India. Instead of paying his creditors and tax collectors on various continents, Chatwal has chosen instead to funnel much of his money into the pockets of Bill and Hillary Clinton. Yes indeed, Bill Clinton likes H1B visas alot. He has made tons of money representing the interests of people who have benefited from their corrupt use.
Archie May 06, 2012 at 10:25 PM
Interesting link Hoapres, this quote was very telling: "Professor James Lai, who heads the ethnic studies department at Santa Clara University, blamed the gap on high-tech companies that, he said, preferred to hire immigrants on temporary work visas "because they are cheaper." Source: The Bay Citizen (http://s.tt/18wQp)
Ann May 06, 2012 at 10:28 PM
Is this the same Bill Clinton that sold all our manufacturing jobs to third world countries! We all know what a hypocrite is.
hoapres May 07, 2012 at 04:31 AM
No one wants to face the fact that when you import lots of foreign goods and labor then you are likely to have ethnic cleansing of entire regions of the country. Just common sense would tell you with huge trade deficits and imports of foreign labor that those foreigners earning dollars just might want to spend them on US real estate. If you didn't have H1Bs in Silicon Valley then most likely real estate prices would have dropped due to the resulting emigration OUT of Silicon Valley resulting in the current Silicon Valley residents NOT employed in "high tech" being able to buy a house. What is likely to happen in the next decade are entire regions of US urban areas being "bought up" by foreigners.

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