August 25th, 2007
12:56 PM ET
15 years ago

Giuliani unveils tax policy

Giuliani talks taxes in New Hampshire Saturday

(CNN) - Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani Saturday proposed a tax policy that he says would give taxpayers more control over their money.

Speaking in Manchester, New Hampshire, Giuliani vowed to make permanent President Bush's tax reductions and find ways to cut them further, eliminate marriage penalties and inheritance taxes, and provide tax incentives for people who purchase their own health insurance.

Citing his accomplishments as the mayor of New York City, Giuliani said his tax cuts in the city, although they were against conventional wisdom at the time, helped stimulate the economy, attract business and slash unemployment.

Giuliani charged that Democrats are pushing for larger government and greater control of more taxpayer money.

"I have a different theory," he said. "We have to give things back to you for the common good."

"We have to make sure none of these people are elected," said Giuliani, "because if they are, we're going to see the greatest tax increase in the history of this country."

Giuliani said those tax increases could amount to $3 trillion.

- CNN Political Desk Editor Mark Norman

Filed under: Rudy Giuliani
soundoff (60 Responses)
  1. Steven in Charleston, SC

    To Ru B:

    How do you come to the determination that President Bush's tax cuts generated a 22% increase in tax revenues? Just because tax revenues have increased during the time he has been in office DOESN'T mean that the tax cuts were the cause. During that same period of time, the price of milk, gas, education and health care have ALSO increased dramatically - should we give the tax cuts credit for those increases as well?

    The fact is that "trickle down" economics don't work. They didn't work during the Reagan administration, they aren't working during the Bush administration, and if Mr. Guiliani is fortunate enough to get elected, they won't work during his administration either.

    Having said all of that, I AM in favor of tax cuts. But the tax cuts I would like to see would be ones that actually stimulate the economy, as opposed to making those already rich get richer. Substantial increases in education deductions/credits, tax incentives to start and develop small businesses, increased deductibity and streamlining of retirement saving, and modifying the AMT to allow it to do what it was originally put into place to do would all serve to revitalize our dangerously imperiled middle class and directly energize our economy, which would ultimately benefit us all.

    August 25, 2007 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  2. Kevin, Seattle, Washington

    I have only 1 question to anyone out there who can answer this one...

    If the government takes most of my money from my check, and then puts it into a pool controlled by ALL voters, it might not go where I want it, however if they cut those taxes and give me more money, but tell me that I'm responsible for my health care, social security, etc, then I get to dictate where it goes. So tell me again where the failure in this system is?

    Dems want us to be taxed and have our money thrown into a government, and populous, controlled pot. This makes my tax dollars less effective for me, and more effective for joe down the street who decides he doesn't want to work because welfare will take care of him. However republicans tell me I can have my money and do with it what I want, but I'm responsible for myself, and if I mess up, it's my own darn fault. Why are people so frightened of that approach?

    August 25, 2007 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm |
  3. Max Power, Los Angeles, CA

    Regarding increases in the GDP and tax revenues...

    During the past 45 years or so (since about 1962), government revenues have increased every year except once during the early 70s, and once a few years ago. Unless there is a recession/contraction, revenues will increase. The question is at what rate do revenues increase. The truth is the eight years prior to Reagan, revenues increased at a HIGHER rate. Similarly, during the Clinton years, revenues increased at a HIGHER rate than during both Reagan's presidency AND Bush's presidency.

    Tax cuts can be a good idea to spur the economy. Gov't spending can also increase the GDP. The point being that at some point they are going to be off-balance. After all, the optimum tax rate isn't zero. In fact, it can fluctuate depending on circumstances.

    That said, it is important to have priorities, and to stop promising everything to everyone. What Giuliani is doing is making further promises without any sacrifices elsewhere.

    It is time that we had a politician that showed some basic fiscal principles, that if they are going to cut taxes, where will they cut services, and vice versa as well.

    Giuliani is not doing that. Nor does he have the record of doing it. He's making promises with checks that will be cashed by foreign creditors, and the bill paid by future generations.

    August 25, 2007 10:24 pm at 10:24 pm |
  4. Roy Swonger, Merrimack, NH

    The Republican pandering about the inheritance tax is truly absurd. It only affects estates worth over $2 million for which the owners had done no financial planning, but they try to make it out to be some big evil that threatens the ruin of every mom and pop business or family farm.

    Yet, they don't say what they would do to make up for the revenue lost if this tax on estates over $2 million was eliminated. It's truly irresponsible.

    August 25, 2007 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |
  5. Bill Mobley, Tucson, AZ

    We have a huge debt. 11 to 75 trillion if you include unfunded, but promised liabilities. Business as usual is not OK. Raising the taxes just decreases taxable activities, and hence revenues. Think lowering the other side of the equation. The "poor" need to quit complaining. We have enough poor in the US. Don't have kids if you don't have an education, at least two job skills and cash in the bank ($12,000 per kid per year). Keep your pants zipped up. Welfare recipients must be either on mandatory birth control, (think Norplant) or sterilized. We need to limit immigrants to the rich, who will then have the pants taxed off of them (Think Canada). 40% of the citizens don't pay federal income tax. That's a scam. "All men are created equal" and the rich don't use all of those social systems that cost so much. And, if you want more services for the poor, you pay for it, quit spending other people's money. Enclose your check for $100,000 if you want free healthcare and education for illegal immigrants, for instance. By the way, if you vote against abortion, then take at least 3 foster kids (without compensation) or shut the F up.

    August 25, 2007 11:06 pm at 11:06 pm |
  6. James, Atlanta GA

    Trica asks, "And are those the only accomplishments you can cite? What are your accomplishments in the Political arena?"

    Apparently you have not been paying attention. First, he was a Republican the got elected and re-elected to be Mayor of one of, if not the, most liberal cities in the US. That's an obvious accomplishment in the political arena. Second, his credential concerning crime cannot be matched by any other candidate, Republican and Democrat. He was responsible for some of the biggest cases ever prosecuted against organize crime and white collar crime that this country has ever seen. He then proceeded from his courtroom successes to slash crime in NYC by half during his first term in office as Mayor of NYC. Third, he was responsible for turning around the reputation of NYC. Before taking office, many had written off NYC as a decaying pool of violence. Look at NYC now. Anyone who has lived through the change can attest that it was clearly positive. There are many other things that he accomplished, but space is not permitting.

    My point on this is that I know these facts because Mr. Giuliani has discussed all of these things many times. To say that he has not is –frankly- laughable. But, since you are not in the know, I hope some of the above helped to answer your questions.

    August 26, 2007 12:04 am at 12:04 am |
  7. Brent

    I guess this is why New York has the highest taxes in the country.

    Vote Ron Paul 2008

    August 26, 2007 12:27 am at 12:27 am |
  8. Anonymous, Somewhere, MI

    I'll give credence to anyone criticizing Giuliani's position on taxes when they can point me to the candidate in the race promising to raise taxes. Go on, look at your candidate's web page and try to find the spot where he or she says "I will raise taxes." Won't find those words on Obama's page. In fact, he's campaigning on expanding low income tax breaks. Hillary won't say those words either. Edwards buries his actual intent in deflecting language. He says he'll reverse Bush's tax policies, but what he doesn't say is that this will increase taxes. Any of you out there hazard a guess as to why none of these candidate will say "I will raise taxes?" Two words sum it up: Walter Mondale. So, while you're busy waxing high and mighty about Giuliani's stance on taxes, remember, nobody out there you support is campaigning on doing what you'd like to see done with the tax code.

    August 26, 2007 05:57 am at 5:57 am |
  9. Eugene Elliott, Orlando, Florida

    I see that Rudy has honed his weasel wording already. He says vote for me or there will be a huge tax increase. DYH!! And how else does he plan to stop the borrow and spend policy of the Bushites? Obviously he is either lying about his own plans or he will continue to did that debt hole deeper. Since he natters about tax cuts I expect that Rudy Bush III will be a clone of the corrput incompetent ruinous policy of the last 7 years. And he joins the Democrats in the sell out of the American workers with the immigration policy of total surrender. Rudy Bush – an idea whose time will never come.

    August 26, 2007 08:09 am at 8:09 am |
  10. David, Salinas, CA

    Anonymous from Somewhere, MI writes:
    “I'll give credence to anyone criticizing Giuliani's position on taxes when they can point me to the candidate in the race promising to raise taxes.”

    We don’t need to raise taxes to balance the budget., Anonymous. We just need to stop throwing trillions down a rat hole in Iraq.

    Giuliani won’t stop funding the war. Neither will Romney, Thompson, McCain or the rest of the Republicans. The Democrats will. That’s one of the things that make them the fiscally responsible party.

    Even if the war in Iraq was essential to American security, (which of course it isn’t), I don’t see why we should be funding it on credit cards. If the Republicans all believe in this war, THEY should be raising taxes to pay for it, (and sacrificing their own assets, and selling Liberty Bonds, and doing something beyond writing checks on their grandchildren’s accounts).

    There are some good comments on this board, and I’ve learned a lot. But not one person has responded to my original point: Show me how Mayor Giuliani’s numbers add up.

    August 26, 2007 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  11. Ken, Tucson, AZ

    The Other David,from Clearwater, FL, forgot to mention the soaring national debt under the Bush administration, which negates any benefits those tax cuts might have had. Please wake up and stop using "fuzzy math".

    August 26, 2007 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  12. Steven in Charleston, SC

    To the posters who claim that Americans are paying "half" or "most" of their paychecks to the government, I have to wonder, where are you getting your numbers?

    The payroll tax is 7.65%, and that only applies to the first $97,500.00 of income. The TOP federal marginal tax rate is 35%, but your taxable income has to reach $336,551 before that rate goes into effect, and by that point the payroll tax is a distant memory. When you add in state tax, property tax, and sales tax you theoretically MIGHT be able to get to 50% combined, but that is only for people making HUGE amounts of earned income, and assumes that you don't have a single deduction and spend every dollar on something subject to sales tax, which is highly unlikely.

    The reality is that most households with incomes of $50K or less pay little or no income tax, and most citizens with incomes of several hundred thousand or more have the bulk of their taxable income (which is often a much smaller number than their total income) at the lower capital gains rate of 15%. It is the people in the middle - those making between $50K and $500K that feel the biggest tax pinch, but even for them the combined rate is no where near 50%.

    Yes, taxes take a large portion of our income, and whether the burden is too high is worth having, but you do yourself and your positions a disservice when you exagerage the numbers in an effort to strike fear into people's hearts.

    August 26, 2007 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  13. Steven in Charleston, SC

    To Kevin in Seattle:

    You ask what's wrong with a system that lets everybody keep their own money and take care of all of their own responsibilities.

    The problem is that the very people who advocate such a system are the ones who are adamant about keeping wages for the labor class as low as possible.

    The guy who works hard all day at $10 or $15 an hour has a hard enough time feeding, clothing, and housing his family without ALSO having to cover the full cost of education, health care, and retirement - there just aren't enough sheckles to go around.

    One of the biggest disservices the anti-tax community does to this debate is try to paint all people at the lower end of the economic spectrum as being lazy and greedy. Yes, there are some bad apples in the bunch. There are also some wealthly people that lie, cheat, and steal. In both instances the many should not be punished for the actions of the few.

    If we as a nation are going to honor the principles upon which we were founded, then we need to get serious about making certain that everyone who is willing to work diligently to the best of their ability be paid a living wage and be provided with a safety net for when things go awry. That is NOT the same thing as welfare or handouts. It is simply recognizing that the labor class plays as important a role to our society as the visionaries, entrepreneurs, and managers.

    If we are willing to make certain that everyone who is willing to work gets paid a wage sufficient for them to live with some dignity, then I have no problem placing more responsibility into individuals' hands, and reducing taxes accordingly. Until that day, though, we need to take some responsibility for the ones who labors play a role in our affluence.

    August 26, 2007 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  14. Kate, Shelby Twp, MI

    Neither party - Republican or Democrat - has the answers to solving major national and global issues. One key is to find/elect representation committed to solving problems, together, for the common good of the USA and the world. This country needs representation that is truly "for the people" rather than the uncompromising bipartisan system we have in place, today.

    August 26, 2007 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  15. Ru B, New Hampshire

    Rick (Chicago),

    You asked for whom was the 22% increase in revenue? Answer: The US Treasury, so that means for all of us. Take a look at their figures at their website, unless you can't handle facts.

    People like CEOs and board members who run the risk and earn the education to be in their positions deserve compensation for their accomplishments. I agree, as an investor in many companies, that they should be compensated for current accomplishments and not for the future or past, but I don't begrudge them their success, nor am I jealous. Why should you be? Have you been far less successful or wise in your life?

    Consumer debt rises when people live beyond their means. People shouldn't spend what they don't make. If this means not having kids until you can afford to do so or not taking that vacation or whatever, then wait until you can afford it. Invest first in yourself and your capacity to provide for your needs.

    The revenues are going to many of the earmarked projects coming out of the Dem-controlled Congress. Demand earmark reform.

    I never advocated deregulation in my post, so please re-read before you accuse.

    Mortgage industry woes: fat surprise! People who don't work or have good spending habits or don't read the contract completely can't pay mortgages! Why is anyone surprised?

    Welfare for anyone is bankrupting our country. 50% of the US budget is spent in "entitlement" programs. Check out the budget.

    When you understand what's going on with the energy companies, especially if you'd invested YOUR money in them, you'd understand why they are actually turning such a profit and why it's in YOUR interest as an energy consumer

    I'm not Republicrat. I'm a Constitutionalist who believes that we should support our government to some extent but that it should never support us. It's what's led us to such debt and slavery to it.

    Rick, your #'s on the war are false. Check out the actual appropriations and how LARGE the budget actually is. Otherwise, you just seem like a stupid, ill-educated Dem. We are spending FAR MORE on Medicaid, Welfare, SSI, Soc. Sec., etc. than we spend on the military conflicts at present.

    As for showing Dems want to raise taxes, show me a Dem who ISN'T for Socialized, gov't-paid healthcare? They all are. Guess where the $$ comes from? All of us in the form of scary amounts of taxes.

    My in-laws are from the UK. I can't believe all the taxes they pay for everything. It ALL goes to the Healthcare system and the gov't employess (now 1 in 5 UK subjects works for the gov't).

    Besides, the ultimate question regarding taxes is: Why should ANYONE have more right to what you earn than you??

    August 26, 2007 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  16. Peter, Wausau, WI

    I don't consider myself to be a hardcore Giuliani supporter, but I must say I'm impressed with some of the improvements he intends to make to our country's tax system! As is always the case in politics, though, one wonders if he (or any other politician) would follow through on these wonderful promises if he gets to the White House.

    August 26, 2007 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  17. The framing Wizard LV, NV

    To David, of Salinas, CA. Are their any issues that you are not involved in and/or an expert on? You are every where! I am far from a man with riches monetarily; but I have a strong opinion what is right for the American people including my self and my grand children. That some people may be trying too lead the pack in a fight that is unattainable. I have enough common sense to understand that if the wealthy of our nation is taxed beyond repair will leave all people scared for life.

    We all may bend over and give our own rears a good kiss bye, bye! Tax our conservative wealthy people of this nation for intelligence and earning their ways through life has contributed largely to our nations finances.

    Take their investment earnings away intended for reinvestment purposes and we will end up with nothing to offer our grand children in their future. Fore conservatives to continue offering a stake in the American dream for the futures families of US citizens. Ponder on that one; some just act as if they are idiots.

    (Please note: A similar post was deleted today. I would like to hear a good reason for deleting my posted comment).

    August 26, 2007 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  18. The Other David, Clearwater, FL

    Ken Said,"The Other David,from Clearwater, FL, forgot to mention the soaring national debt under the Bush administration, which negates any benefits those tax cuts might have had. Please wake up and stop using "fuzzy math"."

    Actually I did say that GWB had a record deficit – please re-read my post. But I do also say that if you go to the citation in my first post that you would see that the deficit is rebounding back towards a surplus. I also attributed the deficit (National Debt)to include the ever increasing non-war pork barrel spending by all members of Congress, regardless of politcal affiliation. As for the tax cuts, again please read and go to the source I cited in my first post that shows that tax revenues have increased despite the Bush tax cuts. I am personally doubtful that giving Congress more of my hard earned income is going to do any good seeing as they cannot reign in spending. Collectively, they need to stop spending before they consider to heap additional taxes on anyone.

    PS – There is no "fuzzy math" to my numbers. If you think there is, show me your numbers and your sources, please.

    August 26, 2007 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  19. US Anywhere USA

    You people keep writing about some phantom person as to take the position and fiscal responsibility of our nation and of our next President that dose not even exist on this planet.

    August 26, 2007 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  20. Steven in Charleston, SC

    Ok, there have been a few dramatic misrepresentations on here today that need to be corrected ASAP:

    First, to the poster who said "people need to live within their means" well, I agree. The question is, shouldn't our nation as well? If deficit spending doesn't work in a household, then it doesn't work for a nation either. But to add a little additional clarity - despite what this poster would have us believe, people aren't living beyond their means because they are taking too many vacations, they are living beyond their means because wages are increasing at 2 and 3 percent a year, while gas, housing, and health care are experiencing dramatically higher increases. As a result, REAL income goes down, while the numbers appear to go up.

    Second, to the poster who seems to feel that those of us arguing for some fiscal moderation are "attacking" the rich, nothing can be further from the truth. I respect the wealthy, and fully intend to count myself as part of that club one of these days. However I do recognize that both the "workers" and the "investors" contribute equally to our nation's prosperity, and I would just like to see a little more equity in how those two classes are taxed.

    And three, let's be clear on what Rudy means when he says "tax increases" - he means that if the Bush tax cuts are allowed to expire, then capital gains rates will go back to the level they were during the Clinton years (you know, those years when our nation was running a surplus) - which is a maximum of 20% - a full 15% less than the top earned income rate. So I don't think the millionaires and billionaires will be suffering too much.

    August 26, 2007 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  21. Anonymous, Somewhere, MI

    David in Salinas,

    "We don’t need to raise taxes to balance the budget., Anonymous. We just need to stop throwing trillions down a rat hole in Iraq."

    Oh, end the war in Iraq. Okay. Why don't you take a peek at Edwards', Clinton's, and Obama's campaign pages to see their policies on Iraq? Notice something? None of them has any plans on what they're going to do should any one of them find themselves in office with the war still going on. All of them have, as a campaign plank, a war that is conveniently over by the time they get into office. You want to know why? Not a one of them wants a "Fall of Saigon" as the innaugural event of their presidency. So each one conveniently has it written into their campaign that they have a plan to end the war. . . on Bush's watch, not their own. You think if that war is still going on when any one of those three gets into office they're going to pull out immediately? You've really got no business talking shop on politics if you would really be that naive about matters. If that war is still going on when Clinton/Obama/Edwards gets into office our troops won't be going anywhere and the funding for the war won't decrease by a single penny.

    "Giuliani won’t stop funding the war. Neither will Romney, Thompson, McCain or the rest of the Republicans. The Democrats will. That’s one of the things that make them the fiscally responsible party."

    No, the Democrats will not stop funding the war because the Democrats aren't stupid. Want proof that they aren't stupid? Despite the fact that they could have after 2006, the Dems took impeachment off the table. Smart move, it would have come back to haunt them when a galvanized Republican base turned out in retribution in '08. Now, because the Dems are smart, an unenthusiastic Republican base will probably hand them the election. Do you think a party that shrewd and politically calculating is going to allow a public relations disaster like de-funding the war to go forward? The fact is when you talk about all these policies, defunding, pullout, etc., you're really going from your emotions over how we got into the war and not coping with the fact that we are there right now, whether it was right to go or not. Pulling out has consequences, both political and strategic. De-funding will have consequences, both political and strategic. The public is incredibly fickle, and the policies they back today they will turn on in half a second once things get ugly. Democratic politicians know this, that's the chief difference between them and their supporters. So while they're telling you up and down that they're going to get us out of Iraq and that will make everything right in the world again, the fact is it's a bald-faced lie. If they can't force us out of Iraq before they get in, the war and its funding will continue to drag on long into their terms in office.

    So, the question is, how long till they parlay the expense of funding the war into tax increases? We know it's going to happen, whether they've got the guts to admit it or not.

    August 26, 2007 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  22. John Thomas, Edina, MN

    Why can't you sheep get it through your thick skull that Ron Paul is the ONLY CANDIDATE that will do anything to alleviate the tax burden that we face?? He has NEVER voted for a tax increase; he wants to repeal the 16th amendment and get RID OF THE IRS! Stop eating up this crap that the media is spoon-feeding you and think for yourselves.

    August 26, 2007 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  23. Cary, Lowell, IN

    The "new" Democratic Congress is proposing the largest tax increase in history. If you don't like the amount being withheld from your paycheck NOW for entitlement programs, watch out if you elect a liberal Democrat. I'm just sayin'.

    August 26, 2007 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  24. xtina chicago IL

    How can anyone be against Rudy Giuliani's aim to let you keep more of the money you earn?

    I feel like I'm talking to a brick wall, when I talk to my liberal friends about this.

    August 26, 2007 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  25. Cary Lowell, IN

    I don't hate rich people. I look at their success and try to figure it out. Shouldn't we all try to emulate those who have figured out how to make lots o' money?

    Democrats seem to think that rich people shouldn't get tax cuts. Isn't that punishing rich people?

    August 26, 2007 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
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