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Bridge Briefs

News Tuesday, Oct 2 2012

BRIDGE BRIEFING: Romney And Debt

Massachusetts Had The Highest Debt Per Capita Debt Of Any State Under Romney

Under Governor Romney, Massachusetts Had The Highest Per Capita Debt Of Any State. According to Think Progress, “According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau and the Bureau of Economic Analysis (compiled by Connecticut’s chief analyst in 2009), Massachusetts had $10,504 in per capita bond debt in 2007, the highest total in the nation. No other state had more than $10,000 in per capita debt, and only one had more than $8,000. Massachusetts ranked second, behind only Alaska, in per capita debt as a percent of personal income, with debt making up more than 21 percent of each resident’s income.” [Think Progress, 5/16/12] Under Romney, Massachusetts’ Long-Term Debt Increased By 16.4 Percent Or $2.6 Billion. According to the Massachusetts Office of the Treasurer, Massachusetts had $16,063,162,000 in long-term debt as of January 1, 2003. As of October 1, 2006, shortly before Romney left the Governor’s Office, Massachusetts had $18,697,240,000 in long-term debt. This was an increase of $2,634,078,000 or 16.4%. [Massachusetts Office Of The Treasurer, p. A-22 , 2/28/03; Massachusetts Office Of The Treasurer, p. A-24, 11/10/06]

News Tuesday, Oct 2 2012

BRIDGE BRIEFING: Romney And Women

Romney Would Not Say Whether He Supported Equal Pay For Women

Romney Initially Refused To Say Whether He Would Have Signed The Lilly Ledbetter Act. According to ABC News, during an interview, Diane Sawyer asked: “I want to talk about a couple of issues relating to women. This 19-point difference between you and the president on women. Here are some specific questions. If you were president -- you had been president -- would you have signed the Lilly Ledbetter Law?” Romney said “It’s certainly a piece of legislation I have no intend -- intention of changing. I wasn’t there three years ago ...” Sawyer interjected “But would you have signed it?” and Romney replied “I’m not going to go back and look at all the prior laws and say had I been there which ones would I have supported and signed, but I certainly support equal pay for women and -- and have no intention of changing that law, don’t think there’s a reason to.” [ABC News, 04/16/12] Romney Said He Would Not Change The Current Lilly Ledbetter Act Which Ryan Voted Against. According to The Huffington Post, “In April of this year, Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign had a devil of a time explaining what exactly the presumptive Republican nominee’s position was on the Lilly Ledbetter Act, the first bill signed into law by President Obama. At first, aides to the Massachusetts Republican said they’d get back to reporters with respect to the bill, which expanded the timeframe to bring forward equal pay lawsuits. Eventually, the campaign clarified that Romney was ‘not looking to change current law’ -- a line that suggested he supported it now but didn’t explain whether he would have signed it to begin with. The Lilly Ledbetter Act has since receded as a campaign issue. But with the selection of Rep. Paul Ryan as Romney’s vice presidential nominee, it has the potential to once again resurface. The Wisconsin Republican’s position on the bill isn’t vague. He voted against the measure when it came to the House floor in January 2009.” [The Huffington Post, 8/13/12]

News Tuesday, Oct 2 2012

BRIDGE BRIEFING: Romney And The Auto Rescue

Romney Opposed Government Involvement In The Auto Industry

Romney Wanted To “Let Detroit Go Bankrupt” And Said The Demise Of The Auto Industry Would Be “Virtually Guaranteed” By A Government Bailout. According to Romney, “If General Motors, Ford and Chrysler get the bailout that their chief executives asked for yesterday, you can kiss the American automotive industry goodbye. It won’t go overnight, but its demise will be virtually guaranteed. Without that bailout, Detroit will need to drastically restructure itself. With it, the automakers will stay the course — the suicidal course of declining market shares, insurmountable labor and retiree burdens, technology atrophy, product inferiority and never-ending job losses. Detroit needs a turnaround, not a check.” [Romney Op-Ed, New York Times, 11/19/08] Romney Opposed The Bailout Of The Domestic Auto Industry. According to the Detroit News, “On the federal ‘bailout’ in 2008 of the domestic auto industry, Romney writes he opposed the billions provided ‘because it enabled GM and Chrysler to avoid the restructuring and productivity improvements essential for their success.’ The federal government has provided the auto industry with $86 billion, including $50 billion for GM and $12 billion for Chrysler. Romney urged a managed bankruptcy, a step the Obama administration eventually took to help stabilize GM and Chrysler Group LLC. ‘The managed bankruptcy that I proposed ultimately occurred,’ Romney writes, ‘but only after tens of billions of taxpayer money had been wasted, and only after sweetheart deals and paybacks for favored interest groups had been engineered with the public’s money.’” [Detroit News, 2/24/10] Romney Believed Automakers Should Have Had Private Bankruptcy Without Federal Aid. According to the Associated Press, “Romney told a diner at the Senate Coney Island restaurant Thursday morning that the automakers should have gone through a private bankruptcy without the federal aid. The businessman and former Massachusetts governor says he believes ‘in the process of law’ rather than bailouts.” [Fox News, Associated Press, 6/9/11] Romney Believed Things In Detroit Would Be Better Without Intervention.  According to a Detroit News op-ed, Romney wrote “The president tells us that without his intervention things in Detroit would be worse. I believe that without his intervention things there would be better.” [Detroit News, 2/14/12]

News Friday, Sep 14 2012

BRIDGE BRIEFING: Romney's Hollow Tough Talk on China

Romney Opposed Bush Chinese Steel Tariffs And Obama’s Chinese Tire Tariffs. According to the Club for Growth, “In his recent book, Romney also voiced his opposition to President Bush’s steel tariff decision and President Obama’s decision to impose tariffs on foreign tires.” [Club For Growth, 2012 Presidential White Paper #5, 6/7/11]

News Thursday, Aug 23 2012

BRIDGE BRIEFING: Romney's Record On Energy

Romney Supported The Ryan Budget Cutting Funding For Alternative Energy And Maintaining Tax Breaks And Subsidies For The Oil Industry


Romney Endorsed The FY2013 Ryan Plan Which Would Slash Funding For Energy Research And Eliminate Federal Subsidies For Alternative Energy Firms. According to the Los Angeles Times, “Last week, Rep. Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) unveiled a new Republican budget proposal that Romney and other GOP candidates quickly endorsed. Ryan’s budget would eliminate federal subsidies and tax breaks for alternative energy firms and would slash funding for energy research.” [Los Angeles Times, 3/25/12]

News Tuesday, Jul 24 2012

BRIDGE BRIEFING: Romney’s Record On Veterans

Romney's Budget Proposals Hurt Benefits For Veterans

Romney’s Budget Plan Cuts $176 Billion From Non-Defense Discretionary Spending By 2016, Including Veterans’ Health Care. According to the Center on Budget And Policy Priorities, “Non-defense discretionary spending would be cut by $176 billion in 2016 — and $1.7 trillion through 2022 — in addition to the deep cuts already reflected in the budget baseline as a result of the caps in the BCA and the appropriations bills passed during 2011. This category of spending covers a wide variety of public services such as aid to elementary and secondary education, veterans’ health care, law enforcement, national parks, environmental protection, and biomedical and scientific research.” [Center on Budget And Policy Priorities, 5/21/12]

News Wednesday, Jul 11 2012

BRIDGE BRIEFING: Romney's Record on Issues Impacting the African American Community

Romney Administration

Romney Failed To Appoint Minorities To Top Positions In His Administration As Governor. According to the Associated Press, “A new report faults Governor Romney for failing to appoint minorities, particularly Latinos and Asian-Americans, to top positions in his administration. Of 163 top-level positions, fewer than eleven percent were held by minorities. That’s according to the report by the McCormack Graduate School’s Center for Women in Politics and Public Policy at U-Mass Boston. Latino appointments made up one-point-eight percent of the total number of posts, even though Latinos make up seven percent of the state’s population. Asian-Americans make up four percent of the state population, but hold fewer than one percent of total top-level positions. A Romney spokesman defended the governor’s record -- saying approximately 52 percent of all employees in the administration are women, and 22 percent are minority.” [Associated Press, 12/6/06]

News Wednesday, May 23 2012

BRIDGE BRIEFING: Mitt Romney & Higher Education

Romney Does Not Care About College Affordability

Romney Said “College Is Not Right For Everybody.” According to Fox News, during an interview on “Hannity,” Romney was asked by Sean Hannity: “Do you think that it’s in everybody’s best interest to get a degree or are people better off going to specialized schools to become a mechanic or an electrician or a plumber? What do you think?” Romney replied “Not everybody is going to go to college, of course. And people have different courses in their life they want to pursue. College is not right for everybody. Some folks have other ambitions and want to go in different directions. So, we want people to have freedom in this country and opportunity to pursue their happiness and the way they think.” [Fox News, 2/28/12] Romney Suggested Students Facing Rising Tuition Costs Should Get A Scholarship Or Join The Military. According to a New York Times op-ed, “There wasn’t a word about the variety of government loan programs… There wasn’t a word urging colleges to hold down tuition increases… And there wasn’t a word about Pell Grants, in case the student’s family had a low enough income to qualify… Instead, the advice was pretty brutal: if you can’t afford college, look around for a scholarship (good luck with that), try to graduate in less than four years, or join the military if you want a free education.” [New York Times, 3/5/12]

Supports Paul Ryan’s Plan Cutting Pell Grants For 1 Million Students

Romney Supported Federal Budget Cutting Pell Grants By 25 Percent. According to New York Times, “That may be because Mr. Romney supports the House Republican budget, which would cut Pell Grants by 25 percent or more at a time when they are needed more than ever.” [New York Times, 03/05/12]

News Wednesday, May 23 2012

BRIDGE BRIEFING: Mitt Romney & K-12 Education

Romney Believes Smaller Class Sizes Are Harmful

Romney Thought Efforts To Reduce Classroom Size “May Actually Hurt Education More Than It Helps.” According to his book “No Apology” Romney wrote, “In The United States, then, the effort to reduce classroom size may actually hurt education more than it helps.” [Romney, No Apology, Pg. 216]
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