Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani warned Republican leaders Monday against caving in to President Barack Obama on tax increases, saying Americans voted in November for a debt reduction "compromise" that includes deep spending cuts.
He suggested during an appearance on Fox News' Sean Hannity that if Republicans have to accept tax increases, they should couple it with spending cuts, especially in healthcare costs, and make them effective at the same time.
"If we're going to cave in at all on higher taxes, let it happen at the same time," the Republican said Monday night. "We pass a bill, higher taxes, a lot more spending reduction, and it goes in effect in June when the spending reductions are done. We're not going to take it on the come. We're going to get it when it happens together."
"We can no longer do spending cuts with promised reductions in spending that never happen," he added, noting that Obama misinterpreted the election results if he believes that raising taxes is the answer to the nation's deficit problem.
"Americans voted for a compromise . . . Some part of it is tax increases. I hate that," Giuliani said. But he added, "The most important part of the compromise, [Americans] voted for spending reductions. What we're getting right now from Obama, a tax increase. If you could have a balance of spending decreases of two-to-one or three-to-one, we could have a healthy economy."
Giuliani made the comments amid speculation that Obama and House Speaker John Boehner may be drawing closer to a deal to avert the combination of automatic spending cuts and tax increases due to take place at the end of the year.
Giuliani continued to insist, however, that the nation's fiscal crisis could be solved by actually lowering tax rates, or at least keeping them where they are now, and finding the courage to make deep cuts in sacred programs, especially those associated with healthcare.
"This is a spending problem; it's not a revenue problem," he said, adding that Obama is trying to convince Americans that raising taxes on the rich will somehow make it easier to solve.
"It's a symbolic gesture, rather than a real gesture," he said. "The real gesture is to be getting into Medicaid and Medicare . . . That's the key."
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