WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Republican presidential hopeful Rudy Giuliani plans to propose reducing corporate tax rates and cutting other individual taxes that his campaign said on Friday put a crimp on Americans’ wallets.
The former New York mayor, who is leading the Republican field ahead of the November 2008 election, plans to unveil details of his tax cut proposal to voters in the key early-primary state of New Hampshire on Saturday, according to his campaign.
The campaign declined to reveal how much he would cut the corporate tax rate.
On average the U.S. rate is 39 percent, second-highest among industrialized countries behind Japan. The Giuliani campaign argues that if U.S. business is to compete globally a cut is necessary.
“We ought to make sure people keep working in this country and we have to be competitive so that companies are succeeding,” Paul Cellucci, a former Massachusetts governor who is currently a senior adviser to Giuliani, told Reuters.
The Bush administration has begun looking into possible cuts in the corporate tax rates, but expectations for action before President George W. Bush leaves the White House are low.
Cellucci also took a swipe at rising Republican presidential rival Mitt Romney, another former Massachusetts governor, noting that he did not cut taxes while he was in office.
“Rudy Giuliani isn’t just talking about cutting taxes, he’s done it,” Cellucci said, referring to his tenure as New York City mayor. “Mitt Romney was governor for four years, he held the line on spending but he did not cut one tax.”
Romney spokesman Kevin Madden defended his record.
“Governor Romney has an outstanding record of fiscal conservatism to match his plan for greater economic growth through lower taxes and spending controls that have been missing from Washington for far too long,” he said.
Giuliani’s campaign said he would also make permanent cuts to the current individual tax rates, which top out at 35 percent and are set to expire after 2010.
He would also make permanent a $1,000-per-child tax credit, and eliminate the inheritance tax, also called the “death tax,” an action conservative Republicans have sought for years.
Additionally, Giuliani plans to propose linking the alternative minimum tax to inflation. The AMT was originally intended to ensure wealthy Americans did not escape taxation by relying heavily on deductions, but it has increasingly ensnared members of the middle class.
Giuliani also will propose allowing families that buy their own health insurance to deduct up to $15,000 in an effort to make it more affordable as medical costs soar.