DNC: In Wake of Tax Cut Flip Flops and Flubs, Romney Returns to Florida

Mar 29, 2007, 01:00 ET from Democratic National Committee

    WASHINGTON, March 29 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following release
 was issued today by the Democratic National Committee:
     In his latest attempt to smooth talk his way out of his real record,
 Mitt Romney heads to Palm Beach tonight to address the right wing anti-tax
 group Club for Growth. Despite the fact that as Massachusetts governor,
 Romney raised state and local taxes to their highest level in 25 years and
 imposed an astounding $500 million in new fees on Bay State taxpayers,
 Romney will use this opportunity to cover his tax raising record by
 unveiling a shiny new smooth talking tax cut plan. [Massachusetts
 State-Local Tax Burden Compared to National Average (1970-2006), The Tax
 Foundation; Quincy Patriot Ledger, 12/16/05; Boston Globe, 10/24/05; Wall
 Street Journal, 3/29/07]
     But Romney has already tried -- and failed -- to smooth talk the voters
 into ignoring his real record on taxes. Despite signing a "no new tax"
 pledge he once mocked as "government by gimmickry," and despite bragging
 about supporting President Bush's tax cuts for the wealthy despite opposing
 them, Romney has failed to gain any ground among Republican primary voters.
 Romney remains stuck in single digits in just about every poll -- including
 the latest USAToday/Gallup poll which has him stuck at three percent among
 Republican voters. Romney now trails two people who aren't even running
 yet. [GallupNews Service, 3/27/08]
     Hopefully for Romney, he'll be better prepared tonight than he was for
 his most recent speech in the Sunshine State. Romney was widely ridiculed
 after a March 9th speech to the Miami-Dade Republican Party in which he
 offended local Cuban Americans by punctuating his speech with language that
 echoed stereotypical portrayals of Cuban immigrants in the movie
 "Scarface," and quoting Fidel Castro's traditional sign-off line. After the
 speech, local activists mocked him, calling Romney an "empty suit" and
 blasting his obvious lack of preparation. [Miami Herald, 3/20/07; Boston
 Herald, 3/21/07]
     "Mitt Romney is in for another stormy weekend in the Sunshine State if
 he thinks he can smooth talk his way out of his tax raising record," said
 Democratic National Committee spokesman Damien LaVera. "Romney can say what
 he wants to the Club for Growth, but he can't change the fact that the
 people of Massachusetts saw their tax burden skyrocket under his failed
                         Romney's Real Record on Taxes
     Romney Signed "No New Tax" Pledge He Once Mocked:
     -- Old Mitt: Romney Refused to Sign "No New Tax" Pledge, Called It
        "Government by Gimmickry."
     When he thought he needed to look more moderate to get elected governor
 in 2002, Romney's campaign mocked the pledge as "government by gimmickry."
 [Boston Globe, 1/5/07]
     -- New Mitt: Signed Pledge to Hide Tax Raising Record.
     This month, Romney signed the same "no new tax" pledge he refused to
 sign in 2002 to hide the fact that under his failed leadership, Bay Staters
 saw their tax burden increase by more than 5 percent, and Romney's cuts to
 local communities sent Massachusetts property taxes to their highest level
 in 25 years. [Massachusetts State-Local Tax Burden Compared to National
 Average (1970-2006), The Tax Foundation; Quincy Patriot Ledger, 12/16/05]
     Romney Refused to Endorse Bush Tax Cuts, Before Bragging About
 Supporting Bush Tax Cuts:
     -- Old Mitt: Refused to Publicly Endorse Bush Tax Cuts.
     Romney refused to endorse tax cuts at the heart of President Bush's
 economic program in 2003. Romney's spokesperson said that it's "just not a
 state matter." [Boston Globe, 4/11/03]
     -- New Mitt: Bragged About Support for Bush Tax Cuts.
     During a November 13, 2006 press conference held in Arizona, Romney
 outlined differences between himself and McCain. Romney said "he was
 quicker than McCain to endorse President Bush's tax cuts." [East Valley
 Sun, 11/14/06]
     State & Local Tax Burden Increased 5.1 Percent During Romney
     According to The Tax Foundation, a conservative tax research
 organization, in 2002 (the year before Romney came to power), Massachusetts
 state and local tax burden was 9.8 percent: the 34th highest in the nation.
 The Tax Foundation reported that in 2006, Massachusetts state and local tax
 burden had increased to 10.3 percent: the 28th highest in the nation. Thus,
 during the Romney Administration, Bay Staters saw their taxes burden
 increase by 5.1 percent in real terms. [Massachusetts State-Local Tax
 Burden Compared to National Average (1970-2006), The Tax Foundation]
     Romney Signed Measure Allowing Hike in Local Commercial Property Taxes;
 Property Taxes Rose to Highest Level in 25 Years.
     On October 24, 2005, the Boston Globe reported that in 2004, Romney,
 "signed a measure that allowed local officials to raise the commercial
 property tax rate, which cost business owners $100 million, according to
 Associated Industries of Massachusetts, the state's largest business
 group." Romney's cuts to local aid forced Massachusetts property taxes to
 their highest level in 25 years. [Quincy Patriot Ledger, 12/16/05; Boston
 Globe, 10/24/05]
     Romney Raised $500 Million in Fees, Earns "C" on Cato Institute Fiscal
 Report Card.
     "Romney's fiscal policies in Massachusetts have received mixed marks
 from conservative watchdogs. The tax-averse Cato Institute gave Romney a
 'C' on its 2006 fiscal report card, saying the former governor ... failed
 to hold the line on taxes. 'His first budget included no general tax
 increases but did include a $500 million increase in various fees,' noted
 Cato Institute budget director Stephen Slivinski." [Boston Herald, 2/8/07]
     NCSL: "Massachusetts Imposed More Fee Hikes Than any Other State in the
     On August 28, 2003, Congress Daily reported, "A survey of states
 grappling with spending crises has found that Massachusetts imposed more
 fee hikes than any other state in the nation this year -- at least $500
 million, the Boston Globe reported. GOP Gov. Mitt Romney and the
 Legislature, faced with a multibillion dollar shortfall, made it more
 expensive to get a marriage license or a divorce, file a court case, buy a
 house, renew a driver's license, or tap into a host of other state
 services. The study by the National Conference of State Legislatures found
 that Massachusetts was one of 30 states that enacted fee increases this
 year." [Congress Daily, 8/28/03]
     -- FY 04: Romney Doubled Fee on Marriage and Birth Certificates.
     On January 31, 2003, the Boston Globe reported that in Romney's FY 2004
 budget proposal, "birth certificates and marriage licenses, which could
 recently be had for just $6, will now cost double." [Boston Globe, 1/31/06]
 Romney also proposed raising "childcare licensing fees by 30 percent and to
 double fees for birth, death and marriage certificates. The proposals are
 also soon expected to become law after the Legislature approved them last
 week." [Worchester Telegram & Gazette, 2/21/03]
     -- FY 04: Romney Proposed Charging the Blind for ID to Travel Free on
     Public Transportation.
     On May 25, 2003, the Boston Globe reported, "The price of being sight-
 impaired will be going up. They want to start charging blind people a $15
 fee for a travel ID that would allow them to continue riding the T for
 free. The ID currently costs nothing." [Boston Globe, 5/25/03]
     -- FY 04: Romney Created New Fees on Bay Staters Filing Complaints With
     the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination.
     On February 28, 2003, the Boston Globe reported, "He vowed not to raise
 taxes. But Governor Mitt Romney never made any promises about fees. The
 governor's proposed 2004 budget new fee on individuals who file complaints
 with the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination. [Boston Globe,
     -- FY 04: Romney Created New Fees on Automobiles.
     On January 31, 2003 the Boston Globe reported that in Romney's FY 2004
 budget, "the governor also imposed a series of fee hikes, establishing a
 new $3 fee that would be imposed on all car-buyers in Massachusetts, and
 instituting a $2-per-car parking fee at state parks ... 'I will not tell
 you that today's actions have no impact, that no one will be
 inconvenienced, that no one will be forced to sacrifice,' said Eric Kriss,
 Romney's secretary for administration and finance.'" [Boston Globe,
     -- FY 04: Romney Increased Fees on Boats.
     On February 8, 2003, the Springfield Union News reported, "Romney wants
 to generate an extra $1 million alone by raising two-year registration fees
 from $30 to $40 for boats under 16 feet; $60 for boats 16-26 feet; $80 for
 boats 26-40 feet; and $100 for boats over 40 feet." [Springfield Union
 News, 2/8/2003]
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 http://www.democrats.org. This communication is not authorized by any
 candidate or candidate's committee.

SOURCE Democratic National Committee