In The News: Economy

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Campaign turns to the economy

Jun 4 2012

NorthJersey.com, The Record

Job creation in the Bay State ranked among the bottom in the nation under Romney; and for his first budget, in 2004, Romney raised $750 million in new revenue — about half from corporate tax increases and half in fee increases, according to the nonpartisan Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation.

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David Axelrod repeats claim that Massachusetts under Mitt Romney ranked 47th in job growth

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Jun 3 2012

PolitiFact.com/Tampa Bay Times

Michael Widmer, president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, an independent group that analyzes fiscal trends in the state, warned us when we first looked at Axelrod’s 47th-in-the-nation claim in June 2011 not to put too much stock in any governor's influence over their state's rate of job growth. The ability for governors to manage the state economy is vastly overrated, Widmer said.

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Economy big concern for Democrats

Jun 3 2012

By Clarence Fanto, The Berkshire Eagle

Nevertheless, Massachusetts unemployment declined from just under 6 percent at the beginning of Romney’s term to 4.7 percent when he left, and his backers claim he narrowed a $2 billion budget gap without raising taxes. But we all remember how he raised a wide variety of fees as well as closing business-tax loopholes in order to boost revenue by $750 million, according to the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation.

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The perils of health care price controls

May 31 2012

By Steven Syre, The Boston Globe

“The market is driving dramatic change,” Widmer says. “What I’ve been warning against is a heavily prescriptive approach to health cost control, which would undercut the progress that has been made.”

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Was Mitt Romney a Good Governor?

May 31 2012

By Molly Ball, The Atlantic

As Michael Widmer, president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, told Politifact, "Jobs grew, but they grew at an anemic rate compared to the rest of the country."

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House revises health care bill; plan cuts growth in spending

May 31 2012

By Liz Kowalczyk, The Boston Globe

But Michael Widmer, president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, criticized the spending benchmark and said the revised bill still gives the new authority too much power to interfere with finances of providers and insurers.

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President Obama’s camp targeting Mitt Romney’s Mass. record

May 31 2012

By Matt Viser, The Boston Globe

Some in the business community also complained that Romney never fulfilled a promise to be the state’s chief cheerleader, instead using the Bay State as a punch line as he began laying the groundwork for his 2008 presidential campaign. “He campaigned in 2002 that he was going to be the ambassador for Massachusetts, that as a CEO at the highest levels of the private sector he could open doors and bring business to Massachusetts,’’ said Michael Widmer, president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation.

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Obama Campaign Mounts New Assault on Romney’s Record as Massachusetts Governor

May 30 2012

By Jake Tapper, ABC News

But as Factcheck.org notes, the “Massachusetts Department of Administration and Finance says that fee increases during Romney’s tenure added up to $260 million per year, with another $174 million raised from closing some corporate tax ‘loopholes.’ The independent Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation puts the revenue total of fee hikes and tax loophole-closings at between $740 and $750 million a year.”

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Health Cost Issue Divides Former Allies in Mass.

May 29 2012

By Chelsea Conaboy, The Boston Globe

Associated Industries of Massachusetts, a business trade group, has called for tighter controls on spending than the House or Senate has proposed. Its regular allies - including the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, a research organization for employers - warn against over-regulation.

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Up to 5 percent of municipal employees make $100,000 or more

May 27 2012

The Boston Globe

Yet it is useful for taxpayers to keep an eye on high public salaries, said Carolyn Ryan, policy analyst at the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation. “It is always good to look at salary information in detail, because the bulk of local government money — two-thirds to three-quarters of spending — is driven by personnel costs for police, fire, education,” Ryan said.

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