"If people want to know what I stand for, they can look at my record as governor."—Mitt Romney
Ten years ago, Mitt Romney was elected governor of Massachusetts on his promise of more jobs, less debt, and smaller government. He left the state with a $1 billion deficit and increased spending, and the state fell from 36th in job creation to 47th. Now, he's running for president—and he's basing the strength of his candidacy on that record.
Before the first debate starts, here are ten facts about Romney's Massachusetts record that every American should know:
Under Gov. Romney, Massachusetts fell to 47th out of 50 in job creation: Before Romney’s time as governor, Massachusetts ranked 36th out of 50 in job creation, but over the course of his tenure the state ranked a dismal 47th out of 50—even as the national economy was growing. The Bay State only beat Michigan, Ohio, and Louisiana—which was still recovering from the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
Learn more about how the state really fared in job creation under Romney's leadership.
Gov. Romney created or raised over 1,000 taxes and fees: Though he promised he wouldn't raise taxes as governor, he increased taxes and fees by as much as $750 million per year, leaving the average taxpayer to pay an extra $1,227 in state and local fees and taxes. During his first year in office, Romney raised fees on milk, driver's licenses, hospitals, nursing and barber licenses, and even on the blind.
Take a look at who saw their taxes and fees go up under Romney.
Gov. Romney left behind a huge budget deficit: Romney broke his pledge to balance the budget and left his successor, Gov. Deval Patrick, with a $1 billion budget deficit. Long-term debt increased by 16% over Romney’s four-year term, and he left Massachusetts with the highest debt per person in the nation.
Click here to learn more about how Gov. Romney saddled the Bay State with debt.
Under Gov. Romney, state spending increased every year: During his term, state government employment grew at six times the rate of private-sector jobs, and government spending increased by an average of 6.5% each year, or more than $6 billion. In 2007 alone, spending increased by $3.3 billion.
To find out more about how government spending ballooned under Gov. Romney's watch, click here.
Massachusetts manufacturing declined to third-worst in the nation: Under Gov. Romney's leadership, manufacturing declined by double the national rate, and the state lost more than 40,000 manufacturing jobs. Even as job growth lagged behind, he vetoed $100 million in funding for economic development projects and support for manufacturing.
Learn the facts about Romney's manufacturing record here.
As governor, Romney slashed millions from education: After promising to keep education services intact, Romney cut $248.7 million from K-12 education in his first year. His policies led to increased classroom sizes, school budget cuts, and higher fees for programs like bus services and after-school sports.
Listen to Massachusetts educators recount what Romney's policies did to their education system.
Gov. Romney undercut support for firefighters, teachers, and police officers: As governor, Romney slashed local aid in his first year, forcing communities to lay off 14,500 local employees—including police officers and teachers. He vetoed funding for fire safety equipment and even told one retired firefighter that he wasn't interested in giving out "free stuff" when the firefighter asked about his state pension and Social Security benefits.
Take a look at how Gov. Romney actively undercut aid to teachers, firefighters, and police officers in the Bay State.
Small businesses shut their doors under Gov. Romney: Romney actively slashed investments that help entrepreneurs create and grow their business. Under Romney, the number of business start-ups fell by 10% and lagged behind the national average each year of his term. When he took office, more people were starting small businesses than shutting them down. When he left, the opposite was true.
Find out more about how small businesses actually fared under Romney's leadership.
Gov. Romney outsourced state jobs: As governor, Romney not only vetoed a bill that would've banned state contractors from outsourcing work overseas, he signed a contract with a food stamp company that operated a call center in India, not Massachusetts.
Click here to learn about Gov. Romney's record of outsourcing.
Gov. Romney failed at reaching across the aisle: Instead of delivering on his promise to work with Democratic legislators, Romney "failed miserably" at reaching across the aisle. Both Republicans and Democrats in the Massachusetts legislature note that he was "distracted and disengaged from the beginning." As one Democratic legislator observed, he was "the only governor who has ever refused our invitation to sit and meet with us and talk to us."
Hear what Massachusetts legislators have to say about Romney's ability to lead.
Even his own party knows it: Romney Economics did not work in Massachusetts, and it won't work for America.