Sunday, August 26, 2007
MANCHESTER, New Hampshire (AP) — A Democratic president would raise taxes and ravage the U.S. economy, Republican presidential primary candidate Rudy Giuliani said Saturday.
The former New York City mayor said he would lower taxes, make permanent President George W. Bush's tax cuts and eliminate inheritance taxes.
Giuliani criticized Democrats who want to repeal Bush's cuts. "When it's working, let's change it. That's a brilliant philosophy. It sounds little bit like Iraq," Giuliani said to laughter.
Two points are extremely troubling to me here. First, Rudy thinks Iraq is working and nothing needs to change. Here's how well the AP finds things working in Iraq:
* Nearly 1,000 more people have been killed in violence across Iraq in the first eight months of this year than in all of 2006. So far this year, about 14,800 people have died in war-related attacks and sectarian murders. AP reporting accounted for 13,811 deaths in 2006. The and other sources placed the 2006 toll far higher.
While violence is down in Baghdad, it is up elsewhere in the country - meaning the preznut's surge policy, while technically working to make things better in Baghdad, has made things worse in the country as a whole.
That Rudy can say with a straight face that the Iraq policy is working is troubling.
Troubling point number two - Rudy thinks the economy is working despite the fact that
* Economic anxiety as at an all-time high for working and middle class Americans. In the latest WSJ/NBC News poll 67% of Americans believe the economy is either already in recession or will be by the beginning of next year.
* The median income for Americans has risen just 0.06% a year for the last 30 years, adjusted for inflation, while it increased 2.8% in the preceding 26 years. Working and middle class Americans have been squeezed over the last 30 and are working longer and harder to make less. Pensions are disappearing, social security is under attack, at least 45 million Americans (many of them "middle class") lack health care coverage, and college tuition costs have risen 350% over the last 10 years, making it very difficult for young Americans to start life without a huge amount of debt.
* Credit card debt has tripled in the last 20 years, totaling 100% of GDP. Total credit market debt in the United States is equal to 350% of GDP - we are a debtor nation. We produce very little and have made most of our wealth over the last six years by borrowing money from overseas and selling each other houses at ridiculously inflated prices. Now the Federal Reserve and the boys on Wall Street may think the more debt Americans are carrying the better (as long as Americans make their monthly payments, of course and keep using the borrowed money to consume, consume, consume!!!), but as a general policy, we would all be better off if we became a saver nation once again.
Rudy doesn't think anything needs to change, however - he thinks things are just fine and dandy on both the foreign policy and domestic policy fronts.
If you like what we've seen over the last 6+ years of Bush Rule, you should vote for Rudy - cuz' he's going give you at least 4 more years of the same (only this time with more race-baiting and probably some adultery when his third marriage inevitably breaks down and he moves on to his fourth.)
POSTSCRIPT: Giuliani's honesty about his economic record has been questioned this week. He has claimed he cut taxes 23 times in New York City (and remember, in the Grand Old Tax Cutting Party, deficits don't matter, only tax-cutting prowess does.) The AP finds however that:
Giuliani initiated only 15 cuts and opposed one of the largest, accepting it only after a five-month negotiation with the city council. Seven cuts started at the state level. One was initiated by the council.
Also, Giuliani likes to claim he brought fiscal sanity to NYC and left the city with a budget surplus. But the NY Times reported yesterday that
Rudolph W. Giuliani has been broadcasting radio advertisements in Iowa and other states far from the city he once led stating that as mayor of New York, he “turned a $2.3 billion deficit into a multibillion dollar surplus.”
The assertion, which Mr. Giuliani has repeated on the trail as he has promoted his fiscal conservatism, is somewhat misleading, independent fiscal monitors said. In fact, Mr. Giuliani left his successor, Michael R. Bloomberg, with a bigger deficit than the one Mr. Giuliani had to deal with when he arrived in 1994. And that deficit would have been large even if the city had not been attacked on Sept. 11, 2001.
“He inherited a gap, and he left a gap for his successor,” Ronnie Lowenstein, the director of the city’s Independent Budget Office, a nonpartisan agency that monitors the city budget, said of Mr. Giuliani. “The city was budgeting as though the good times were not going to end, but sooner or later they always do.”
So there you have another way Rudy Giuliani is like George Bush - he's an out-and-out liar.
Vote for Rudy if you want at least 4 more years of dishonesty, distortion, stupid-ass machismo masking as "toughness," and out-and-out cluelessness about the true state of America here at home and in the eyes of people abroad.