Remarks at the Americans for Prosperity Foundation in Washington, D.C.
MAYOR GIULIANI: It's a great pleasure to be here, to a dedicated group like this that's dedicated to low taxes, low spending, pro-growth policies. I consider you dedicated to common sense. (APPLAUSE)
So I'd like to start off right away with a declaration of my political beliefs and political faith.
I'm a supply-sider…
… because I believe that we're essentially a private economy, and that if the government returns money to the private economy, that economy grows.
Now, I not only believe this, I actually — I believe I'm the only one running for president who has actually made this work.
I've actually made it work. I've actually done it.
So I'm not a supply-sider just out of theories, or ideas. I'm a supply-sider because I've actually made it work and showed the results of it in tremendous economic growth.
Low taxes — low taxes stimulate growth, they expand freedom, they spark innovation and they increase prosperity. But why would anybody be surprised by that? Freedom works.
A lot of people will come here, and they're going to be talking about tax cuts and spending cuts and economic results, and I think that's great. I appreciate all the support for those principles that we can have.
But I point out to you that I'm the one who has the record of results from doing each and every one of those things, not once, not twice, but in many cases eight, nine, 10, 12 times, and against very, very big odds.
So I ask you to just — I ask you to compare results. Rhetoric's important. Ideas are important. The most important things are results.
And the results that I had in New York City was a city that I was handed that was in economic distress; some people thought in economic crisis. We had 10 percent or more unemployment. We had lost 350,000 jobs. Our taxes were the highest in the country. Our citizens were leaving in large numbers. People were hopeless. Sixty percent of the population, 70 percent of the population wanted to live somewhere else. Do you know what it feels like to finally get elected mayor of the city that you come from, and 70 percent of the people want to leave and go somewhere else?
By the time I left, 70 percent wanted to stay.
Seventy-five percent thought it was going in the right direction. We cut unemployment in half. We replaced the loss of 350,000 jobs with a gain of 460,000 jobs. We moved 640,000 people off welfare.
And all the things that I said we accomplished — which I call results, not just rhetoric or talk — all of the things that I just said we accomplished, we accomplished with the policies and the programs that you believe in and the policies and programs that you're going to discuss at this conference: smaller government, lower taxes, much more accountable government, more balanced regulations.
In other words, we very simply reduced the influence of government over the economy of New York City, we reduced taxes by $9 billion and we put the taxes back in the pockets of our citizens, and those citizens used that money more wisely than government.
So I don't even know why we debate it any longer. How about we just make a simple statement: Tax cuts work? They work.
They worked for President Kennedy. They worked for President Reagan. They work for President Bush right now. They helped Germany and Japan rebuild after their economies were broken by World War II. They worked in New York City for me. Even France…
Even France is considering tax cuts under Sarkozy.
GIULIANI: Even France!
The only place — and I've been checking on this; maybe they'll contradict me when they check on this — the only place — the only place anybody in the whole world is thinking about tax increases is right here in Washington, D.C. That's it.
And they happen to be Democrats and they're running for president of the United States.
I got to tell you my dream. I've got to tell you my dream.
Are there any psychiatrists in this audience?
OK. Here's the dream.
I just read this book a few weeks ago by the new president of France, Nicolas Sarkozy. President Sarkozy is writing probably about a year ago, and he's writing about how he wants to come to the United States — wants to come to the United States and he's writing about how he wants to use our policies to help France.
Whether it's reducing taxes — corporate taxes, reducing the size of government, he wants to do something very similar to what I want to do — only rehire half the people who retire to shrink the civilian workforce.
You like that idea?
AUDIENCE MEMBER: I like that.
GIULIANI: Yes, that's a great idea, isn't it?
And he wants to get the French to work more than 35 hours a week.
(LAUGHTER) Come on, we're for that, right?
GIULIANI: And he wants to do it by giving them tax-free income after 35 hours a week.
So I have this dream, now, about four or five times — can't get rid of it, have it over and over again.
President Sarkozy is on an airplane. He's flying to the United States. This other airplane is coming from the United States to France. It gets perilously close to his airplane. They almost hit as they cross over the Atlantic. They get real close to each other, like this.
So you can see inside the window of Sarkozy's plane from the other plane, and Sarkozy can see inside the window of the plane headed for France. And they all wave to each other, because they recognize each other.
Sarkozy's in one plane. And the people going from the United States to France waving to him are Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and John Edwards.
They want to go to France to figure out how they can take all those failed policies and put them in effect here in the United States…
… bigger government, higher taxes, more regulation.
GIULIANI: Well, I told you, I speak about this from the point of view of not just philosophy. I do agree with the philosophy and the ideas, but I speak about it because I made it work for me.
And I made it work for me under what could've been described as the worst of circumstances. Became mayor of New York City, tremendous deficits, large unemployment, tremendous lack of spirit, people leaving the city, jobs leaving, and a commission had been put together — don't you love commissions?
The commission for everything.
But there was a commission put together how to solve the fiscal problems of New York City. And they wrote up a big report and they sent it to me a couple of weeks after I was elected.
And the New York Times really liked this report a lot. So the New York Times wanted to know, What are you going to do with the report?
The report recommended higher taxes, higher regulations, more fees, more government control.
I said, Well, you know what I'm going to do with the report? In fact, I think I've already done it. I'm going to throw it in the garbage.
And I did. I threw it in the garbage.
And what I did was, I went in the other direction. We went line by line and we cut spending. We reduced the burden of regulations. We privatized to the extent that we could.
And here's what we did over and over and over again: We cut taxes. I recommended 64 tax cuts. We accomplished 23 of them that I approved. We cut taxes by over $9 billion.
We took the income tax and reduced it by 24 percent. And by the time I was finished, we were collecting 41 percent more revenues from the low tax than we used to collect from the high tax. So don't tell me that tax cuts don't work.
We changed our welfare offices. We gave them a new name and a new function.
You know what the new name of the welfare offices were in New York? Job centers. Job centers.
But doing this — but doing this took a lot more — took a lot more than just rhetoric. It took a lot more than just tinkering with a few laws and regulations. What it took was transforming a culture.
In the case of New York, it meant taking on the very bad ideas, the liberal ideas that were at the core of the city's decline for several generations.
It meant taking on a belief that taxpayers exist to serve government. It's the other way around: Government exists to serve you, the people. That's the way it's supposed to work in this country.
It meant taking on the establishment.
And I have to tell you, it was really good training so that I'll be able to be the one to take on Washington, and change the culture of spending in this city, just like I did in New York.
Democrats illustrate one of President Ronald Reagan's favorite quotations. Public funds seemingly belong to no one and the temptation to bestow them on someone is irresistible.
That's a temptation that Democrats just can't seem to avoid. Let me give you one very recent example.
Hillary Clinton, the other day, proposed giving every single baby born in the United States…
… a Hillary bond…
… worth $5,000 each. Now, I know this never occurs to the people like Hillary and the other Democrats here in Washington, but you know something? I got news for you: This costs money.
Doesn't just come — doesn't come from the trees. Doesn't come down from Heaven. It costs money.
And when I hear a proposal like that, unlike the Democrats who make it — who, by the way, in the case of the three leading Democrats, have never run a city, they've never run a state, I don't think they've ever run a business. They want you to give them on-the- job executive training in the executive office of the United States as president.
GIULIANI: Not a good idea. Not a good idea. What do you think?
AUDIENCE: No. GIULIANI: How about you never drove before and we're going to give you this complex machine? You want somebody flying your airplane that has no hours of experience flying airplanes?
GIULIANI: Not me.
But this is why they make proposals like this.
When I hear that, the first moment I heard that — the first moment I heard Hillary wants to give away $5,000 bonds to every child born in the United States, do you know the first question I asked: How many children are born in the United States? Because I was going to multiply that by the $5,000.
Because I ran a city. I've run a business. I know how to make a payroll and I know how to reduce expenses.
Do you know how much money it is per year? $20 billion.
GIULIANI: Hillary, that's real money.
You and Bill can't afford that. It's got to come out of somebody's pockets. You know who it comes out of?
GIULIANI: Yours, mine, hardworking Americans. Hard-earned tax dollars. $20 billion?
And it's going to be more than that, because we're going to have to add to that the cost of the large bureaucracy that's going to have to print up the bonds, right? With Hillary's picture on them. You have to print up the bonds.
You got to mail them out to all 4 million kids, right?
You may just have to check and make sure you're getting valid birth certificates. You think somebody might think of cheating if they get — no.
(LAUGHTER) No. No, we'll just send them all the money, that's — you know, we'll just…
Now, the other question is, if she's going to do this, maybe she'll make it retroactive.
And did you ever think that children of illegal immigrants will have to get this bond? They're born in the United States. They're citizens of the United States.
And some of the people who get this bond, this money, may not need it. Suppose the Gateses have another child.
(LAUGHTER) Suppose they have twins.
You'll be sending them 10 grand.
I know they get real upset when I say, you know, Hillary and John Edwards and Barack Obama want to move us to socialized medicine. Well, they do, you know?
But tell me this isn't a socialist idea, tell me this doesn't come out of a wellspring of thinking that has its roots in socialism: Send everybody a $5,000 bond.
George McGovern wanted to send everybody a $1,000 check back in 1972.
And if you figure out what $1,000 is worth now, you know what it's worth now? $4,810. Bad socialist ideas never die…
They get resurrected in one way or another.
Each Democratic candidate promises to raise taxes. You can be sure — you know, this is a promise they're going to keep, all right?
You know that.
We've got a different approach. We're going to cut spending, we're going to cut taxes. I guarantee you in a Giuliani administration, the days of anonymous earmarks are over on day one.
I look at it this way: I used the broken windows theory to reduce crime in New York by more than it was reduced in any city in the country. I'm going to use a broken windows theory on earmarks.
The earmarks are the broken windows of the budget. They're signs of distress. They show a system that's not working. It's like graffiti on the wall of our spending culture.
So, we'll end earmarks. We'll make sure that that anonymous spending — that anonymous pork barrel spending — that, just like Hillary's proposal, adds up to a lot of money when you finally calculate all of that.
And Republicans have a lot of responsibility here. When people tell me we lost Congress last time, I believe one of the reasons we lost Congress is, unfortunately, our party in the Congress became just like the Democrats as far as spending money concerned. Shame on us. Shame on us.
We're supposed to stand for something, and what we stand for is fiscal discipline. And when I'm nominated, we'll have this party back as a party clearly rooted in fiscal discipline: restraining spending, no more earmarks, low taxes, a growth party.
But just in case you think that Democrats keep their word, they said they were going to do away with earmarks. Do you know how many they requested in the first six months of this Congress? Thirty-two thousand. That's 32,000 times that they didn't keep their word and they're going in a direction that is worse than the Republicans.
But you had to know that because Republicans are amateur spenders and Democrats are professionals.
So what are we going to do? What we're going to do is, first, just like we did in New York, we're going to keep the marginal tax rate low. We're going to make sure that the Bush tax cuts — the level of the Bush tax cuts becomes permanent; they don't get reversed.
We're going to index the alternative minimum tax for inflation so it doesn't begin to grow and affect more and more Americans in a way that it was never intended to do.
We're going to create new tax savings accounts and new health savings accounts so that people can buy their own health insurance.
We're going to give the death tax the death penalty.
Gone. Over with.
And we're going to create a one-page tax form by simplifying the tax code so that, if you want to, you have the alternative on one page to file your taxes. We'll call it a — how about we call it a fast tax?
We'll get it over with quick. This country did not become great because it has a big government. It became great because it has the largest and most vital private sector in the world. That's why we're a great country. We're not a great country because of our government, we're a great country because of our people.
And when our government realizes that, that's when we have a great government.
Unlike much of Europe, our government doesn't plan our economy. Our people plan our economy with their individual choices, each one of them in our 50 states, in our hundreds and thousands of different places in America.
Our people are the ones who plan our economy and our government either assists that or it hurts it.
So you're going to have a choice in November of 2008. You're going to have a choice in whether you vote for me, where you will increase choices for people, or you vote for the Democrats who will increase choices for government.
There's no doubt about it. There's a big dramatic difference coming up in November of 2008. We can take this country in one of two directions.
One direction we can take it in are more choices for you. If we reduce taxes, you get the choice over your own money. If we raise taxes, the government gets the choice over that money.
The leading Democratic candidate has said the following, describing her philosophy, I have to take things from you for the common good.
But excuse me if I don't think that hundreds of millions of American can figure out the common good better than Hillary Clinton…
AUDIENCE MEMBER: Amen.
GIULIANI: … or the bureaucrats — or the bureaucrats that will be managing your — or the bureaucrats that will be managing your money in Washington.
It's your money. It should be your choice.
The economy that we live in now is a global economy. That should be exciting. It's exhilarating. It is a tremendous opportunity for this land of entrepreneurs and risk-takers and wealth-creators and inventors and innovators and just hardworking people. That's what Americans are all about.
But if we elect a Democrat, sure as I'm standing here, we're going to put a lid on that growth. We're going to hold it down. We're going to push it down.
We're going to push it down by raising taxes, which they promised to do. We're going to hold it down by raising tariffs, like they're promising to do. We're going to totally stop our economic progress by building a health care bureaucracy that is going to move us to socialized medicine.
And when our medicine becomes socialized under Hillary Clinton, just where are the Canadians going to go for their health care?
We at least know that Michael Moore will be OK. He'll go to Cuba.
Right? Right? He'll go to Cuba.
But if you elect me president of the United States, instead what you're going to see is, you're going to see, not a lid on that growth, you're going to see that growth become unlimited.
And you know why it becomes unlimited? Because when you lower taxes, you keep tariffs down and you open yourself to trade all over the world. When you reduce the size of government, when you put more money back into the private sector, you don't just put more money back into it; you put more energy back into it. You put more life back into it.
And then the hopes and the dreams and the aspirations of the American people do not become limited by government, but they get encouraged to think the way great Americans in the past have thought.
What can we invent? What can we create? What can we sell? What can we innovate? What can we dream of? Because now our government is telling us we can dream. We're not limited. We don't have a lid on us.
The sky is the limit and America never ever — never ever fall into this way of thinking.
America's future is going to be greater than America's past, because the ability and the heart and the soul and the thinking of American people is unlimited when you allow them to be free, when you allow them to make their own choices, when you don't try to plan them too much, when you don't try to direct them too much. You know what they always do? They defy everybody's expectations.
That's what your organization is about. The policies that you're about free the American spirit to soar. So keep fighting for them, let's work together. And in order to accomplish this, let's make sure we have a Republican president in November of 2008. I think I have the one for you.
But thank you very, very much.
To view Mayor Giuliani's speech, click here: http://blip.tv/file/412240
Rudy Giuliani, Remarks at the Americans for Prosperity Foundation in Washington, D.C. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/295395