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Governor Mitt Romney and the Budget


Quotes from Governor Mitt Romney on the Budget


  • "When I was running for office I had a debate as you may recall, actually five of them. Don't know whether you saw the one where Tim Russert was the moderator. He wondered how we were going to be able to close a $1 billion budget gap. And I had to lay out what my plans were for doing so. When I got in office, my Secretary of Finance came to me and said, I've got great news and bad news. The great news is we don't have a one billion budget gap. The bad news is we have a $3 billion budget gap. And there were some people that said all we have to do is raise taxes. And I said, look, if you raise taxes you kill jobs and you hurt working families. There were some other people that said why don't we just raise debt. We can just borrow our way out of this. But if you raise debt you just put our problems on the backs of our kids. I said no, we're going to go back to government, we're going to cut out the waste and inefficiency and duplication. We're going to do the job we were elected to do. And Republicans and Democrats came together and made a lot of that happen.


  • But Romney said the overall level of spending growth in the budget “is simply too high.” He lamented the fact that it relies on $550 million in rainy day funds at a time when the state is experiencing record high revenue collections. Source: 07-08-2006 Press Release


  • “Rainy day funds should not be spent during periods of robust revenue growth to support a level of spending that is not sustainable,” Romney said. “We are repeating the mistakes of the past, and it would be irresponsible to allow this budget to become law without making significant reductions.”


  • “Two years ago, the state budget was out of balance and the economy was in a deep recession. Working together, the Executive Branch and Legislature took decisive action to control costs and manage the budget without raising taxes Today, our economy is strong and producing jobs and the budget outlook is positive.”


  • He added that his budget will not raise taxes on the working families of Massachusetts and that he will propose a modest increase in local aid. “I will present a balanced budget. And in case anybody has any other ideas, let me be clear about one more thing: I will not raise taxes.”


  • “Being fiscally responsible isn’t easy – and it’s not always popular – but it has its rewards. If we continue the hard work of reform, we can do even more for the people of Massachusetts.”


  • "A true partnership means sharing in good times and bad. In good times, the Commonwealth shared its prosperity with cities and towns," said Romney in an address to the Massachusetts Municipal Association. "Now that the state has hit hard times, we need cities and towns to join us in tightening their belts," Romney said. "Our problem is simple: spending is high and cash is low. When we began our transition two months ago, every indication was that the current budget was balanced. That is not the case, and immediate, hard action is required to achieve fiscal balance," said Romney. According to Romney, his current "9C authority" would force disproportionate cuts on the elderly, poor and disabled. "If we are forced to balance this budget on the backs of our seniors and the poor, we will expose the core services of government to disproportionate cuts," said Romney. "That is not fair. The best solution is to spread the burden."


  • While he is sacrificing $2 million in savings by blocking some of the proposed changes, Romney said programs that provide shelter to the homeless “should not be gutted,” calling them “essential services.”


  • “The current communications structure in government makes no sense. It grew over time without any planning or thought. It’s an extremely wasteful system,” said Romney. “By streamlining our communications function, we can do a better job with less people for the taxpayers of Massachusetts.”


  • “Throughout this process, we have been guided by a desire to simplify our health and human services agencies to better serve recipients. Rather than requiring families to navigate the current red tape jungle, we are consolidating functions to better help those who cannot help themselves,” Romney said. Families requiring HHS services now face a confusing alphabet soup of state agencies to access the help they need.


  • Romney said the HHS agencies would be divided into four different groups – Children, Youth and Families; Disabilities and Community Services; Health; and Elder Affairs – based on their common functions. Romney said, “We want to make sure that any person or family in need of an HHS service will be able to get that service easily. Under my plan, the bureaucracy will be simpler to navigate while saving significant time for state employees and significant money for taxpayers.”


  • “It would be impossible to reach unanimity on every aspect of our budget, but it’s clear there is widespread support for the concept of change. We face a choice between either cutting waste out of government, or facing a new job killing tax increase every year from here on out,” said Romney.


  • “We will continue to be a generous state when it comes to caring for the poor, the disabled and the elderly. We will be far less generous when it comes to patronage, waste and inefficiencies.”


  • “The members of the Legislature and the Administration have successfully closed the $650 million budget gap and set a precedent of cooperation that will help us produce a fair and balanced budget for the next fiscal year.”



Fiscal Discapline

Budget Balancing


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