It is Rudy Giuliani’s favorite boast on the presidential campaign trail: “I cut taxes 23 times” as mayor of New York, he says, a claim inevitably met by applause.
The impressive-sounding stat stars in radio ads this week in New Hampshire and Iowa, where the voiceover asserts that Giuliani “cut or eliminated 23 taxes.”
Trouble is, it’s not really true, say tax-cutting allies of the former mayor, as well as experts at the city’s Independent Budget Office and elsewhere.
To arrive at the number he likes to cite on the stump, Giuliani has to claim credit for tax cuts initiated by others, tax cuts he opposed, and in one instance, he counts one tax cut twice. Best of all, Giuliani includes a scuttled tax increase on his list (”We don’t consider not raising a tax a tax cut,” said Charles Brescher of the city’s Independent Budget Office).
Sounds as if Giuliani has a Bush-like commitment to the truth.