Hot on the heels of his eight-vote Iowa-caucus landslide, Willard Mitt Romney is crisscrossing New Hampshire before Tuesday's key primary. Romney is masquerading as a limited-government, free-market executive from next-door Massachusetts. From the Golden Gate to the Granite State, voters should greet Romney's impersonation with a quarry full of skepticism.
In fact, Romney increased taxes by $309 million, mainly on corporations. These tax hikes, described by Romney apologists as loophole closures, totaled $128 million in 2003, $95.5 in 2004, and $85 million in 2005. That final year, Romney proposed $170 million in higher business taxes, the Boston Globe reports. However, the Bay State's liberal, Democratic legislature balked and only approved an $85 million increase.
Tax rates on many corporations almost doubled because of legislation supported by Romney, Boston Science Corporation chairman Peter Nicholas explained in Jan. 6, 2008's Boston Herald. Also, from 5.3 to 9.8 percent, Romney raised the tax on subchapter S corporations owned by business trusts, an 85 percent hike. Romney went further than any other governor in trying to wring money out of corporations, the Council on State Taxation's Joseph Crosby complained.
Romney also created or increased fees by $432 million. He was not dragooned into this by greedy Democratic lawmakers; Romney himself proposed these items. In 2003 alone, Romney concocted or boosted 88 fees. Romney charged more for marriage licenses (from $6 to $12), gun registrations (from $25 to $75), a used-car sales tax ($10 million), gasoline deliveries ($60 million), real-estate transfers ($175 million), and more. Particularly obnoxious was Romney's $10 fee per Certificate of Blindness. Romney also billed blind people $15 each for discount-travel ID cards.
While Romney can take credit for a $275 million capital-gains tax rebate, property-tax relief for seniors, and a two-day, tax-free shopping holiday, he also must take responsibility for signing $740.5 million in higher taxes, plus that $85 million in business taxes that he requested and legislators rejected.
And, think about this...
It’s an article of faith among many Republicans that Mitt Romney is the most electable candidate in the GOP field. But it’s not clear that this assertion is actually true. In fact, if one were going to design a Republican opponent tailor-made to President Obama’s liking, that opponent would be uniquely vulnerable to Obama’s main rhetorical thrust (making class-warfare arguments), uniquely unsuited to take clear aim at Obama’s least popular action as President (spearheading the passage of Obamacare), and uniquely strong in states that are unlikely to matter in the general election race. In all three of these ways, Romney is made to order for Obama