Archive for November, 2007

Rudy Understands Cutting Taxes and Spending

November 30, 2007

In this clip, Rudy talks with CNBC’s Jim Cramer on how, when, and why to cut taxes and spending.

The main points:

  • we cut taxes responsibly to encourage growth and to stay competitive with foreign economies
  • we cut frivolous spending
  • we cap civilian government agency spending
  • we recognize that spending is required to keep the world safe
  • the goal is to find the optimal level of taxation – the level that best stimulates growth and investment while providing the most revenue for those things the government must do

The best part?  Rudy can back it up with his record…

And the Gloves Are Officially Off…

November 26, 2007

Hitting Mitt with a 1-2-3 combo of crime, taxes, and health care, Rudy came out of the Thanksgiving weekend swinging.  Read about his interview here.

Rudy Asks: What has Fred ever done?

November 25, 2007

Rudy fires back at Fred: read the Fox News article here.

Cross-Post: Giuliani and Libertarians

November 13, 2007

Over at my PA for Hizzoner blog a small thread as developed– well, I’m doing most of the writing– as a result of the appearence of my town’s first presidential support sign; a Ron Paul sign.

As a former card-carrying member of the Libertarian party who’s first vote for president was for the man who was, in fact, Ron Paul’s veep on the Libertarian ticket in ’88, I am not unsympathetic to those supporting Paul.  I did express, though, that I believe Giuliani is pretty darned friendly to Libertarians, a statement which one commenter thought needed elaboration.  That elaboration is below:

I understand the question.  You have to look at it from a perspective that respects one of Libertarianism’s fundamental requirements of the State:  That of protecting private property.

Giuliani’s priority as Mayor– the reason he was elected– was to make the City safer and more pleasant.  Read that as “Protect their private property.”

Hence this person’s perception of him as a “gun-grabbing” and “police state” mayor.  I think Giuliani was wrong at the time with his handgun lawsuits, but he thought he had two opposing freedoms he had to prioritize: Civil order and the right to defence.  I am a pretty dogged 2nd Amendment advocate, but even I can appreciate how the priorities of NYC in a crime wave and Idaho are different, and probably require different approaches.  So while aspiring to be President, it is natural for Giuliani to become more sympathetic to gun owners, which he has.

It is enlightening to also understand that the protection of private property is why– as a mayor rather than the President– he was Libertarian-ish on immigration.  He wanted illegals to be comfortable dealing with the local gendarmes so they could report on the bad apples.

Some suggest the Mayor has been doing a lot of flip-flopping.  Without getting into semantical arguments, I think it is important to understand that those issues on which he has drifted rightward merely reflect differently weighted priorities of two different jobs:  That of Mayor of NYC and that of President of the United States.  As he has pointed out, it would have been easier for him to just complete the flip-flop and lie.  A look at the GOP field illustrates at least one candidate who is comfortable doing this.  One thing, though, that appears to be consistent with the Mayor is that at the core he is driven by a respect for the freedoms of law-abiding individuals to pursue their own happiness, and an understanding that it is the State’s role to defend these freedoms.

I do not at all suggest that Giuliani would be at home in the Libertarian party.  I do suggest, though, that he is Libertarian-friendly:  His first priority is to protect your property and civil society in general.  His second priority– as evidenced by his actions in NYC and the associated favorable reviews from the Club for Growth and endorsement by Steve Forbes– is to minimize the vigor with which government dips into your bank account.  After that, he pretty much feels the states should decide on all the culturally divisive social issues.

That, I say, is pretty Libertarian friendly.  Does he buy into Libertarian ideology?  Probably not, as his habits of character can be quirky and pretty hierarchical.  Note his apparent distaste of ferret owners.  But when the time comes in a general election for Ron Paul supporters to pull a lever, I hope those that aren’t using their support for Paul merely as a way to promote isolationism will do the needful and vote for Giuliani rather than staying home or voting for his opponent.

Assuming, of course, Hizzoner can secure the nomination, which is a whole ‘nother article, as Nordlinger says.  I am not entirely sure how Paul’s supporters effect that process.  Not much, I tend to think…

How Much Do Social Issues Matter…to Evangelicals

November 9, 2007

The response to Pat Robertson’s endorsement has run, on the right, from bemused– “Why would he?”– to sour grapes– “Well, Pat Robertson doesn’t matter any more.  Didn’t he say Katrina hit New Orleans because of gay people?”

There have been a few wise voices– Jonah Goldburg is one– who have pointed to, you know, data.  These folks suggest maybe the most important social issue to Evangelicals is the War on Terror.

As you may suspect, I think Mr. Goldburg is on to something.  Importantly, this opinion is actually backed by some data.  The first, most obvious data point is that Evangelicals are not lining up behind a single candidate.  If they were so monolithic and easy to lead one would believe they would figure out who lines up best with them, and all support that person.

Now here’s a second data point, a CBS poll from a couple weeks ago.  [HT Crunchy Con]  There’s a bunch of interesting stuff in that poll, so please do check it out.  For our purposes here, though, check out the list of issues Evangelicals want to see their political leaders talk about:

Health care 23%

War in Iraq 20%

Immigration 8%

Economy/jobs 7%

What don’t you see in that list?  Also interestingly, social issues are still considered extremely important to Evangelicals, despite the fact that it does not rank highly on the above list.  I’m not too sure how to parse that.

Finally, I thought it rather illuminating that about 40% of Evangelicals think abortion should only be allowed to save the life of the mother or not at all.  That’s still more than twice the rate in the general population, but it does pretty well put to rest the canard of thinking that Evangelicals have cookie-cutter views and are easily led, eh?

Remember, I’m not making any value judgements here.  Personally, this blogger can probably be described as “tentatively pro-life”.  I’m talking politics.

Pat Robertson to Endorse Giuliani

November 7, 2007

Here we all were, hoping Sam Brownback would endorse Rudy.  Well, he didn’t.  He went with McCain.

But look at this:  Team Giuliani apparently set their sights even higher.  Pat Robertson is on board.

Potentially a mixed blessing, I suppose.  But there’s no doubt about this being a pretty big evangelical feather in his cap.