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Giuliani To Prescribe Washington A Dose Of Fiscal Conservatism

by Mike Godfrey,, Washington

04 December 2007

Republican presidential candidate, Rudy Giuliani has suggested that a return to fiscally conservative principles can put America back on the right economic track, while giving Washington a much-needed dose of discipline.

Writing in a op-ed for the Wall Street Journal, the former mayor of New York City accused the current Democrat controlled Congress of losing the fiscal plot with its "profligate spending, protectionist talk and promises of higher taxes" at a time when economic uncertainty is beginning to weigh heavily on the minds of many Americans.

"No wonder some people feel like we’re moving in the wrong direction. But I’m optimistic as I look to the future. It’s not our country that’s moving in the wrong direction — it’s Congress, and Washington’s culture of wasteful spending," he wrote.

However, Giuliani expressed the belief that stronger fiscal discipline would not mean abandoning the current administration's doctrine of lowering taxes, because it has been proven that tax cuts can in many cases leas to higher revenues. Savings to the budget would come, he wrote, from tighter control of expenditure.

"I cut taxes 23 times as mayor of New York City with a Democratic City Council and State Assembly, and saw that lower taxes can result in higher revenue," he stated, adding: "Amid fears of an economic slowdown, now is the time to cut taxes, not raise them."

In the summer, Giuliani said if elected President in 2008, he would permanently extend temporary tax cuts passed under the Bush administration, abolish the estate tax, eliminate the marriage penalty, permanently extend the child tax credit and rein in the growth of the Alternative Minimum Tax. By contrast, he warned that the Democrats would raise taxes and "brutalize" the economy if they win the 2008 presidential election.

Reforming the US tax code is one of Giuliani's 'Twelve Commitments' to the American people, and in standing for the presidency, Giuliani says he wants to prevent a Democratic White House presiding over an "unprecedented tax increase of at least $3 trillion".

Accountabilty and transparency in government spending are also Giuliani mantras, and his op-ed proposed a return to spending controls and caps, a campaign to root out wasteful spending and fraud in benefit payments and government contracts, and the elimination of 'earmarks' - narrowly-targeted tax breaks tacked onto legislation which benefit only a small number of firms or individuals.

"Reforming a culture of wasteful spending requires standing up to special interests and insisting on transparency and accountability," he wrote.

"[A] healthy combination of pro-growth policies and fiscal discipline unleashes the genius of America’s free-market economy — empowering not government, but the citizens it exists to serve," Giuliani concluded.

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