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It is no secret that Rudy Giuliani is relying heavily on his record as the former mayor of the United States's largest city on the campaign trail: he has cut crime, cut spending, cut red tape, increased economic growth through the magic of supply-side economics, etc. What is shameful is that many of the numbers he has been touting are greatly exaggerated.

Giuliani, for instance, is fond of taking credit for the decrease in crime in New York City under his administration, but statistics from the U.S. Department of Justice indicate that the violent crime rate peaked in 1990 -- and Giuliani was not sworn into office until four years later. In a recent radio ad attempting to prove that the American health care system is superior to government-run "socialized medicine," he compares U.S. and British prostate cancer survival rates (82 and 44 percent, respectively). The source of the data used to create this statistic, however, says that the numbers were misused: the actual five-year survival rate in Britain is much higher (74 percent). Giuliani's claim to have generated a multibillion-dollar surplus by the end of his mayoral career is also false. In the final fiscal year of his administration, government expenditures exceeded revenues, and the surplus was almost entirely used up in balancing the budget.

I suppose, then, that if your accomplishments aren't good enough, you can always make them up.