Nearly 200 community leaders assembled to hear Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s comments on the present and future of California
Fresno, Calif. – Sen. Dianne Feinstein made a spe
cial visit to Fresno early Tuesday afternoon during a luncheon hosted by the Kenneth L. Maddy Institute at the Piccadilly Inn-Airport to address statewide as well as national issues.
ticed the state has become drier, and the climate warming. She also expressed concerns about earthquakes.
“We have to develop emergency services for extreme weather conditions,” Feinstein said.Feinstein said that the state has had a “very rough ride,” and that our economic sector faces a possible total collapse. There are good signs, however. The unemployment rate is at 7.8 percent, the lowest it’s been since January of 2009. When the housing bubble burst, it allowed a chain of foreclosures, but the housing market is now improving, and monthly foreclosures are significantly down.Feinstein also said that on Jan. 1 we face a “fiscal cliff.” The Bush tax cuts expire, including credits for low-income families and businesses. Feinstein was adamant that those tax credits need to remain in place. In order for that to happen, cuts need to be made in the right areas, and that those earning more than $135,000 and more per year should pay additional taxes.The senator also gave a brief breakdown on what the federal government will spend its dollars on for the entire year of 2012. 58 percent of the total $3.56 trillion will be used for medical benefits, and only 17 percent will be spent domestically and 19 percent on defense. From 2001-2012 the nation’s population grew by 9.8 percent, and defense/war spending was up 64 percent.
Feinstein also called for increased water storage in the state, in order to be prepared for future dry periods. She mentioned that a new water bond, below $10 billion, is desperately needed.
“These dry conditions are a sign that we really need progress,” she said.
Through her position as chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, she said that the nation is much safer since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Since then a new position of director of national intelligence has been created, and Osama Bin Laden has been killed. Also, Feinstein said, a number of planned terrorist plots have been stopped in America this year.
“We should come together,” Feinstein said. “When our country is attacked, we come together.”
Congressman Jim Costa, a longtime friend and colleague of Feinstein, praised her for her bipartisan efforts.
“The bonds we share as Americans are much stronger than the divisions we’ve ever had,” he said.
Associate Editor James Olinger can be reached concerning this article at James@BusinessStreetOnline.com