In The News: Economy

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Obama campaign targets Romney's record as governor

May 25 2012

By Jeff Mason and Laura MacInnis, Reuters

Romney often says he balanced the state’s budget without raising taxes, but does not mention that he raised about $750 million in revenue each year by closing tax loopholes and raising fees, according to the nonpartisan Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation.

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Tweet-err: The Obama team’s faulty debt comparison

May 23 2012

By Josh Hicks, The Washington Post

We consulted the non-partisan Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation to gauge Romney’s handling of state debt as governor. “I didn’t get the sense that he attacked the problem or that he exacerbated it,” said Michael Widmer, the group’s president. “The increases weren’t dramatic compared to state finances, but, nonetheless, debt did increase.”

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Mitt Romney said he "actually cut" spending as Massachusetts governor

May 22 2012

By PolitiFact.com, Tampa Bay Times

Romney made a point of contrasting the fiscal record of President Barack Obama with his own record as governor of Massachusetts. We wondered whether that accurately reflected Romney’s fiscal record in the Bay State. ... We turned to the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, an independent group that studies fiscal policy in the state. They provided us with the figures for total state spending.

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Mass. plans vie for savings on health care

May 9 2012

By Liz Kowalczyk, The Boston Globe

Michael Widmer, president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, said the ... Senate’s spending benchmark “strikes a better balance than the House between the need to squeeze cost out of the health care system without damaging the state’s world renowned health care sector.’’

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Our View: Health care reform - Good intentions, but approach is suspect

May 8 2012

The Salem News

Early last year, a group of business-affiliated organizations, including the North Shore Chamber of Commerce, the Retailers Association of Massachusetts and the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, came out in opposition to the bill. They noted that allowing ambulance companies to charge insurance companies directly for the services they provide actually serves as a disincentive for them to participate in the health care networks that many, including Democratic leaders, say are critical to reducing costs.

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Unfunded retirement benefits a 'time bomb' set to explode for Lowell-area communities

May 7 2012

By Evan Lips, The Lowell Sun

According to a Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation study released in February 2011, Billerica ranks 36th statewide in total pension and post-employment benefits, or OPEB, provided to employees, adding up to $307.34 million. Reached last week, MTF President Michael Widmer said the totals are likely higher since towns only have to gather the information once every two years.

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Romney Used Fees to Close Budget Gap

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May 2 2012

By Andrew Miga, AP / US News and World Report

"It was a grab bag of fee increases across the board to close the budget deficit," said Michael Widmer, president of the nonpartisan Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, a business-backed fiscal watchdog group.

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Mitt Romney's vice president search expected to be careful, methodical

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Apr 25 2012

By David Lightman, Fresno Bee / McClatchy Newspapers

“He will be methodical, and likely have a structured process where he tries to examine the pluses and minuses of a group of candidates,” said Michael Widmer, the president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, a nonpartisan public-policy organization. “He’ll depend on a small group of advisers; his whole career is having a small group around him. That’s his comfort level.”
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How Mitt Romney wielded power as Massachusetts' governor

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Mar 28 2012

By Lesley Clark, The Bellingham Herald / McClatchy Newspapers

"It was done the way you'd do it if you were deciding what to invest in," said Michael Widmer, a veteran statehouse watcher with 40 years at the Massachusetts Taxpayer Foundation. "The actual input from the education community, from the stakeholders, was minuscule, if any. It went nowhere."
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Patrick’s job growth claims incorrect

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Mar 22 2012

By Noah Bierman, The Boston Globe

Even one of the experts cited by the Patrick administration on Wednesday to back up the governor’s jobs claims says the old numbers can no longer be relied upon. “Those data are no longer relevant and that comparison would have to be updated,” said Andy Bagley, director of research and public affairs for the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation.
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