Mitt Romney said he wouldn’t raise taxes when he ran for governor of Massachusetts, but once in office he created or raised more than 1,000 taxes and fees. In all, taxes and fees increased by as much as $750 million per year—and the average citizen saw their state and local taxes increase by $1,227.
TRANSCRIPT OF THE PRESIDENT’S REMARKS
“Governor Romney’s been out here making a lot of last-minute promises lately. He said he’s all about fighting for the middle-class. He says he’d cut taxes for everybody and ask something from nobody.
“But the problem is, we’ve heard those promises before. You know, now, keep in mind, Gov. Romney lives just a few miles south of here, in the state of Massachusetts. I love Massachusetts. But during Gov. Romney’s campaign for Governor down there, he promised the same thing he’s promising now. He said he’d fight for jobs and middle-class families. But once he took office, he pushed through a tax cut that overwhelmingly benefited 278 of the wealthiest families in the state, and then he raised taxes and fees on middle-class families – to the tune of $750 million. Does that sound familiar to you?
“When he’s asked about this, he says, no these weren’t taxes, these were fees. But keep in mind, there were higher fees for barbers. Higher fees to become a nurse. There were higher fees for gas. There were higher fees for milk. There were higher fees for blind people who needed to get a certificate that they were blind. He raised fees to get a birth certificate – which would have been expensive for me. He raised fees for marriage certificates, and fees for funeral homes. So, there were literally cradle-to-grave tax hikes and fees.”
PBO: “He raised fees to get birth certificates, which would have been expensive for me.” *See how this works, Trump & Sununu?
Mitt Romney said: “WE RAISED FEES ON ALL SORTS OF THINGS IN MASSACHUSETTS.” Fees hadn’t been touched, in some cases, for decades, and we said, look, we’re going to raise the fees… we’re not going to raise the fees on things that are broad based like driver’s licenses and license plates because everybody gets hit with that. But on those things that are done by a minority of people and where the state provides a service, we did raise fees, yeah.”
ROMNEY RAISED TAXES BY $750 MILLION PER YEAR ON INDIVIDUALS AND BUSINESS
Romney says that as governor he guided the state out of a financial crisis by cutting spending despite opposition from Democratic lawmakers. A look at his record reveals a more complicated picture.
. The Legislature overrode most of Romney’s spending vetoes.
• State spending rose by 22% on Romney’s watch, nearly double the rate of inflation.
• Romney increased corporate taxes and state fees by $750 million a year, outstripping his tax cuts
“He balanced every budget without raising taxes.”
We mentioned in a previous column that Romney promised not to raise taxes during one of his 2002 gubernatorial debates. Here’s what he said:
“Let me make this very clear, I will not, in my budget next year, have any tax increases. I will fight taxes at every turn. The problem with increasing taxes is it puts a burden on working families. They can’t afford it . . . I will not sign a tax increase passed by the Legislature.”
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.
This is a matter of semantics, because Romney didn’t technically raise tax rates. But one thing should be perfectly clear: he didn’t balance the budget with tough cuts and greater government efficiency alone.
“To date, the President has supported 18 direct tax breaks that bolster small business growth. In September 2010, he signed the Small Business Jobs Act, which included eight new small business tax cuts that, among other forms of tax relief, extended accelerated bonus depreciation for two million businesses, making investment and growth more affordable; made investments in one million small firms eligible for zero capital gains taxes; and allowed two million self-employed Americans to deduct their health insurance costs when calculating their self-employment taxes.” Source
President Barack Obama campaigned in 2008 on tax cuts for most Americans and tax increases for the fortunate few. He has delivered on the breaks and, for the most part, been unable to follow through on attempts to raise taxes.
Obama turned his call for middle-income tax breaks into law within a month of taking office, incorporating a $400-a-person tax credit for workers into the 2009 stimulus law. In late 2010, with the economy still weak and Republicans gaining political clout, Obama agreed to an $858 billion tax cut that extended all of the George W. Bush-era tax cuts for two years.
IT’S A CHOICE, FOLKS:
Mitt Romney-Paul Ryan or President Barack Obama-Vice President Joe Biden