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News Tuesday, Oct 2 2012

BRIDGE BRIEFING: The Truth About Massachusetts's Bond Rating Increase

Romney Increased Massachusetts’s Bond Rating Through “Tax Increases And The Closing Of Tax Loopholes.” According to the Wall Street Journal, “Former Gov. Mitt Romney boasted this week that when he led Massachusetts, he presided over an increase in the state’s bond rating, a contrast to President Barack Obama, who saw Standard & Poor’s downgrade U.S. debt. But Mr. Romney had an advantage that Mr. Obama sorely wanted but could not get from Congress: tax increases and the closing of tax ‘loopholes.’ Documents obtained by The Wall Street Journal Wednesday through the Freedom of Information Act show the Romney administration’s pitch to S&P in late 2004 included the boast that ‘The Commonwealth acted decisively to address the fiscal crisis’ that ensued after the terrorist attacks of 2001. Bulleted PowerPoint slides laid out the actions taken, including legislation in July 2002 to increase tax revenue by $1.1 billion to $1.2 billion in fiscal 2003 and $1.5 billion to $1.6 billion in fiscal 2004; tax ‘loophole’ legislation that added $269 million in ‘additional recurring revenue,’ and tax amnesty legislation that added $174 million. The final bullet: ‘FY04 budget increased fees to raise $271 million yearly.’” [The Wall Street Journal, 8/10/11]

News Tuesday, Oct 2 2012

BRIDGE BRIEFING: Romney And Sequestration

Romney Showed No Leadership On Debate Leading Up To Sequestration

Romney Refused To Comment On Debt Ceiling Negotiations

Romney Was Criticized By Other Republican Presidential Candidates For Staying On The Sidelines During Debt Ceiling Talks. According to The New York Times, “Mr. Romney, who has been criticized by fellow Republican candidates for remaining largely on the sidelines during the recent debate over the nation’s debt ceiling, defended himself by saying that he had maintained a consistent, if quiet, position throughout the partisan bickering in Washington, favoring the ‘cut, cap and balance’ plan passed by the House and defeated by the Senate. ‘I didn’t react day to day to every negotiation because my position was clear,’ he said. ‘Cut, cap and balance was the right way for America to deal with this financial distress.’” [The New York Times, 8/8/11] Romney Was Criticized By Santorum And Pawlenty’s Campaign For Showing No Leadership On The Debt Ceiling Fight. According to The Wall Street Journal, “Republican presidential candidates have used the debate over raising the nation’s borrowing limit to score points with conservative voters and insert their views into Washington’s thorniest political dispute. But Mitt Romney, the Republican front-runner, has taken a subtler tack, avoiding the issue of the debt ceiling as he presses a more general assault on President Barack Obama’s economic record. That has attracted the attention of his GOP challengers, who have begun to accuse him of ducking the most vital issue of the campaign so far. ‘The current debate is about what kind of leadership you’re going to show,’ former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum said in an interview Monday. ‘If you’re running for president, you’ve got to show how you would handle a situation like this.’ ‘The debt ceiling is a gut-check time for all Republicans on spending and size of government,’ said Alex Conant, spokesman for former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty. ‘Apparently, Gov. Romney is still checking his gut to figure out where he should stand.’” [The Wall Street Journal, 7/12/11]

News Tuesday, Oct 2 2012


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, Jun 12 2012

MEMO: The Record George Allen Wants You To Forget

To: Interested Parties From: Matt Thornton, Senior Communications Adviser, American Bridge 21st Century Date: 6/12/2012 RE: The record George Allen wants you to forget In 2006, Virginia voters unceremoniously ousted George Allen from office. Six years later, Allen has portrayed himself as a Tea Party proselyte in his bid to return to the Senate. But even a cursory look at his record as senator and governor should be enough to convince voters that Allen is a big spender who can’t be trusted to address our nation’s budget problems responsibly. Despite his rhetoric about "reigning in" state spending, Allen increased Virginia’s budget by billions, contributing to unprecedented deficits. As senator, he supported the budget-busting policies of the Bush administration which are among the primary drivers of our annual deficits. Though Allen is responsible for helping create the nation’s budget woes, he now supports policies that would exacerbate the problem by cutting taxes for the nation’s wealthiest citizens and most profitable corporations. And while Allen has been an unabashed advocate of spending, deficits, and earmarks, he can’t seem to take a tangible position on important issues like paycheck fairness. George Allen may have convinced Republican primary voters that he deserves another shot, but come November he’ll receive a message from independents in terms that he can understand: when you drop the ball that many times, you don’t get to go back in the game. View full memo after the jump/

News Wednesday, Apr 4 2012

Romney: Ryan Plan Is Simply 'Marvelous'

Paul Ryan's budget plan would cause the gradual demise of the Medicare system and cost 1 million students their Pell grants while preserving tax breaks for oil companies. And Mitt Romney thinks it's 'Marvelous'?

News Taxes Thursday, Mar 22 2012

MEMO To Tea Party Express: Have You Actually Seen Sarah Steelman’s Record?

Today the national tea party group, Tea Party Express, announced their support for former Missouri state Treasurer Sarah Steelman. The one thing that this announcement makes clear is that the Tea Party Express has no idea about Steelman’s record. While we think she is certainly the wrong choice for Missouri, we would have thought a number of positions she has taken would immediately disqualify her from consideration by the Tea Party Express as well. Since the Tea Party Express is obviously too busy shopping for tricorn hats to do their due diligence, American Bridge 21st Century decided to do the research for them.

News Friday, Mar 2 2012

ABC News: EXCLUSIVE: In ’02 Romney Touted D.C. Connections, Federal Funds

On March 2, 2012, ABC News reported:

In a long-forgotten tape from the 2002 Massachusetts governor’s race obtained by ABC News, Mitt Romney is seen touting his Washington connections and his ability to get millions of taxpayer dollars from the federal government.

News Friday, Feb 17 2012

Washington Post: Romney’s Work On Olympics, Mass. Projects Reveals Complex History With Earmarks

On February 16, 2012, the Washington Post reported:

Mitt Romney is escalating his attacks on GOP presidential rival Rick Santorum as a Washington insider who sought more than $1 billion for wasteful projects during his time in the Senate. But Romney has a complicated relationship with federal funding. As the head of the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics, he led an aggressive effort to win hundreds of millions of dollars in federal aid for the struggling Winter Games. As governor of Massachusetts, Romney requested millions in federal earmarks for state transportation projects. He once boasted about his prowess at winning taxpayer money.

News Economy Health Care Thursday, Feb 16 2012

NY Times: Members Of The House Face Uphill Battles For Senate

On February 15, 2012, the New York Times reported:

Republicans, who need a net gain of only four seats to guarantee control of the Senate, have long been optimistic that they could capture the majority because they are defending just 10 of the 33 seats up for grabs. But their task is complicated by the fact that many of their candidates are sitting or recent members of the House, which polls show to be deeply unpopular.

AB Leadership Tuesday, Feb 14 2012

Boston Globe: Mitt Romney And Rick Santorum Fight Over Each’s Record Getting Earmarks From Washington

On February 13, 2012, the Boston Globe  reported:

But Romney’s opponents are using Romney’s record against him. “Mitt Romney criticizing Rick Santorum over requesting earmarks is so blatantly hypocritical it is outright laughable,” said Ty Matsdorf, spokesman for the Democratic group American Bridge 21st Century. “As both governor and head of the Olympics, Romney actively and aggressively pursued federal funding, which makes this line of attack nothing more than a cheap political shot.”

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