Joe Lhota

In the words of Ronald Reagan: “There you go again.” It was just a month ago that Romney Campaign Advisor Cesar Conda provided a smoke-screen to cover-up the ineffective economic policies of former Governor Mitt Romney by attacking Mayor Rudy Giuliani. Former Massachusetts Governor and true fiscal champion Paul Cellucci said it best responding to Romney’s attacks when he said that these are some “pretty weak arguments from a Governor [Romney] who in four years really had no tax cuts for the people of Massachusetts.” So let’s, once again, clear up Mr. Conda’s slew of misrepresentations regarding the fiscal record of Rudy Giuliani.

First and foremost, records speak far louder than election-year rhetoric. As Mayor, Rudy Giuliani did something almost unheard of in New York City: he cut taxes. He cut income taxes, property taxes, the sales tax and more. By cutting or eliminating taxes 23 times during his eight years as Mayor, he saved New York City taxpayers $9 billion. And he did it in the very heart of American liberalism. Governor Romney, Mr. Conda, and the rest of the folks in Boston can talk about pledges all they want—it doesn’t change, and won’t obscure, the fact that when it actually counted, Rudy cut taxes time and time again and Mitt Romney did not.

Likewise, all the discussion of campaign pledges doesn’t change who Mitt Romney was as Governor in Massachusetts. The reality is Mr. Romney has made campaign promises regarding taxes in the past, promises that certainly didn’t translate into tax relief for the citizens of Massachusetts. Mr. Romney, for example, ran for Governor claiming he would reduce the state income tax from 5.3 percent to 5 percent. Ask any Massachusetts resident how that’s working out for them—they’re all still paying that 5.3% rate.

As to the claim that “some might find [Mayor Giuliani’s] record troubling,” I’d be interested to know who, exactly, Mr. Conda is referring to. Certainly not the Club For Growth’s President Pat Toomey, who’s examination of the Mayor’s record led him to conclude that “In the face of such tremendous headwind, Giuliani’s economic accomplishments are remarkable.” Suffice it to say that Governor Romney would prefer that forceful commendation of his record to take the place of Mr. Toomey’s statement that “[Romney’s] record on taxes, spending, and entitlement reform is flawed …”

Joe Lhota

Joe Lhota served as New York City’s deputy mayor for operations (1998 - 2001) and budget director (1995 – 1999) during the administration of Mayor Rudy Giuliani.

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