Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani is urging Republicans to hold firm on their demand for deep spending cuts, saying President Barack Obama can't be trusted to deliver them next year in return for tax hikes now.
"He's . . . presented to the Republicans a program which was basically just a massive tax increase over and above the massive tax increase that's going to take place with the Bush tax cuts expiring [on Dec. 31]," Giuliani told Fox News's Greta Van Susteren Wednesday night.
"He hasn't given them room to compromise," he added, suggesting he would hold out for at least some form of decreased spending now instead of waiting until next year on the president's promise of a bigger spending reduction deal.
Noting that Obama has already rejected the Simpson-Bowles deficit reduction commission's formula of a 3-to-1 ratio of spending cuts to tax increases, he said Republicans have little evidence the president is willing now to negotiate in good faith.
"I wouldn't take a decrease in spending next year for a tax increase this year," Giuliani said. "It should be done all at once. And if that means extending the Bush tax cuts until both things happen — in other words, whatever tax increases take place, take place, whatever expenditure reductions take place at the same time.
"I simply wouldn't trust the president with any kind of deal where you give him a revenue increase now, and he gives you an expenditure reduction a year from now," Giuliani continued. "I don't think you'll ever see the expenditure reduction."
Giuliani reiterated the general Republican view that "any kind of tax increase now is going to hurt the economy."
"Our country's in trouble because we're spending too much money, not because we're taxing too little," he said, quoting conservative radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh.
"Rush Limbaugh . . . is absolutely correct."
The former GOP presidential candidate also encouraged Republican lawmakers to dismiss polls indicating voters would likely blame them if Congress and the White House fail to reach a budget deal to avert the so-called fiscal cliff of automatic spending cuts and tax increases due to kick in on Jan. 1
"Republicans basically have to say, 'Our principles here are correct, our whole analysis of the economy is correct. We need massive spending decreases,'" Giuliani said. "And they've got to stick with that."
"If they can get decent spending [decreases] and have to agree to some additional revenue, fine," he continued. "But if they get pushed in the position the president is trying to push them, then I think they stick with their principles, you know, and a year and a half from now go to the electorate with that.
"It worked in [the 2010 midterm elections]; it probably will work again in '14," Giuliani added. "It'll be a shame because it will do a lot of damage to our economy in between. But the president has that really on his shoulders. He's the leader."
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