Giuliani: “Restoring Fiscal Discipline and Cutting Wasteful Washington Spending” (9/11)

Steve Benen goes back a few weeks to a story written by Maria L. La Ganga:

The world according to Rudolph W. Giuliani is a very, very scary place. Just listen to the former mayor of New York City in a hotel ballroom in the scorching Midwest, two minutes and 14 seconds into a speech on “Restoring Fiscal Discipline and Cutting Wasteful Washington Spending.” “I will continue to keep America on offense in the terrorist war against us, because I think that’s the overriding issue of our day,” he declared. Then he leaped into a detailed discussion that wound its way through earmarks and out-of-control federal budgets to the threat of Democratic tax increases and – as always – back to terrorism. While talking taxes, Giuliani spoke of listening to a Democratic presidential debate. “They never mentioned the word ‘Islamic terrorist’ during the debate…. Maybe they think they’re going to be insulting somebody if they say it. I’m trying to figure out who would be insulted – other than Islamic terrorists.”

I wonder if the citizens of Iowa thought they were listening to the ramblings of Sean Hannity. We already know that Giuliani has decided to repeat the free lunch supply-side lies to justify cuts. He’s also sounding a lot like Mitt Romney on wanting more defense spending. Neither one of these candidates have told us where they’d cut Federal spending. In fact Steve notes that Giuliani supports more Federal spending for HIV treatments and added:

My general experience has been that the federal government works best when it helps and assists and encourages and sets guidelines… on a state-by-state, locality-by-locality basis. It’s no different from the way I look at homeland security. Maybe having been mayor of the city, I know that your first defense against terrorist attack is that local police station, or that local firehouse.

If you are going “huh”, so is Steve who adds:

I’m generally not in the habit of offering advice to Republican presidential hopefuls, but I have an idea for the Giuliani campaign. As a way to save time at future appearances, perhaps one of his aides could give Giuliani a placard with the word “terrorism” on one side, and “9/11” on the other. That way, whenever anyone asks him a question about anything, he can simply point to the sign, instead of having to go to the trouble of coming up with an excuse to end up at the same point anyway.

Giuliani is not exactly on solid ground talking about fiscal responsibility. Nor is he some expert on national security. But hey – he is running for the Republican nomination where honesty is not exactly a prerequisite.

Update: AB reader Sammy finds a piece by Deroy Murdock of the National Review (this time writing for the NY Post) entitled Reaganite Rudy: Real Fiscal Discipline. Even though Mr. Murdock’s mendacity has been well established and even though St. Ronald didn’t exactly slash Federal spending either, let’s take a look:

* Require that federal agency chiefs propose 5-20 percent spending cuts annually. This would make them streamline their operations and improve services for less money.
* Slash federal civilian employment by 21 percent. By 2017, 42 percent of federal workers will retire. Giuliani would replace only half those vacancies. These 150,000 unfilled bureaucratic slots would save taxpayers $21 billion annually, while sparing Americans that many meddlers and nannies.
* “GAPStat,” a proposed Governmentwide Accountability Program, would evaluate federal activities and correct or eliminate failures.
* Place mandatory sunset clauses on all federal programs. Congress would have to rate and reauthorize federal initiatives, or let them expire.
* Require Congressional Budget Office price tags on legislation before voting begins on any bill.
* Make Washington follow the same Generally Accepted Accounting Principles that it demands of publicly traded companies.

Isn’t amazing? Not one specific proposal to cut down on the services provided by the Federal government and not one specific proposal to reduce transfer payments. Just a request that agency chiefs “streamline their operations”. I have suggested that Mitt Romney is a coward on these issues with his magic formula that has not an ounce of substance. My apologies to Mr. Romney as Rudy is the truly gutless wonder. Murdock calls these clever plans. This is not a plan. This is a joke. But it’s par for the course for the leaders of the modern Republican Party.