Giuliani Hits Democrats on Taxes

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Sunday, December 2, 2007

THE AD: When I became mayor of New York City, things were out of control. I lowered taxes. I reduced the growth of government. Made government more accountable. And New York City boomed. I would do these things for America because I know they work. I know that reducing taxes produces more revenues. Democrats don't know that. They don't believe it. Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, John Edwards -- here's a promise I assure you they'll keep. They are making the promise to raise taxes. The only thing I can tell you in addition to that is they'll raise taxes even more than they promise.

ANALYSIS: The ad, airing in New Hampshire, is accurate -- but selective -- in saying that the three Democratic contenders would raise taxes. What Giuliani leaves out is that Clinton, Obama and Edwards have pledged to repeal the Bush tax cuts only for the wealthiest Americans -- Clinton pegs the threshold at more than $250,000 in income, Obama at $200,000 -- while keeping the reductions for everyone else. The assertion that they will raise taxes even more is purely speculative.

Giuliani's insistence that tax-cutting "produces more revenues" is the supply-side gospel first preached by Ronald Reagan, and a matter of fierce dispute among economists. Indeed, Giuliani invokes National Review and conservative commentator Larry Kudlow to validate the claim. The former mayor did cut taxes and tame the New York bureaucracy, but he slightly increased the number of city employees during his tenure.

By depicting his Democratic rivals as big taxers, Giuliani is looking past his Republican opponents and trying to appeal to economic conservatives who may disagree with his moderate stances on social issues.

Video of this ad can be found at www.washingtonpost.com/politics.


© 2007 The Washington Post Company

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