Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Mitt Romney Fiscally Conservative???

If you believe everything that FOXNEWS, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, Charles Krauthammer, Fred Barnes, Bill O'Reilly, Karl Rove, President Bush, and other "Conservatives" are saying, then yes, Mitt Romney is the Economic King. Mitt Romney has the most and best experience when it comes to the Economy. Are all of these people really that naive or do they have an agenda?

Let's take a look at some of Mitt Romney's accomplishments from his 4 years as Governor. Considering that is the only example of his economic experience as it relates to government. We will cover some of his business economics at another time.

Massachusetts' economy, during Mitt Romney's tenure, ranked 3rd lowest in the country in regards to payroll employment. It would have ranked 2nd lowest had Louisiana not been battered by Hurricane Katrina. Manufacturing payrolls actually fell by 14 percent under Romney compared to only 7 percent nationally. Massachusetts was the only state to have failed to post any gain in its pool of employed residents.

Between July 2002 and July 2006, the US Census Bureau estimated that 222,000 more residents left Massachusetts for other states than went there to live. Only Louisiana saw more residents leave it's borders, and I think most would agree that those folks had little choice in the matter thanks to Hurricane Katrina.

Overall, Massachusetts' growth rose by 9 percent while the rest of the nation rose by 13 percent. This resulted in a ranking of 14th lowest in the nation. Between 2002 and 2006, the median real (inflation adjusted) weekly earnings of full-time wage and salary workers in Massachusetts is estimated to have fallen by $10 or nearly 2 percent. The real income of the average (median) family in Massachusetts in 2005 was 1 percent below its value at the time of the 2000 Census while median household income was 3 percent below its 2000 value.

There is one category, however, in which Massachusetts ranked highest. That was the cost of housing prices. While the rest of the nation saw an increase of 40 percent, Massachusetts saw an increase of nearly 95 percent. So people were making less money but housing costs went up. No wonder so many people left the state during Romney's tenure.

Romney claims to have balanced the budget in Massachusetts by eliminating duplicate agencies and other wasteful programs when in fact, he raised "FEES" and closed tax loopholes on businesses. He quadrupled the fee on gun owners registration from $25 to $100. The blind had to pay an additional $25 fee for certification and identification. The mentally retarded had to pay higher fees. Romney proposed fee hikes on people taking tests for tuberculosis. And if they unfortunately tested postive, they would have had to pay an additional $400 fee. Luckily, this particular fee was rejected. All in all, it is estimated that Romney raised "FEES" by approximately $501 million in his FIRST year as Governor. So how much did he really save by eliminating duplicate agencies and other wasteful programs? As it turns out, a whopping $10.5 million. What is that, like 2% of the $501 million in "FEES"? That isn't just fudging words, that is blatant dishonesty. No wonder they nicknamed him "Fee Fee".

Outside of the "FEES", how else did Romney manage to balance the budget? Well, he cut $277 million from the state's local education aid budget. He also cut another $130 million from higher education which pushed added cost down to the local towns and counties which in turn resulted in what? You guessed it, higher taxes but at least it wasn't Romney's doing, now was it?

Let's talk pork for second, shall we? Romney, his surrogates, and other supporters are constantly touting Romney's leadership during the Salt Lake City Olympics. Sure, there was a ton of corruption and overall bad leadership until he took over. But what exactly did he do to make it a success? He lobbied Congress for federal funding, taxpayer dollars. He ended up getting a total of $342 million taxpayer dollars which went directly in support of the games. What most people don't realize is that an additional $1.3 billion was spent in and around Salt Lake City to improve infrastructure which hosting the games made necessary. This has to rank way up the list of most outrageous pork barrel spending projects funded by American tax dollars.

Last but not least, RomneyCare. The Wall Street Journal ran an op-ed, which claimed that, under RomneyCare, "the state is forcing people to buy insurance many will need subsidies to afford, which is a recipe for higher taxes and more government intervention down the road." It went on to add, in addition to making health insurance mandatory (taking away tax deductions for those who don't buy insurance), the legislation Gov. Romney signed expands the state's Medicaid rolls, levies a $295 per-employee "fee" on businesses that don't offer health insurance, and sets up a government board to approve new health plans. Romneycare generated a cost overrun $151 million before it was even implemented. I can't wait to see just how much this monster ends up costing Massachusetts this year. And you know who will pay for it, that's right, taxpayers.

This list could go on and on but I am tired of typing. The bottom line is this, Mitt Romney is no Fiscal Conservative.


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