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Sunday, January 13, 2008
posted by Devon Murphy | 7:10 PM | permalink
Senator John McCain, by his own admission, is not the sharpest tack in the shed on economic issues. So when McCain attacks Romney via mailers in Michigan accusing Romney of raising taxes by $700 million, it's a good idea to check the REAL numbers.

$260 million -- Romney's fee hikes on targeted services...like highway billboards, duplicate copies of driver's licenses, bar exams, registering a boat, installing underground water tanks, filing a court case, transporting hazardous waste, etc. This represents less than 10% of the $3 billion deficit Romney closed in his first year.
$240 million -- Fee hikes that were passed PRIOR to Romney's first year in office, yet did not take effect until Romney was IN office.
$210 million -- Romney closed corporate tax loopholes...for example, banks that did some real estate as part of their business were claiming to be "real estate lenders" as their primary business and were thereby qualifying for a major tax shelter. Closing the corporate tax loopholes are simply enforcing existing tax code as it was intended...to call this a tax hike is like calling it a sentencing when you send an escaped convict back to prison.

Add all three up, and there's your $700 million. Romney's contribution is only about $470 million, NOT $700 million, and NONE of it can honestly be considered tax hikes.

Furthermore, the $260 million of fee hikes that Romney approved were more than offset by various TAX CUTS he implemented...in other words, better than a "revenue neutral" shift of taxes to service fees, which any conservative should like. The service fees were generally in line with national and local inflationary trends, as well as making the prices more reflective of the actual costs. Fees generally make accounting in government more transparent, as you can see where the money is going...and there's really no good reason to subsidize a service cost below its market value anyway.

Romney's fiscal record on cutting spending is unimpeachable. And here's the list of Romney's tax cuts, the biggest of which was his reversal of the $250 million retroactive capital gains tax in 2005.

CAPITAL GAINS TAXES
INVESTMENT TAX CREDIT
PROPERTY TAX RELIEF
2004 SALES TAX HOLIDAY
2005 SALES TAX HOLIDAY
BIOTECH MANUFACTURING JOBS TAX REBATE
RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT TAX CREDIT
LOW-INCOME HOUSING TAX CREDIT
PRESCRIPTION DRUGS TAX RELIEF
COMMUTER TAX RELIEF
VETERANS TAX RELIEF
HOME HEATING OIL DEDUCTION/ENERGY EFFICIENT CREDIT
BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT
FIRE SAFETY TAX DEDUCTION
CONFORMITY TO FEDERAL INCOME TAX CODE
MEDICAL DEVICE TAX CREDIT
MOTION PICTURE TAX CREDIT
BROWNFIELD REDEVELOPMENT TAX CREDIT EXTENTION
HISTORIC REHABILITATION TAX CREDIT

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