Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Rudy Speaks...

America's mayor and GOP presidential hopeful Rudy Giuliani on last night's Kudlow & Company:

On Taxes:

I'm against most taxes. I mean, I think that taxes have to exist. But they should exist at the lowest possible level, and to the extent that we can, we shouldn't invent new ones. Maybe that's my experience being mayor of New York City, where we had so many taxes. I mean, think about it. I lowered 23 different taxes. And I'm not sure I lowered all of them. A city shouldn't have 23 taxes, or 30 taxes, or 40 taxes. There should be a few. They should be simple. They should be easy to comply with. They should raise the revenue that's necessary for the essential services of government, and they should be competitive. So whenever people talk about a new tax, I generally don't like the idea…I don't like taxes. I don't know how to make that any clearer. I don't like taxes.

On Free Market Capitalism and Supply–Side Economics:

I regard myself as a supply-sider for sure. I mean, I watched Ronald Reagan do it. I learned it, it works. Saw taxes get reduced, more revenue come in. Practiced it as the mayor of New York, as the first mayor ever to do that. It's almost harder to do it in New York than it is in Washington. There was less of an acceptance for it and more resistance to it. But I lowered taxes 22, 23 times. I started with a $2.3 billion deficit, and by lowering taxes, we cleared that deficit and we started building a pretty big surplus. So not only do I believe in it, I've made it work. So I believe in it really strongly because it comes out of practical experience.

...I'd say over the last 10 to 15 years, I've become more and more convinced that globalization, free market economics, is the way to go for the United States. It really just challenges us to kind of predict the future and to try to think of the industries we have to create where we can take advantage of the large number of consumers that are emerging in China, the large number of consumers that are emerging in India. If we challenge ourselves, it really gives us the hope of really strong growth and that's what we should always be pointing toward, growth.

On Whether He's the Pro-Stock Market, Pro-Investor Class Candidate:

Well, I think so. I mean, I as the mayor of New York, I consider [the stock market] a hometown industry. I used to talk about the finance industry being to New York what the steel industry was to Pittsburgh 20 or 30 years ago. It's our hometown industry. It's the thing that dominates 30 to 40 percent of the economy of New York City. It seems to me that that's also true of the United States. And, of course, it's the way in which we develop capital and drive these tremendous inventions, creations.

I've always been in favor of a low capital gains tax. In fact, as the mayor of New York, I used to try to urge actually removing the capital gains tax. I thought it would be one of the best little special benefits for New York. Couldn't quite get the congressional delegation to agree with that. But the idea if you lower the capital gains tax and if you do it smartly, you're going to end up with more revenues from the lower tax than you do from the higher tax. So I think that if you look at my background and you look at my experience as mayor, I probably have the most aggressive, fiscal conservative record, supply-side record. I'm probably the only one that's really practiced it.