In The News: Economy

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Rick Perry says that as governor, Mitt Romney raised business taxes 20 percent in Massachusetts

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Dec 23 2011

By Gardner Selby, Austin American Statesman / PolitiFact

Andrew Bagley, a foundation spokesman, told us in an interview that Massachusetts businesses paid $377 million more in taxes in fiscal 2007, which included several months of Romney’s last year as governor, than the $1.6 billion they were averaging annually before the recession that socked the state as Romney was sworn in during fiscal 2003. The state’s fiscal year runs from July through June.
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Romney’s Jobs Record As Governor Is Up For Debate

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Dec 15 2011

By Deborah Becker, WBUR

“The administration rarely put together a comprehensive economic strategy,” said Mike Widmer, president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation. He says Romney’s policies on the environment and against human stem cell research made the state less able to compete against lower-cost areas of the country.

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As Governor, Romney Balanced Budget By Hiking Fees

Dec 14 2011

By Chris Arnold, NPR

Mike Widmer, president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, tells NPR that Romney raised state revenues more than he cut them. Widmer says most of those 19 tax cuts Romney talks about were pretty modest. Some were weekend sales tax holidays. "He raised corporate taxes. He also raised fees very dramatically in his first year," said Widmer.

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Some question value of Patrick's jobs-creation trips

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Dec 11 2011

By Chris Camire, The Lowell Sun

"I think it's a necessary and a good thing to do, but in limited doses -- maybe a couple a year," said Widmer. "I say that because I think there are intangible benefits to having Massachusetts visible in key foreign countries, especially given our economy. But at the same time, they never produce any dramatic impacts. The rhetoric around them tends to be greater than is realistic."
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Mitt has always plummeted in the polls

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Dec 9 2011

By Edward Mason and Tom Mashberg, Salon

Romney was hurt by a slow economic recovery — while the jobless rate fell, the state was 47thin the nation in job creation, according to the Center for Labor Market Studies. He also raised $375 million of business taxes, according to the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation.
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Business confidence up in Mass.

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Dec 7 2011

By Christine Lee, WWLP

“It's clearly small in measure, because there's an awareness that we have national and global problems like the European debt problems, which could send us back, U.S. and Massachusetts, back into another recession,” said Michael Widmer, President of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation.
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Unemployment is steady in most Mass. cities and towns

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Nov 30 2011

By David Riley, The Herald News

Such disparities existed long before the economic downturn, but they are worse now, said Michael Widmer, president of the business-backed Mass. Taxpayers Foundation. “In the wealthier suburbs, you tend to have professionals and (people with) higher education who are able to find jobs or maintain jobs even in difficult economic times,” he said. “These elder cities have always had higher unemployment rates and suffered and struggled to create jobs.”
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Home values in Mass. fall 3.2%

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Nov 21 2011

By Matt Carroll, The Boston Globe

“The high cost of housing has always been an economic obstacle for recruiting people to the area,’’ noted Widmer. The relatively small growth in average taxes, Widmer said, reflects few tax overrides being passed by town residents. “That is a marginally good development,’’ he said.
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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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A have and have-not world

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Nov 3 2011

By Bruce Mohl, Commonwealth Magazine

Michael Widmer, president of the Massachusetts Tax­payers Foundation, which represents business interests on Beacon Hill, doesn’t support a progressive income tax in Massachusetts, but he does agree with Kaufman that income inequality is a growing problem, not just in Massa­chusetts but across the nation. “What it really raises is whether the middle class is disappearing, and I think it is,” Widmer says.
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