In The News: Economy

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Fact check: Gingrich's attacks on Romney

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Jan 12 2012

By Lori Robertson and Robert Farley, Factcheck.org / USA Today

At one Republican debate in 2008, Romney said the fees needed to be adjusted for inflation and to cover the cost of services, but Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation President Michael Widmer told us then that the increase "wasn't tied to any analysis of the cost of delivering those services" and the group characterized those fees as "far in excess of any reasonable measure of the cost of services."
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Gingrich blasts Romney for ‘gun tax’ hike in Mass.

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Jan 11 2012

By Michael Levenson, The Boston Globe

All told, Romney raised fees by about $375 million and closed tax loopholes that raised another $375 million in revenue, according to Michael J. Widmer, president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, a nonpartisan, business-backed budget watchdog group.
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Romney Talks Economy, Opponents’ Mass.-Bashing, Time As Governor

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Jan 7 2012

By Karen Anderson, WBZ TV

The Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation confirms when Romney was Governor, the state was 47 of 50 in terms of job creation. Romney credits already-strong employment for that statistic.

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Beware of Mitt, say Bay State conservatives

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Dec 31 2011

By Edward Mason and Tom Mashberg, Salon

“Did he make government smaller and simpler – no, it looked very much like what it did four years earlier,” said Michael Widmer, president of the nonpartisan Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation. “There was very little reform to show for his four years.”

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On Beacon Hill, committees secretly do much of work

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Dec 25 2011

By Lester Black and Andrea Aldana, MetroWest Daily News

“I would say this was one of the most impressive sessions over the past 30 years in terms of legislation passed,” said Michael Widmer, president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Association.
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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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