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Excerpts of Remarks in Jacksonville, Florida

July 06, 2007

Mayor Giuliani on Fiscal Discipline and Cutting Taxes

"[I] am committed to restoring discipline in Washington. It is real simple… It means lower spending and lower taxes. That's what fiscal discipline means. It means you lower taxes, so you put more money back into the hands of the people and you lower the size of government because most of the solutions that we're going to find to our problems come from you, not from government. …

"You see, I think there is kind of a choice to make in a heavily taxed society and we're a heavily taxed society. No matter where you are in America, we're taxing you and we're taxing you pretty heavily. In a heavily taxed society, any time you can find ways in which to reduce taxes and put it back into the hands of people, you made a choice. You made a choice about who can spend money more wisely, the government or people. And every time we make that choice the people always turn out to be the ones that spend it in a more sensible way. …

"When I was Mayor of New York, I took over a city whose tax burden was tremendous. I had a deficit. In other words, I was losing money… I decided to lower taxes. Some of the liberal press went crazy. How could you lower taxes when you have a deficit? … Well, here's what happened. I lowered taxes and I was collecting more money from the lower taxes than from the higher taxes. …

"But it's really important to understand, because the next president is going to face a choice. The Democratic candidates for president are committed to raising your taxes. One of them – the leading Democratic candidate – in talking about the Bush tax cuts and the need to reverse them and the need to add new taxes, had the following quotation – I want you to think about this quotation because I think this tells you the difference in philosophy between the Democratic candidates and me. This leading Democratic candidate said, 'We have to take things away from you for the common good.' … Here's a much better philosophy for a democratic society, for a free economy, here's the thing that works in America — we're going to give some things back to you for the common good. …

"[E]ven after lowering taxes, I'm committed to lowering the size of government. I also did that in New York City and that was really hard to do. And there's a way to do – there's a good guide that you can use. Over the next eight to ten years, forty-two percent of the federal workforce comes up for retirement. And if all things remain equal, they're probably going to retire. … [T]his is non-military… So you get a choice what to do with their positions, right? It doesn't hurt them, they're not going to lose a job, so do you hire all those positions back? No. You don't hire, I mean, at least half you don't have to hire back. And it will allow government to make the transition that business has made. Business has made the transition to the computer age; to the age of technology; to the information age. … It would save the government over twenty billion dollars a year. So we need a president that thinks that way. We need a president that thinks about how do you reduce government … How do you move more of it into the private sector? How do you continue to reduce taxes? We'll keep taxes low and I'll reduce them some more. …

"You do away with the Death Tax. You allow people to realize this portion of the American dream. Part of being in America is wanting to create a better life for yourself and your family. And you should be allowed to pass on the better life that you earned to your children, just like you want them to pass on a better life to their children. If we did away with the Death Tax, if we gave it the death penalty, we'd be able to realize those values and help our economy. So I'm in favor of doing that."

Rudy Giuliani, Excerpts of Remarks in Jacksonville, Florida Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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