In The News: Budget

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Unproven Jobs Claim in Pro-Romney Ad

Dec 9 2011

By Robert Farley, Factcheck.org / AM 950 Radio

Romney closed that $1.2 billion gap and passed a balanced budget. But as we noted in 2007, his oft-touted cuts in wasteful programs and duplicate agencies made only a small dent, saving about $10.5 million dollars, according to an estimate by the independent, nonpartisan Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation. More significant was the $277 million that Romney cut from the state’s local education aid budget and the $130 million cut from higher education, moves that shifted at least part of the tax burden onto towns and counties.
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Towns rely on property taxes for cash

Dec 7 2011

By Christine Lee, WWLP

“Long term, this is a problem because if you put more and more of the cost on property taxpayers that obviously is very difficult for families and individuals who are feeling their own fiscal pressures to say the least,” said Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation president Michael Widmer.
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Municipal budgets most stressed since ’80, report says

Dec 7 2011

By Brian MacQuarrie, The Boston Globe

“The numbers demonstrate just how difficult this recession and fiscal crisis have been for cities and towns,’’ said Michael J. Widmer, president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation. “Their revenues have been virtually flat, while their costs have grown, which has meant cuts in schools, public safety, and other basic services for most cities and towns.’’
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Mitt Romney and reorganizing government

Nov 4 2011

By Ed O'Keffe, The Washington Post

But Mike Widmer, head of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, a nonpartisan public policy organization devoted to Bay State fiscal policy, said Romney’s reforms were just modest, top-level attempts to fix things. “Reforms are tough,” he added. “If one’s really trying to save money and change how government delivers services, they’re really tough. If one is trying to move around agencies at the top level, one can do that pretty straightforwardly, but there isn’t too much to show for it in terms of savings or better delivery of services.”
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Fact Checker biography: Romney’s fiscal policies as governor

Oct 31 2011

By Josh Hicks, The Washington Post

Romney also raised new revenue with more than just fee hikes. He closed 22 tax loopholes worth between $850 million and $1.2 billion, according to the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, an independent watchdog group. A recent New York Times article reported an even higher estimate of $1.5 billion in loophole closures.
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State's income tax could decrease

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Sep 15 2011

By Katie Lannan, The Lowell Sun

"What this means is, the state will lose over $100 million a year and therefore have to cut services and programs, and those who use those programs will be hurt," said Andrew Bagley, director of research and public affairs for the business-backed Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation. "On the other hand, taxpayers will have an extra $100 million in a down economy in order to pay for their needs."
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Patrick proposes rainy day fund deposit

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Aug 27 2011

By Noah Bierman, The Boston Globe

Widmer said the decision to deposit most of the surplus into the emergency fund “reflects the positive way that the governor and Legislature have handled our fiscal crisis.’’
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Brown’s account lacks accounting

Aug 17 2011

By Scot Lehigh, The Boston Globe

In fact, in 2002, the Legislature passed a revenue package worth about $1.1 billon - tax increases that took effect on Jan. 1, 2003. That was part of a balanced approach that saw the state reduce spending, raise taxes, and tap rainy day reserves, notes Michael Widmer, president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation.
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Romney didn’t wreck his state’s economy. But he didn’t save it, either.

Aug 12 2011

By Suzy Khimm, The Washington Post

Ultimately, “Massachusetts suffered a worse recession than just about any other state,” says Michael Widmer, president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, a nonpartisan think-tank.
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What The Debt Ceiling Deal Means For Massachusetts

Aug 7 2011

By Jon Keller, CBS Boston

“I’m concerned. I think we’re seeing the beginning of a lengthy period, how long we don’t know, in which government at the federal, state and local levels are going to have to re-trench,” said Michael Widmer of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation.
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