DNC - FACT CHECK: Romney Continues Flip-flop Record on Economic Issues



Romney Today: Obama “Has Deepened And Lengthened The Downturn.” Romney wrote, “Almost every action the president has taken has deepened and lengthened the downturn. The private sector has retreated, frightened by his agenda and paralyzed by the uncertainty, lack of predictability, and outright hostility he has engendered. His policies are anti-investment, anti-jobs, and anti-growth.” [Romney Op-Ed, Boston Globe, 8/18/10]

·         Romney: The Democrats’ Stimulus “Will Accelerate The Timing Of The Start Of The Recovery.” According to the Boston Phoenix, Romney wrote in his book that “A stimulus package ‘was called for’ after the late-2008 economic downturn, and the Democrats' stimulus ‘will accelerate the timing of the start of the recovery.’” [Boston Phoenix, 2/10/10]

·         Newsweek: Romney Said The Democratic Stimulus Package “Will Accelerate” America’s Economic Recovery.  “For a little while there, Mitt Romney was beginning to act like a humanoid. In order to position himself as the ‘grown-up’ 2012 alternative to the rabble-rousing right-wing fringe (see: Palin, Sarah), the former Massachusetts governor has spent the past few months shedding the ill-fitting, hardcore conservatism of his 2008 run and staking out reasonable positions on a number of important issues. He has admitted, for example, that the Democratic stimulus package ‘will accelerate’ America's economic recovery. He has defended the necessity of the TARP program. He has even called global warming a ‘real and present danger.’” [Romano, Newsweek, 3/22/10]


Romney Today: Rails Against The Stimulus Because It “Focused On Government Spending.” Romney wrote, “The so-called stimulus that focused on government spending and bailing out states and unions has boosted GDP only modestly and temporarily; the latest stimulus reincarnation will likely do no better.” [Romney Op-Ed, Boston Globe, 8/18/10]

·         2008: Romney Called On The Government To “Step Forward” With “Additional Spending” To Deal With The Recession.  Romney said, “But the government is going to have to step forward, not only with monetary policy to add funding and capital to the capital markets so we see more lending, but also for additional spending and lower taxes.” [Meet The Press, 12/14/08]

·         Politifact: Stimulus Contained About $288 Billion In Tax Breaks For Individuals And Businesses. “The stimulus bill, formally known as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, is meant to create jobs and boost the economy. It cost $787 billion, including $499 billion to fund new roads, hire teachers and generally keep people employed, and about $288 billion in tax breaks to individuals and businesses. Among other things, the mix of tax cuts includes a refundable credit of up to $400 per individual and $800 for married couples; a temporary increase of the earned income tax credit for disadvantaged families; and an extension of a program that allows businesses to recover the costs of capital expenditures faster than usual.” [Politifact, 2/10/10]


Romney Today: Says Obama’s Promotion Of Cap And Trade “Tax” Dissuaded “Expansion By Employers In The Energy Sector.” Romney wrote, “Promoting an open-ended cap-and-trade tax dissuades expansion by employers in the energy sector.” [Romney Op-Ed, Boston Globe, 8/18/10]

·         2010: Romney Supported A Tax Swap That Would Replace Payroll Taxes With A Carbon Tax. “Romney suggests (again without committing) that a ‘tax swap’ would be ‘the best’ way to reduce carbon emissions and energy consumption. Under that idea, Washington would tax carbon emissions and institute an offsetting cut in ‘another tax, such as the payroll tax.’ That idea's other proponents include former Vice President Gore.” [National Journal, 3/6/10]

·         2005: Romney Endorsed Regional Cap And Trade System, Saying "This Is A Great Thing For The Commonwealth ... We Can Effectively Create Incentives To Help Stimulate A Sector Of The Economy And At The Same Time Not Kill Jobs. ... I'm Convinced It Is Good Business." "Governor Mitt Romney signaled his support yesterday for a regional agreement among Northeastern states to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, despite opposition from power companies and other business interests that have been lobbying the administration against the plan. In opening remarks to a clean-energy conference in Boston, Romney said the first-of-its-kind agreement, under which Massachusetts and eight other states could be required to cut power plant emissions by 2020, will not hurt the economy, as some have charged. He argued that it would spur businesses to develop clean -- and renewable-energy technology to market worldwide. 'This is a great thing for the Commonwealth,' Romney said, his strongest endorsement of the pact to date. 'We can effectively create incentives to help stimulate a sector of the economy and at the same time not kill jobs.'... Romney said yesterday that he had some concerns about the agreement, known as the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, but he endorsed this and other clean-energy initiatives by saying they would stimulate the development of technology that Massachusetts companies could sell to other states and countries, as the emphasis on climate change grows. 'I'm convinced it is good business,' Romney said." [Boston Globe, 11/8/05]

·         Romney In 2003: "Now Is The Time To Take Action Toward Climate Protection ... Our Joint Work To Create A Flexible Market-Based Regional Cap And Trade System Could Serve As An Effective Approach To Meeting These Goals.” “In another nod to environmentalists, Gov. Mitt Romney has joined with New York Gov. George Pataki in a plan to limit greenhouse gases from Northeast power plants. In a July 21 letter to Mr. Pataki, Mr. Romney acknowledged that carbon dioxide emissions are harming the environment and agreed to help design a regional emissions cap for power generating plants. Mr. Pataki last spring invited New England and mid-Atlantic state governors to spend two years on a plan to bring about significant reductions in carbon dioxide emissions. 'I concur that climate change is beginning to affect our natural resources and that now is the time to take action toward climate protection,’ the governor wrote. 'I share your interest in ensuring that the economic and security contributions made by our electricity generating system are not negated by the impact of emissions from that system on the health of our citizens,’ he continued… 'Our joint work to create a flexible market-based regional cap and trade system could serve as an effective approach to meeting these goals,' Mr. Romney wrote in the letter.” [Telegram & Gazette [Worcester, MA], 8/6/03]


Romney Today: Called For ”Preserving The Bush Tax Cuts.” Romney wrote, “These should include aligning corporate taxes with those of other developed economies, eliminating special corporate tax breaks that lobbyists have inserted over the years, and preserving the Bush tax cuts — especially for small business.” [Romney Op-Ed, Boston Globe, 8/18/10]

·         2003: Romney Said That He Wouldn’t “Be A Cheerleader” For The Bush Tax Cuts “He Doesn’t Agree With” But Wouldn’t Oppose Them In Public So He Could Keep A Close Relationship To The White House.  “The mailer further says that Romney ‘refused to endorse Bush Tax Cut Plan,’ and there is more than a grain of truth to that. As we've reported before, Romney was quoted in 2003 as telling his state's congressional delegation that he "won't be a cheerleader" for cuts that he doesn't agree with and that he wouldn't oppose the cuts in public because he ‘has to keep a solid relationship with the White House.’” [Factcheck.org, 1/15/08]


Romney Today: Called For Eliminating The Capital Gains Tax.  Romney wrote, “Rather than raising the tax on investment dividends, eliminate it and the tax on capital gains and interest for all households earning less than $250,000 a year.” [Romney Op-Ed, Boston Globe, 8/18/10]

·         1996: Romney Called Zero Tax Rate on Capital Gains A Tax Cut For Fat Cats. “Romney said he is paying for the ads with more than $ 50,000 in personal funds. The ads are running today in the Sunday Globe, the New Hampshire Sunday News of Manchester, and the Des Moines Register. The ad also will appear in tomorrow's editions of the Boston Herald. He said he had not asked the advice of any of the candidates about running the ads. The ads note that Forbes' plan would tax wages at 17 percent, but would not tax income from dividends, interest and investment profits. "The Forbes tax isn't a flat tax at all - it's a tax cut for fat cats!’ the ad says… Romney, then and now, said he likes the idea of a flat tax but will not support a specific proposal unless it taxes investment income as well as wages. Yesterday, Romney said that Forbes, by calling for a flat tax that allows dividends and interest to go untaxed, is encouraging voters to identify Republicans with the financial elite. ‘There are a number of flat tax proposals around that would be better than the tax system we have now. But if all we talk about is the Steve Forbes proposal we'll just cement in people's minds the notion that the Republican Party is the party of the rich,’ Romney said.” [Boston Globe, 1/21/96]


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]

Factcheck.org: “Romney’s Jobs Record Provides Little To Boast About” As Massachusetts Only Gained 1% In Payroll Jobs Over His Term Compared To 5.3% In The Nation As A Whole. “Payroll jobs in Massachusetts hit their low point in December 2003 at the end of Romney's first year in office. And the number of jobs declined in seven of the remaining 36 months of his term, as measured by total nonfarm employment, seasonally adjusted, which is the standard measure of payroll employment used by economists and journalists. The claim that jobs increased "every single month" is false… Furthermore, Romney's job record provides little to boast about. By the end of his four years in office, Massachusetts had squeezed out a net gain in payroll jobs of just 1 percent, compared with job growth of 5.3 percent for the nation as a whole.” [Factcheck.org, 1/11/08]

In Romney’s Four Years As Governor Massachusetts Ranked 47th Out Of 50 In Jobs Growth.  “The Republican contender was the governor of Massachusetts from January 2003 to January 2007. And during that time, according to the U.S. Labor Department, the state ranked 47th in the entire country in jobs growth. Fourth from last.  The only ones that did worse? Ohio, Michigan and Louisiana. In other words, two rustbelt states and another that lost its biggest city to a hurricane. The Massachusetts jobs growth over that period, a pitiful 0.9%, badly lagged other high-skill, high-wage, knowledge economy states like New York (2.7%), California (4.7%) and North Carolina (7.6%). The national average: More than 5%.” [Marketwatch, 2/23/10]