In The News: Economy

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Ryan Accused of Distortions by Obama’s Team, Fact Checkers

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Aug 31 2012

By Phil Mattingly and Heidi Przybyla, Bloomberg News

Facing a $650 million budget shortfall when he took office, Romney proposed an array of spending cuts and fees to close the gap. He ended about $375 million in tax breaks and added $375 million in fees used to balance the state budget --or $750 million in annual new revenue, according to the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, a nonprofit research group in Boston.

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Gaming, insurance votes highlight busy legislative session

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Aug 19 2012

By Chris Camire, The Lowell Sun

While some came away disappointed their pet projects did not cross the finish line, Michael Widmer, president of the business-backed Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, called the significance of the bills that did pass "enormous." "Overall I think it was one of the best sessions in 10 years," said Widmer. "And in terms of the budget, we continue to separate ourselves from our counterparts in states like New Jersey, California and Illinois in terms of how we handle our finances."
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Destination Overview: Boston convention center expansion generates controversy

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Aug 13 2012

By Jena Tesse Fox , International Meetings Review

Michael Widmer of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation told WGBH Boston that the city needs expanded convention capacity, but questioned whether it might be "better to invest in a convention center authority or to invest in the MBTA and public transportation, or improving our roads and bridges across the state?"
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Seven new hotels approved for Seaport District

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Aug 4 2012

By Katie Johnston, The Boston Globe

“With limited resources, we need to make a decision collectively about where those limited resources go,” Widmer said. “If we’re doing these kinds of authorizations in outside sections of the budget, greenlights on hotels, then it’s certainly time to be front and center on financing options so taxpayers get some idea of how they are going to pay for this.”
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New England employers in no hurry to hire

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Jul 19 2012

By Jon Chesto, The Patriot Ledger

“Caution is the watchword for fiscal 2013,” Widmer said. “We’re not seeing or are we likely to see any dramatic rebound. ... All the risks seem to be on the downside.”
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Curbing health care costs may cost state $40 million a year

Jul 7 2012

By Liz Kowalczyk, The Boston Globe

Michael Widmer, president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, agreed that an invest­ment is necessary and said $2o million to $40 million is reasonable.’ But given the broad powers of the new agency the House wants to create, he believes the cost will end up ­being higher.
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Obama’s ad on Romney’s fee-hike ‘mosaic’

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Jun 27 2012

By Josh Hicks, The Washington Post

The Democratic National Committee and the independent Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation have concluded that Romney’s loophole closures and fee hikes added up to $750 million per year by the time he left office.

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Barack Obama ad says Mitt Romney was No. 1 in state debt as Mass. governor

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Jun 12 2012

Tampa Bay Times / PolitiFact

"Massachusetts has had a high debt burden for decades, so governors are hamstrung to make any meaningful change in that picture in one or even two terms," said Michael J. Widmer, president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, an independent group that analyzes budget and tax issues in Massachusetts
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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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