Giuliani's leadership is right for America

Posted: Apr 06, 2007 12:01 AM
Giuliani's leadership is right for America

As mayor of New York City, Giuliani led an entity with a larger and more diverse population and economy than most of our states and many countries. His leadership example in the nation's largest city is a model for communities all across America, including our cities right here in the 15th District.

Rudy has a proven record of fiscal responsibility. The columnist George Will once said of him, "His eight years as mayor of New York were the most successful episode of conservative governance in this country in the last 50 years." Mayor Giuliani inherited a $2.3 billion dollar budget deficit and turned it into a $2.9 billion surplus while cutting taxes 23 times and delivering balanced budgets.

The Giuliani administration saved taxpayers more than $16 billion by controlling the projected growth of city-funded spending to nearly half the growth of the city economy. Giuliani created a smaller, more efficient government by cutting the number of full-time, city-funded jobs by nearly 20 percent, excluding cops on the street and teachers in the classroom.

When Rudy took office in 1993, 1.1 million New Yorkers, one out of every seven, were on welfare. Under his leadership, New York City cut welfare rolls by more than 640,000 to the lowest number since 1966. He eliminated fraud and abuse and turned welfare offices into job centers. Although he has never backed away from controversy or confrontation, Mayor Giuliani accomplished these things working with a city council controlled by Democrats, proving his ability to work in a bipartisan manner.

Giuliani is perhaps best known as a crime fighter, beginning with his tenure as U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York during the Reagan administration. Giuliani broke the stranglehold of organized crime in New York, while pursuing white-collar criminals with equal vigor.

As mayor, he led a sea change in New York City when it came to public safety. Mayor Giuliani brought in a team that reinvented modern law enforcement, with unprecedented and undeniable success. The crime index declined by the tens of thousands each year, and was cut nearly in half by the time he left office. Most importantly, the people of New York noticed a real change in their city under Rudy's leadership. New York is now considered the safest large city in America, something that would have been unimaginable before Giuliani took office.

With safety assured, the attitude of New York changed for the better. By the end of Giuliani's term, New Yorkers enjoyed their lowest tax burden in decades, lived in a safer, cleaner city and saw investors and developers return to rejuvenate the city. Simply put, Rudy Giuliani saved New York.

As his tenure wound to a close, Mayor Giuliani was put to the greatest test of a civic leader in the United States. On Sept. 11, 2001, in the dark shadow of a horrific crime against humanity and terrible destruction, he rose above it all. He became the face of what most Americans were feeling in its aftermath -- profound sadness, moral outrage and driven determination to rise above the ashes. Mayor Giuliani was the hallmark of leadership.

Our next president must be a strong advocate for America's place in the world and our democratic values. He must bring experience, compassion and vision. Rudy Giuliani passes every test. I will be working to help him win Pennsylvania, and I wholeheartedly endorse him to be our next president.