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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Thursday, September 06, 2012


For all the Myth-mauling in Charlotte, the real damage to the GOP nominee may be in today's Boston Globe. Don't tell anyone, but Mitt Romney's economic track record is not what he claims it to be.

The Globe does a deep dive in Romney's four years (give or take) dealing with the Bay State's economy and reveals he inherited a mess similar to the one Barack Obama received from George Bush -- and the tools he used to try to get out of the hole are similar to those he is now criticizing as wrong-headed.

Quelle surprise, the fact of the Romney record does not match the myth-making.

The "CEO governor" danced on a head of the pin in "raising fees" and "closing loopholes" rather than "taxes." He had the government "build it," by offering tax breaks to companies as a lure to relocating to Massachusetts.

But unlike Obama, Romney did his best to undermine his own efforts after wanderlust set in following the 2004 legislative election debacle. Romney then took off on his first presidential quest, making the bad mouthing of Massachusetts a central part of his pitch to GOP voters.

Romney's tepid results came after a disaster he inherited from Jane Swift -- a nearly 4 percent loss of jobs in a national recession that hit Massachusetts harder than most. Romney left office with a 1 percent growth in jobs, but as the Globe report:
...the pace of job growth significantly lagged the nation’s, and only a huge outflow of Massachusetts workers to faster-growing states kept the unemployment rate from climbing higher.
The Globe recognizes the issue is more complicated than simple job growth, much as today when the economy continues to dig out from the disaster of the Great Recession fueled by lax regulation that allowed the financial industry to run wild before bringing the world economy to its knees.

And one thing Romney did not face, unlike Obama, is a legislative branch that put politics over policy. While Massachusetts lawmakers were not enamored of Romney, they worked with him to close the tax loopholes and promote growth, in sharp contrast to the GOP House that didn't even deign to take up Obama's jobs bills.

So forget the rhetoric and look at the facts: Romney governed Massachusetts with a similar if not identical set of basic philosophies design to benefit "job creators" and workers. The GOP model he now embraces is a direct contrast.

That leaves the option of deciding whether Romney was wrong then -- or lying now.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

The great recession may have been aided by the financial sector running wild, but it wouldn't have succeded if there weren't millions of average joes willing to go along with the scam. Don't you know people who 2nd mortgaged their house to buy another because real estate "will always keep going up, better get in while you can" or so a realtor friend said to me( she's currently unemployed). Economics is the fuzziest of sciences(maybe sociology) and the experiments that are being tried now will only have a mild effect on cycles which are on the upswing. In two years the Dow (only one but a well known indicator) will be at 15000 and people will think the pres fixed things. Romney or Obama it won't matter, it will be there. Pour your money into stocks right now and go along for the ride. Don't pick individuals go with mutual funds. In five years we'll be in the midst of terrible inflation the likes of which we haven't seen since Jimmy Carter, and Barack or Mitt will be blamed for it.

September 07, 2012 5:02 AM  

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