Mitt Romney: Champion of Big Government

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Is Mitt Romney
the “economic conservative” he claims to be? Especially when it
comes to tax and spend policies?

Now that he’s
running for president, let’s compare his words with his deeds.

Taxes

Romney claims
to be anti-tax. He even “took” a “no new taxes” pledge when he ran
for Governor of Massachusetts in 2002. “Took” is in quotes because
he refused to sign that pledge. His signature wasn’t necessary,
he claimed. He assured us that he’s a man of his word.

But Mitt Romney
has been a champion of new taxes.

Mitt Romney
proposed three new taxes while campaigning for governor:
a new tax on vehicles, a new tax on campaign donations, and a new
tax on building construction. They didn’t get much fanfare in the
media and were quickly forgotten.

Right before
the 2002 election, he ran millions of dollars in ads portraying
himself as a “no new taxes” governor. The media refused to set the
record straight.

But that was
only the beginning.

Each of the
four years Romney served as governor, he raised taxes – while
pretending he didn’t. He claims he only raised mandatory government
“fees.” But government mandatory fees are nothing but taxes, and
taxes are nothing but mandatory government fees. Romney’s new tax-fees
raised hundreds of millions of dollars in new tax revenue for the
state government every year.

He also increased
several taxes by “closing loopholes” to enable collection of a new
Internet sales tax and by passing legislation that enables local
governments to raise business property taxes. This, he claims, is
not raising taxes.

I suppose you
could say Romney merely enacted bills that force taxpayers to hand
over billions of dollars – which end up in the coffers of the
government.

Quacks like
a tax increase?

Romney now
boasts that he was the first presidential candidate to sign a “taxpayer
protection pledge,” in which he promised to oppose “any and all
efforts” to increase income taxes on people or businesses.

So he’ll call
his tax increases “government fees” or “closing loopholes” or something
else. But if Romney is president, the IRS will collect this money
from you, your family, your friends, and millions of Americans just
like you.

Government
Spending

Mitt Romney
claims to have cut the Massachusetts budget by “$2 billion.” Sometimes
he claims he cut it “$3 billion.” The media gives him free advertising
by parroting this myth repeatedly. They repeat it so often that
even some libertarians assume it must be true.

But these “cuts”
were merely budget games. Spending cuts in one area were simply
moved into another area of the budget.

In fact, not
only did Mitt Romney refuse to cut the overall Massachusetts budget,
he expanded it. Dramatically.

The Massachusetts
state budget was $22.7 billion a year when he took office in January
of 2003.

When he left
office four years later, it was over $25.7 billion – plus
another $2.2 billion in spending that the legislature took “off
budget.” (Romney never reminds us of this fact.)

The net effect
of budgets proposed and signed into law by Mitt Romney? An additional
$5.2 billion in state spending – and a similar increase
in new taxes. Every year.

He claims to
have done a good job as governor of liberal Massachusetts in light
of the fact that it’s a “tough state” for poor “conservatives” like
him. He infers his hands were tied by the predominantly Democratic
legislature.

But when it
comes to tax and spend policies, he’s not only in lockstep with
the Democrats. He leads the way.

Each of the
four years Romney served as governor, he started budget negotiations
by proposing an increase of about $1 billion. Before the legislature
even named a budget figure.

Romney initiated
massive new spending – without any prodding.

The legislature
responded with a handful of line item budget increases. Romney agreed
to some of them and vetoed others. The media helped him out again
by making fanfare of his vetoes and portraying him as tough on spending –
after he had already given away the store!

The Romney-Kennedy
Alliance

But his grande
finale was the worst of all: RomneyCare, Mitt Romney’s version of
socialized medicine.

By his own
admission, he didn’t plan his socialized medicine scheme until after
the 2002 election.

During Romney's
governor campaign, he convinced voters that his Democrat rival would
be worse – because she would saddle us with socialist tax-and-spend
policies, he said.

But soon after
he was elected, Romney started the drumbeat for socialized medicine.
Three years later, he signed RomneyCare into law.

Voters of Massachusetts
did not vote for RomneyCare. Mitt Romney foisted the granddaddy
of Big Government expansions upon them without warning. He championed
it from the beginning. Again, without any prodding from his Democrat
rivals.

When Romney
ran for U.S. Senate in 1994, his campaign popularized the derogatory
term “Kennedy country” to describe the devastating effects of Ted
Kennedy’s “liberal social programs” on poor neighborhoods in Massachusetts.

Yet Mitt Romney
stood proudly with Kennedy while he signed RomneyCare into law.

Ted Kennedy
has pushed for socialized medicine for decades. Romney fulfilled
his dream. Kennedy lobbied the legislature hard to get Romney’s
bill passed. It was a Romney-Kennedy alliance.

Welcome to
Massachusetts: Romney-Kennedy country.

Romney’s socialized
medicine law mandates everyone who doesn’t have insurance to buy
it – or suffer income tax penalties. There’s yet another “off
budget” Mitt Romney tax increase.

Romney’s mandate
will cost individual taxpayers many thousands of dollars every year
in health insurance premiums for unwanted policies – or
force them to pay the equivalent in tax penalties.

The total cost
of RomneyCare in mandates and new spending? At least several billion
dollars every year — to start. It will rise from there, as socialized
medicine programs are wont to do.

Romney’s law
goes into full effect in 2009. Unless it’s repealed before then,
the loudest screams of protest from Massachusetts won’t be heard
until after the 2008 presidential election is over. Romney’s time-release
tax increase.

Romney's
Words Versus Romney's Deeds

Smart moms
tell their kids, "Believe none of what you hear and half of
what you see."

That advice
saved me a lot of heartache. And it will do the same for Republicans
who are leaning towards voting for Mitt Romney in the Republican
presidential primary.

Candidate Romney
campaigns for president with the words we're aching to hear. Words
we want to believe. Candidate Romney tells us that he is a:

  • "fiscal
    conservative"
  • "tax
    cutter"
  • "waste
    fighter"
  • "opponent
    of runaway spending"
  • "tough
    leader who vetoes new taxes and needless government spending"

Let's follow
Mom's advice: ignore candidate Romney's words. Look at elected Governor
Romney's deeds.

What does he
do when he's elected?

Mitt Romney
hits up taxpayers with a variety of new taxes — while pretending
he doesn't.

Mitt Romney
jacks up government spending as much as any Big Government Democrat
would.

Mitt Romney
champions massive Big Government Programs – that make Ted Kennedy
proud.

May 31, 2007

Carla
Howell [send
her mail
] sponsored the 2002 Massachusetts ballot initiative
to End the State Income Tax — which Mitt Romney opposed. Her initiative
nearly won with 45% of the vote. She is Co-Founder and President
of the Center
For Small Government
.

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