In The News: FY Pre-2008

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President Obama Hits Mitt Romney for ‘Cradle to Grave Tax Hikes, Fees’

Oct 29 2012

ABC News / All News 106.7

The Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation estimated that new fees and loophole closures raised $750 million per year between 2003 and 2007. Romney did not approve any formal tax increases, contrary to Obama’s suggestion, though his critics argue there is little difference between fee hikes and taxes.
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Was Mitt Romney a bipartisan governor?

Oct 14 2012

By Rick Holmes, GateHouse News Service

Romney “put on the table in his inaugural address, and then in his budget, a series of proposed reforms like civil service reform, pension reform — going right to the heart of the lion’s den,” Michael Widmer, president of the nonpartisan Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, told The New York Times last week. But with the exception of health care, “he never followed up. There was a handful of successes, but there was never a full-blown or focused program in the sense of saying, ‘Here’s our vision.’ ”
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Romney indirectly aided PBS as governor

Oct 6 2012

By Todd Wallack, The Boston Globe

But Michael Widmer, president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation and a critic of the film tax credits, said the state wasn’t exactly swimming in extra cash. He noted that Romney made $425 million in emergency budget cuts in November 2006, a year after enacting the film tax credit program. “The point that Romney is making is that public television needs to be cut in order to help balance the budget is similar to the dynamic at the state level,” Widmer said. “Their own actions show that we didn’t have the resources to do this without cutting spending elsewhere.”
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As governor, Romney faced similar economic situation as Obama -- with similar results

Sep 5 2012

By Michael Rezendes and Megan Woolhouse , The Boston Globe

“In broad strokes, he did pretty much what every other governor has done -- he raised revenues and cut spending,” Widmer said. “It’s probably the right thing to do, to have a balanced approach.”
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Mitt Romney’s Bay State record tells complex tale

Jul 15 2012

By Aaron Sharockman, Tampa Bay Times / Politico

“The rhetoric, which is so similar to what we hear today, was all about finding efficiencies and waste and cutting spending,” said Michael Widmer, president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation. “But it’s not what he did here or any governor could have done.”
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Patrick budget chief revisits Romney years in Chamber speech

Jun 27 2012

By Matt Murphy, State House News Service / The Boston Herald

In April 2006, Romney spoke out against the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation recommendation to lift the state’s bond cap from $1.25 billion to $1.5 million to expedite public works and economic development projects. In fiscal 2012 under Patrick, the state’s bond cap was $1.75 billion
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Stretching on Romney’s Fees

Jun 22 2012

By Robert Farley and Nathan Emmons, FactCheck.Org

Michael Widmer of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation told us some of the fees were more broad-based than Romney let on — such as a fee on deeds for real estate transactions (the largest revenue producer). That fee hike hit anyone buying or selling real estate in a given year, but it didn’t hit “everyone.”
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Mitt Romney’s Massachusetts record: Proof of ‘strong leadership’?

Jun 12 2012

By Josh Hicks, The Fact Checker/The Washington Post

True to his word, Romney didn’t approve any general hikes in tax rates, but he did increase fees and close tax loopholes, both of which brought in additional revenue. The Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation estimated that the former governor raised an extra $750 million per year through fees and loophole closures.

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Romney’s initiatives: Miracles or gimmickry?

Jun 10 2012

By Seth McLaughlin, The Washington Times

“His characterization on the campaign trail that he was able to balance the budget, and close the deficit through better management and reforms, that is simply not backed up by the facts,” said Michael J. Widmer, president of the nonpartisan Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, which regularly challenged aspects of Mr. Romney’s spending plans. “My overall comment about his approach, when you look at the substance of it, is that he [closed the budget gaps] the same way that governors forever have done it when they are facing fiscal crises, and that is to identify new sources of revenue and places to cut.”

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Romney touts his Massachusetts record as fiscal hawk

Jun 9 2012

By Michael Finnegan, The Los Angeles Times

But Michael J. Widmer, president of the nonpartisan Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, said Romney was presenting "a decidedly incomplete and one-sided picture of what actually happened."

"There's a big gap," he said, "between the record and the rhetoric."

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