RIVERSIDE -

Republican senatorial nominee Carly Fiorina told a Riverside crowd today that if elected, she would work to end the cycle of "more debt, more borrowing and more spending of taxpayer money."

Fiorina was the guest speaker at a Greater Riverside Chambers of Commerce luncheon held in the Riverside Convention Center, where 300 to 400 people gathered.

The GOP hopeful vowed to work toward slashing taxes and regulations, as well as shrinking the size of the federal government and giving incentives to grow small businesses if she succeeds in toppling 18-year senate incumbent Barbara Boxer.

"We keep sending money to Washington, and they keep spending it," said Fiorina. "We have to say, `No more money."'

The former Hewlett Packard chief executive officer noted that while the private sector has withered in the economic downturn, the federal government has expanded payrolls.

"We are building up the bureaucracy in Washington, D.C., while we are destroying private sector jobs," she said. "And we know from recent studies that federal government employees make, on average, twice what a private sector employee makes. A federal government job doesn't pay for itself; a private sector job does."

Fiorina characterized the $862 billion federal stimulus package signed into law by President Barack Obama in February 2009 as a failure, pointing out that the national unemployment rate has climbed from 8 percent to 9.5 percent, and the California unemployment rate has jumped from 10 to 12.3 percent since then.

"Unless we change the people we send to Washington, the situation is going to continue to deteriorate," Fiorina said. "The path that we're on ... is more debt, more borrowing and more spending of taxpayer money."

The senate contender said she would oppose any tax increase and push for a two-year "payroll tax holiday" for small businesses, as well as advocate a permanent repeal of the "death tax" on inheritances, which is set to return with the expiration of the Bush tax cuts on Jan. 1.

Fiorina said that unlike her opponent, she had experience "creating jobs and meeting payroll."

"We have to start fighting for every job as hard as other nations fight," she said. "We need to make sure that the power of the federal government is not to crush small businesses with over-regulation, but to help them cut through the thicket of (red tape) and have access to credit."

The Boxer campaign has highlighted Fiorina's dismissal from HP and her $42 million severance as negatives in political advertisements. Boxer has also criticized her opponent's anti-abortion stance and touted the stimulus bill as a success.

The candidates are scheduled to have their first debate on Sept. 1 in San Francisco.