Friday, March 2, 2007

2008 GOP Candidates on Taxes: Rudy Guiliani

GOP Nominee hopeful, Rudy Giuliani gave on 2/26 what some see as his first heavy policy speech, covering his economic views on health care and taxes:

According to the NY Sun, "Mr. Giuliani's campaign also said yesterday that a former Republican nominee for governor of California, Bill Simon, has signed on as Mr. Giuliani's policy director, and that a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, Michael Boskin, will serve as the former mayor's chief economic adviser."


Elevating his economic policies to "Freedom" itself, Rudy tried out what promises to be as good (and as true) an election phrase than "Compassionate Conservatism":

“The Republican party is the party of the people,” said Giuliani. “The Democratic Party is the party of government.”

Sadly, what he seems to want is freedom from taxes equated to freedom of the people:

Democrats, he said, would want to raise taxes to pay the higher costs of a war.

"That shows a dividing line, and to me, a misunderstanding of how our economy works," Mr. Giuliani said. He said that while Republicans believe that the American economy is "essentially a private economy," Democrats "really believe, honest, that it is essentially a government economy.

"Citing the tax cuts of President Kennedy, Mr. Giuliani said the Democrats' move away from a low-tax policy was one reason he left the party to become an independent and later a Republican. - NY Sun

One supposes that Gerald Ford's failed "WIN" initiative and Nixon's wage-price controls were ... not meaningful? Even Ronald Reagan raised taxes early on in his administration, so ...

Paradoxically, there is this, perhaps a reference to Johnson's "War on Poverty" (something that I vaguely recall Reagan harping on in his campaigns or rhetoric):

"I would say to myself Democrats care about the poor and Republicans don't, and how can I join the party that doesn't care about the poor," Giuliani said. "I finally came to the conclusion that we care about the poor more."

I cannot think of any sizable efforts for the poor that haven't involved re-distribution of income. "Care" apparently doesn't include "expense"?


If you thought you'd heard this M. Friedman-like line before, you have. Boskin is Mliton T. Friedman Professor at Stanford.

Notice the subtlety: if one has a different view of tax policy, it's not different values or responsibility toward the next generations, but a misconception, a misunderstanding of a technical matter, possible, of "how the economy works".

Conservative blogger Captain Ed picks up on the elements that reflect the tension with the conservative party:

[Giuliani] wants to emphasize a more libertarian approach for the Republican Party -- free markets and smaller government.


I cannot find a copy of Giuliani's remarks, but reports are that he stuck to platitudes, rather than propose specific policy. However, what he has said so far seems to suggest lower or less taxes, from current levels, than the expected 'No New Taxes'.

edit: including at C-Pac on 3/2: 12:25 p.m. - “I don’t just believe in lowering taxes, I did it…”


About Dr. Boskin (from Giuliani campaign press release):

Michael J. Boskin is T. M. Friedman Professor of Economics and Senior Fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University. He is also Research Associate, National Bureau of Economic Research. He served as Chairman of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) from 1989 to 1993 and chaired the Commission on the Consumer Price Index.

Dr. Boskin serves on several corporate boards of directors, including Exxon Mobil Corporation, Oracle Corporation and Vodafone PLC, several philanthropic boards, and is a consultant to numerous other businesses and government agencies

In addition to Stanford and the University of California, he has taught at Harvard and Yale. He is the author of more than one hundred books and articles. He is internationally recognized for his research on world economic growth, tax and budget theory and policy, Social Security, U.S. saving and consumption patterns, and the implications of changing technology and demography on capital, labor, and product markets.

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