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News Saturday, Jan 1 2011

Mitt Romney On The Federal Budget

Romney Said That When Government Is “Bailing Out Banks” That “We Have Every Good Reason To Be Alarmed And To Speak Our Mind!” Romney said at the Values Voter Summit, “There’s something else that should concern us when the federal government expands at such a rate. When government is trying to take over health care, buying car companies, bailing out banks, and giving half the White House staff the title of czar – we have every good reason to be alarmed and to speak our mind!” [Romney Values Voter Summit Speech, 9/19/09]

News Saturday, Jan 1 2011

Dean Heller On Mortgage Reforms

Heller Voted to Terminate the Home Affordable Modification Program. On March 29, 2011, Heller voted to terminate the Home Affordable Modification Program meant to prevent mortgage foreclosures. According to the Los Angeles Times, “The House voted 252 to 170 to end the Obama administration’s main mortgage foreclosure prevention program, saying the much-criticized initiative has been ineffective and given false hope to hundreds of thousands of homeowners who ultimately lost their homes anyway. The vote […] follows votes this month […] to end three smaller federal programs designed to help homeowners and communities deal with the foreclosure crisis. […] HAMP is the centerpiece of the Obama administration’s efforts to keep struggling homeowners in their houses but has drawn bipartisan criticism for failing to meet its objectives. It was launched with great fanfare in early 2009 with the goal of helping 3 million to 4 million homeowners avoid foreclosure through 2012 by providing cash incentives for lenders to reduce monthly payments. Funded with as much as $30 billion from the $700-billion Troubled Asset Relief Program, HAMP has permanently lowered payments for about 540,000 homeowners through January.” [Roll Call 198, H 839, 03/29/2011; Los Angeles Times, 03/30/11]

170,000 Nevadan Homeowners Are Underwater On Their Mortgages. “The financial firm First American CoreLogic reports that 170,000 mortgage holders in Nevada owe more than 25 percent above their home’s value. In a state with a jobless rate now higher than 10 percent, bankruptcy may be the option of last resort for those cases, experts have said.” [Las Vegas Sun, 5/3/09]

Heller Has Taken Over $358,000 From Real Estate Interests. According to the non-partisan Center For Responsive Politics, Senator Dean Heller has taken at least $358,450,098 in federal campaign contributions from real estate interests throughout his career. [Opensecrets.org accessed 6/24/2011]

News Saturday, Jan 1 2011

Mitt Romney's Record With The Massachusetts Budget

During Romney’s Tenure As Governor Massachusetts’ Economic Performance Was “One Of The Worst In The Country” On “All Key Labor Market Measures.” “As Mitt Romney pursues his bid for the presidency, his record as Massachusetts governor will come under scrutiny, including how the state’s economy performed during his administration. Our analysis reveals a weak comparative economic performance of the state over the Romney years, one of the worst in the country. On all key labor market measures, the state not only lagged behind the country as a whole, but often ranked at or near the bottom of the state distribution.” [Boston Globe, 7/29/07]

News Saturday, Jan 1 2011

Mitt Romney On Defense And Homeland Security

Mitt Romney Wrote That One Of The Agendas For A Free And Strong America Was To “Add At Least 100,000 Troops To Our Ground Forces…” In his book “No Apology” Mitt Romney wrote that one of the agendas for a free and strong America was to “Add at least 100,000 troops to our ground forces; provide top quality care and benefits to our veterans.” [“No Apology” 2011 Pg. 320]

News Energy Taxes Saturday, Jan 1 2011

Dean Heller On Tax Breaks For Oil Companies

Heller Voted To Keep Oil And Gas Subsidies While Not Voting To Renew Renewable Energy Loan Guarantee Program. Heller voted to keep billions in tax breaks for oil and gas while voting against the renewable energy loan guarantee program that funded projects such as the Crescent Dunes plant in Tonopah, NV. Ian Rogoff, the executive chairman of Heliopower, an integrated energy develop company, commented that the federal government favored oil and gas companies over renewable energy, “Oil and gas tax benefits have been renewed, which means government support for those industries has been renewed ... for the most part, these incentives [such as loan guarantees] are just in place to allow these new technologies and new industries to compete effectively, and compete against incumbents.” [Las Vegas Sun, 5/25/11; Las Vegas Review-Journal, 6/25/11, Las Vegas Sun, 5/20/11] Heller Voted to Protect Oil Company Tax Breaks Over Middle Class. In 2008, Heller voted to kill a one-year adjustment for the Alternative Minimum Tax with instructions that it be reported back promptly with language that would eliminate tax increases providing offsets in the bill, and provide that deductions in mileage rates for vehicles used for charitable purposes are treated the same as medical travel and moving rates. Democrats put revenue-raising offsets into the bill, arguing that the $62 billion in revenue that would be lost through the patch must be made up. The revenue increases targeted private-equity managers, the oil and gas industry, certain foreign-owned corporations and merchants who underreport their income. Republicans contended that offsets were unnecessary because the patch would simply maintain the tax status quo. They also said a temporary tax reprieve should not require permanent revenue increases and argued that the budget deficit should be closed by spending cuts, not revenue increases. Rep. McCrery, the ranking member of the Ways and Means Committee, offered the motion to recommit that would have removed the offsets and increased the tax deduction for miles driven for charitable purposes. McCrery warned about the proposal’s economic effects, saying “that change in our tax code would discourage, at the margin, that capital from coming to this country, being invested in this country and creating jobs in this country,” he said. The motion failed, 199-222. [Vote #454, 6/25/2008; CQ Today, 6/25/08]

News Taxes Saturday, Jan 1 2011

Mitt Romney On Taxes

In September, 2011 Mitt Romney Said He Would Keep The Bush Tax Cuts In Place. The Washington Post reported that “Romney said he would keep the Bush-era income tax cuts unchanged.” [The Washington Post, 9/6/11] CBO: One-Third of The Bush Tax Cuts Went To People With the Top 1% of Income, Who Earn On Average $1.2 Million. “Fully one-third of President Bush’s tax cuts in the last three years have gone to people with the top 1 percent of income, who have earned an average of $1.2 million annually, according to a report by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office to be published Friday… The new estimates confirm what independent tax analysts have long said: that Mr. Bush’s tax cuts have been heavily skewed to the very wealthiest taxpayers.” [Washington Post, 8/13/04]

News Saturday, Jan 1 2011

Dean Heller On Wall Street Reform

Dean Heller Voted To Weaken Financial Derivatives Regulations. Dean Heller voted for a motion to recommit the Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform bill that would instruct conferees to insist on Senate language to expand the exemption for commercial businesses using financial derivatives to hedge their business risks from the margin requirements in the bill. The motion to recommit also would instruct conferees to insist on House language to give the GAO other expanded audit authority over the Federal Reserve, including the ability to monitor some of its most sensitive monetary policy deliberations. The original legislation authorized a one-time audit of the Fed’s emergency lending during the financial crisis. [Vote #412, 6/30/2010] Heller Voted Against Regulating Wall Street After Financial Crisis. On June 30, 2010, Heller voted against the conference report of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. In an attempt to avoid a future financial crisis, the bill would establish a procedure for dissolving financial institutions that pose systematic risk to the economy, create a Consumer Financial Protection Agency, establish a national standard for mortgages, and authorize $4 billion of Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) funds for housing relief. It also creates a clearinghouse for the previously unregulated financial derivatives market, requires registration of all credit rating firms, and creates a registry of private capital investment advisers. [Vote #413, 6/30/2010] Dean Heller Started His Career As A Stock Broker. According to CQ, “At the University of Southern California, Heller studied business administration, specializing in finance and securities analysis. He put himself through college by working on the Pacific Stock Exchange. After graduation, he worked as a stockbroker and trader in Los Angeles.” [CQ Member Profiles, 5/9/2011]

News Saturday, Jan 1 2011

Mitt Romney On Immigration

2008 Romney: 12 Million Undocumented Immigrants Should Not Be Allowed to Stay Permanently. At the ABC GOP Debate on January 5, 2008, Romney said: “I disagree fundamentally that the 12 million people who come here illegally, should be allowed to stay here permanently. I think that is a form of amnesty and that it’s not appropriate.” [NH ABC Debate, 1/5/08] 2006: Romney Supported Immigration Reform, Saying “I Don’t Believe In Rounding Up 11 Million People And Forcing Them At Gunpoint From Our Country.” “Romney expressed support for an immigration program that places large numbers of illegal residents on the path toward citizenship, but criticized any form of “amnesty.” Romney said, ‘I don’t believe in amnesty.’ But at the same time, Romney said illegal immigrants should have a chance to obtain citizenship. ‘I don’t believe in rounding up 11 million people and forcing them at gunpoint from our country,’ Romney said. ‘With these 11 million people, let’s have them registered, know who they are. Those who’ve been arrested or convicted of crimes shouldn’t be here; those that are here paying taxes and not taking government benefits should begin a process towards application for citizenship, as they would from their home country.’” [Lowell Sun, 3/30/06]

News Health Care Saturday, Jan 1 2011

Mitt Romney's Health Care Plan: The Foundation Of Obama's Plan

Club For Growth: Romney’s Health Care Plan And “ObamaCare” Are Similar In Three Significant Ways: Mandate, Health Exchanges And Low-Income Subsidies. According to the Club for Growth, Romney’s health care plan and Obama’s health care law “are similar in at least three significant ways.” Club for Growth wrote, “Both have an individual mandate that requires people to purchase a private good – in this case, health insurance – and levies a financial penalty against those who don’t. Both implement a new government bureaucracy called an “exchange” through which all insurance policies are approved, sold, and heavily regulated. Both have sizeable subsidies for low-income people to purchase the mandated coverage.” [Club for Growth, 2012 Presidential White Paper #5, 6/7/11] National Review Editorial: Romney’s Signature Health Care Legislation Looks Like A Pilot Program For Obamacare. In an editorial for the National Review, contributor Mark Steyn wrote, “Unfortunately for [Romney], his signature legislation in Massachusetts looks awfully like a pilot program for Obamacare. So in recent days, he’s been out yet again defending his record: If I understand him correctly, his argument is that the salient point about Romneycare and Obamacare is not that they’re both disasters, but that one’s local and the other’s national, and that Obama has a one-disaster-fits-all approach to health care whereas Romney believes in letting a thousand disasters bloom. Celebrate diversity!” [National Review, 5/14/11 ]

News Saturday, Jan 1 2011

Mitt Romney On Social Security

Mitt Romney Wrote That Individual Accounts, Paid By The Borrowing Of Treasuries Sales, Was An Option To Solve Social Security. In his book “No Apology” Mitt Romney wrote “Individual retirement accounts offer a fourth option, one that would allow today’s wage earners to direct a portion of their Social Security tax to a private account rather than go entirely to pay the benefits of current retirees, as is the case today. The federal government would make up for its lost Social Security revenue by borrowing that amount through the sale of treasuries, just as it currently does for the rest of its deficits. Owners of these individual accounts would invest in a combination of stocks and bonds and—presuming these investments paid a higher rate of return than the new treasuries—the return on these investments would boost the payments to seniors. I also like the fact the individual retirement accounts would encourage more Americans to invest in the private sector that powers our economy. [“No Apology” 2011 Pg. 175-176]

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