Friday, August 17, 2012

Carla Howell: Mitt Romney = Big Government

Dear Friend of Liberty,

I ran for governor against Mitt Romney in 2002 in Massachusetts. I read his every press release, read every major newspaper article about him, and followed his every move throughout his governor campaign – and in each of the four years he served as governor.

Mitt Romney IS Big Government – to the core.

Which is why I nearly fell off my chair one day when I was asked by a libertarian, "Aren't you glad to have Mitt Romney as your governor? He's pretty libertarian, isn't he?"

It is critical that voters know the truth about Big Government Mitt Romney. Please forward the below column to every voter you know who would consider voting for him.

Thank you for helping to set the record straight.

In liberty,

Carla Howell

Executive Director
Libertarian National Committee

# # #

Mitt Romney: Champion of Big Government
By Carla Howell

Is Mitt Romney the "economic conservative" he claims to be? Especially when it comes to tax and spend policies?

Now that he's running for president, let's compare his words with his deeds.


Romney claims to be anti-tax. He even "took" a "no new taxes" pledge when he ran for Governor of Massachusetts in 2002. "Took" is in quotes because he refused to sign that pledge. His signature wasn't necessary, he claimed. He assured us that he's a man of his word.

But Mitt Romney has been a champion of new taxes.

Mitt Romney proposed three new taxes while campaigning for governor: a new tax on vehicles, a new tax on campaign donations, and a new tax on building construction. They didn't get much fanfare in the media and were quickly forgotten.

Right before the 2002 election, he ran millions of dollars in ads portraying himself as a "no new taxes" governor. The media refused to set the record straight.

But that was only the beginning.

Each of the four years Romney served as governor, he raised taxes – while pretending he didn't. He claims he only raised mandatory government "fees." But government mandatory fees are nothing but taxes, and taxes are nothing but mandatory government fees. Romney's new tax-fees raised hundreds of millions of dollars in new tax revenue for the state government every year.

In addition to:

  • scores of new tax-fees,

Mitt Romney also increased several other taxes by:

  • "closing loopholes" to enable collection of a new Internet sales tax
  • passing legislation that enables local governments to raise Business Property Taxes
  • enacting a new tax penalty that raises Income Taxes on both individuals and small businesses.

This, he claims, is not raising taxes.

I suppose you could say Romney merely enacted bills that force taxpayers to hand over billions of dollars – which end up in the coffers of the government.

Quacks like a tax increase?

In 2008, Romney boasted that he was the first presidential candidate to sign a "taxpayer protection pledge," in which he promised to oppose "any and all efforts" to increase income taxes on people or businesses.

So he’ll call his tax increases "government fees" or "closing loopholes" or "penalties" or something else. But if Romney is president, the IRS will collect this money from you, your family, your friends, and millions of Americans just like you.

Government Spending

Mitt Romney claims to have cut the Massachusetts budget by "$2 billion." Sometimes he claims he cut it "$3 billion." The media gives him free advertising by parroting this myth repeatedly. They repeat it so often that even many fiscal conservatives and libertarians assume it must be true.

But these "cuts" were merely budget games. Spending cuts in one area were simply moved into another area of the budget.

In fact, not only did Mitt Romney refuse to cut the overall Massachusetts budget, he expanded it. Dramatically.

The Massachusetts state budget was $22.7 billion a year when he took office in January of 2003.

When he left office four years later, it was over $25.7 billion – plus another $2.2 billion in spending that the legislature took "off budget." (Romney never reminds us of this fact.)

The net effect of budgets proposed and signed into law by Mitt Romney? An additional $5.2 billion in state spending – and a similar increase in new taxes. Every year.

He claims to have done a good job as governor of liberal Massachusetts in light of the fact that it's a "tough state" for poor "conservatives" like him. He infers his hands were tied by the predominantly Democratic legislature.

But when it comes to tax and spend policies, he's not only in lockstep with the Democrats. He leads the way.

Each of the four years Romney served as governor, he started budget negotiations by proposing an increase of about $1 billion in new government spending. Before the legislature even named a budget figure.

Romney initiated massive new spending – without any prodding.

The legislature responded with a handful of line item budget increases. Romney agreed to some of them and vetoed others. The media helped him out again by making fanfare of his vetoes and portraying him as tough on spending – after he had already given away the store!

The Romney-Kennedy Alliance

But his grande finale was the worst of all: RomneyCare, Mitt Romney's version of socialized medicine.

By his own admission, he didn't plan his socialized medicine scheme until after the 2002 election.

During Romney’s governor campaign, he convinced voters that his Democrat rival would be worse – because she would saddle us with socialist tax-and-spend policies, he said.

But soon after he was elected, Romney started the drumbeat for socialized medicine. Three years later, he signed RomneyCare into law.

Voters of Massachusetts did not vote for RomneyCare. Mitt Romney foisted the granddaddy of Big Government expansions upon them without warning. He championed it from the beginning. Again, without any prodding from his Democrat rivals.

When Romney ran for U.S. Senate in 1994, his campaign popularized the derogatory term "Kennedy country" to describe the devastating effects of Ted Kennedy's "liberal social programs" on poor neighborhoods in Massachusetts.

Yet Mitt Romney stood proudly with Ted Kennedy while he signed RomneyCare into law.

Ted Kennedy has pushed for socialized medicine for decades. Romney fulfilled his dream. Kennedy lobbied the legislature hard to get Romney's bill passed. It was a Romney-Kennedy alliance.

Welcome to Massachusetts: Romney-Kennedy country.

Romney's socialized medicine law mandates everyone who doesn’t have insurance to buy it – or suffer income tax penalties. Both individuals and small businesses face steep fines if they refuse to give up their freedom to make their own health care choices. There's yet another "off budget" Mitt Romney tax increase.

Romney's mandate will cost individual taxpayers many thousands of dollars every year in health insurance premiums for unwanted policies – or force them to pay sizable tax penalties.

The total cost of RomneyCare in mandates and new spending? At least several billion dollars every year – to start. It will rise from there, as socialized medicine programs are wont to do.

Romney's law went into full effect in 2009. Its harmful effects were not felt until after the 2008 presidential election was over. Romney's time-release tax increase.

Romney's Words Versus Romney's Deeds

Smart moms tell their kids, "Believe none of what you hear and half of what you see."

That advice saved me a lot of heartache. And it will do the same for anyone who is leaning towards voting for Mitt Romney.

Candidate Romney campaigns for president with the words we're aching to hear. Words we want to believe. Candidate Romney tells us that he is a:

  • "fiscal conservative"
  • "friend of small business"
  • "tax cutter"
  • "waste fighter"
  • "opponent of runaway spending"
  • "tough leader who vetoes new taxes and needless government spending"

Let's follow Mom's advice: ignore candidate Romney’s words. Look at elected Governor Romney's deeds.

What does he do when he’s elected?

Mitt Romney hits up taxpayers with a variety of new taxes – while pretending he doesn't.

Mitt Romney jacks up government spending as much as any Big Government Democrat would.

Mitt Romney champions massive Big Government Programs – that made Ted Kennedy proud.


  1. Original article

  2. Reposted —


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Friday, August 10, 2012

Krueger Lacks True Common Sense (and Balance)

This was originally posted as a letter to the editor to The Albuquerque Journal on Monday, 30 July 2012.

In her "Up Front" column "Add Common Sense to Gun Law Arsenal" from 27 July, Joline Gutierrez Krueger attempts to stand atop the dead and injured of the Aurora movie shooting. The sad part is that in attempting just that, she stumbles from lack of balance – and common sense.

For example, she insinuates that higher crime rates in New Mexico are due to lenient gun laws (no supporting data was provided) – what does she say to those of us who say that the crime rate is due more to the something-for-nothing welfare state and Drug Prohibition?

What about Vermont, Alaska, Arizona and Wyoming, where people can carry concealed weapons without a permit? Why is it that crime rates per capita are lower in those states than in states with more restrictive gun laws?

She goes on to parrot a comment from Obama, who never understood the true purpose of the Second Amendment:

"I – like most Americans – believe that the Second Amendment guarantees an individual the right to bear arms . . . . But I also believe that a lot of gun owners would agree that AK-47s belong in the hands of soldiers and not in the hands of crooks. They belong on the battlefield of war, not on the streets of our cities."

Remember that when Obama refers to guns "on the streets of our cities," he's really talking about the ones in your private possession. In the end, it doesn't matter to him whether you've committed any sort of violent act or not.

When they wrote the Constitution and Bill of rights, both the Federalists and Anti-Federalists commented explicitly that they wanted the civilian population to have access to the military arms of the day. Back then, that was muzzle-loading flintlocks. Now it's the Glock pistol, the AK-47, the M4 carbine, the MP-5 subgun and the MP7A1 PDW.

In much the same sense, the Founders never envisioned radio, television and the internet when they wrote the First Amendment, allegedly guaranteeing our rights to free speech and freedom of the press that Krueger uses for these columns. Should Krueger surrender her "assault keyboard" lest she write something that incites someone to commit a violent act? After all, the pen is mightier than the sword.

Finally, if Krueger's point – "guns cause crime" – were true, then why don't we hear about bloodbaths of the kind we saw in Aurora, at Fort Hood and Virginia Tech at gun shows and shooting ranges? Why don't we see hunters killing each other over that perfect tree stand or duck blind?

Mike Blessing
State Chair, Libertarian Party of New Mexico
505-515-7015 /

Who owns you? Who runs your life? Who should – you or someone else?
Freedom is the answer – what's the question?

Copyright © 2012 Libertarian Party of New Mexico and Mike Blessing. All rights reserved.

Produced by KCUF Media, a division of Extropy Enterprises.
This blog entry created with gedit and Notepad++.