Bill Weld on Tax Reform
Former Republican Governor; former Senate candidate (MA)
JOHNSON: Imagine life in this country without the IRS. Greatly simplified. The more money you make, the more things you consume.
WELD: You know, I don't think you have to go so far as to abolishing the IRS. I think if you give the people the sense that taxes are only going to go down--they may not go down a lot, but they're not going to go up. And that's something both Gary and I did. He cut taxes 14 times, never raised them. I cut taxes 21 times, never raised them. The result was, in my case that when I took office, it was a recession, 1991. We had the highest unemployment rate of all 11 industrialized states. At the end of my first term, we had the lowest because businesses have the confidence to build that plant next door. So, you know, in terms of industrial policy, in my case, biotech, telecom, software: We grew those industries in Massachusetts by paying attention to them. And the same could happen at the federal level.
Kerry disputed Weld's claims and said Democrats were "the ones that created 10 million jobs." Kerry said, "The tax cuts [Weld] proposed went to business or the wealthy."
Weld urged voters to look at the overall records of each candidate. "I've cut taxes for six years in a row," said Weld. "I'm 6-for-6. [Kerry is] 0-for-12."
Kerry painted a markedly different picture of Weld's tax policy, saying his opponent has helped mostly large businesses and the rich. "Republican tax cuts go to wealthy people," Kerry said. "I want you to get the tax cuts."
He was scathing in his indictment of the Democrats who ran the State Senate and House of Representatives. "The Legislature," he said, "has proven itself incapable of restructuring state government."
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