Every four years the American people are afforded the chance to declare our priorities to the world and shape the direction of our nation. When former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani recently presented his “12 Commitments to the American People,” we heard where he intends to lead America as we move further into the 21st century. It is the direction I believe America must take. Rudy is a forceful, proven leader — exactly what we need in our next president.
In Rudy Giuliani, a gracious and committed public servant I’ve known for many years, we see that rare blend of big-picture vision and proven track record of achieving the “impossible.” We see a forward-looking, accomplished executive eager to tackle the challenges of today’s America and ensure that tomorrow we wake up stronger, freer, and more united than ever before.
We live in times defined by a few core issues — issues that demand we elect a president who is fully equipped to address them, and to do so immediately. High upon that list is the galling absence of fiscal discipline exhibited by those tasked with the stewardship of taxpayer dollars.
Even as someone who has, admittedly, never been a proponent of cutting programs simply for the sake of cutting programs, I find the recklessness with which Washington has spent somewhat astounding. Over the last decade, earmarks have jumped from 1,000 to 10,000 annually. Spending has increased 72 percent. With just cause, Americans no longer trust that their government is doing the right thing with their money.
And so it is imperative that we change Washington, a city that has led us away from the principles, championed by President Reagan, that infused our nation and the Republican party with optimism, growth, and unprecedented success. As one of his 12 commitments, Rudy has pledged to force the fiscal discipline Washington has been either unwilling or unable to impose upon itself.
Rudy Giuliani has fought this fight before–and he’s won. The New York City he inherited in 1994 was dying, smothered by the combined burden of exploding crime rates and decades of tax-and-spend governance. The New York he left, as anyone who spent time there before and after his tenure can attest to, was dramatically different — America’s greatest city rebirthed by “America’s Mayor.”
It is that success, and the principles behind it, that Rudy will draw on the very first day he enters the White House.
The mayor will establish a government-wide accountability program, modeled after the renowned CompStat program that revolutionized the way New York City fights crime, to impose fiscal discipline and maximize the efficiency of the federal government. And just as he did in New York, Rudy will demand that each Cabinet member submit budget cuts of between 5 and 20 percent annually — ensuring that decisions about what programs are truly necessary come from those who know the agencies best.
Rudy has also pledged to make a number of changes to Washington that, simply put, exudes common sense. With a Giuliani administration in place, we will end the indisputably undemocratic process of anonymous earmarks. No longer will Congress vote on bills without first receiving a cost estimate from the Congressional Budget Office. He will impose mandatory sunset clauses on federal programs to make sure they don’t continue, automatically, forever. And he will require that the federal government follow Generally Accepted Accounting Principles. If it’s required of your business, there is no reason it should not be required of your government.
George Will once called Rudy’s time in New York “the most successful episode of conservative governance in this country in the last 50 years.” What he did for New York represents a record of accomplishment unmatched by any candidate in this race, Democrat or Republican. And it represents the powerful, conservative agenda we desperately need in Washington. Yes, there are other strong Republican candidates this cycle — but there are none like Rudy. It’s his time.
— T. Boone Pickens is an executive-committee member of the Rudy Giuliani Presidential Committee. The oilman and entrepreneurs has been actively involved in Republican politics for four decades.