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Romney Attempted to Gut Programs for the Poor and Disabled While Governor of Massachusetts

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posted on Nov, 4 2012 @ 02:37 AM

Want to Know What Romney Would Be Like As President?

Do you wonder why Romney doesn't talk a lot about the specifics of his governorship and why the good people of Massachusetts aren't all that keen about him? Well, in typical Republican fashion he went about attempting to slash programs for the poor and least powerful when he was governor, by vetoing a series of items that amount to less than 2.2% of the state's deficit.

He was successful in cutting the state's very effective anti-tobacco program by about 57% from $5.8 million to $2.5 million, although he wanted to cut down to $1.25 million. None the less, the budget was gutted, cutting the effectiveness of the program, which had been a model for others to follow:

The Massachusetts program was so successful that the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) used it as a national model. Dozens of other states put [these] ads on TV. Even other countries latched onto the campaign, beaming the ads into television sets as far away as Crete and Australia. They continue to serve as a model for public service ads today.

From 1992 to 2003, per capita cigarette consumption declined by more than 47 percent in Massachusetts, compared to 28 percent nationally, according to the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. The Boston Globe reported that between 1990 and 2002, the smoking rate for pregnant women dropped 52 percent. The anti-smoking program also reduced lung cancer death rates in the state by 9.5 percent and was responsible for a 31 percent plunge in heart disease deaths, according to studies co-authored by Connolly that isolated the program's direct effect on those conditions.

His (Romney's) efforts all but killed the program and serve as one of the most dramatic examples of his preference for short-term political gains over long-term health care solutions. Romney has continued this approach as the Republican nominee for president, vowing to repeal President Barack Obama's health care reform law while insisting that emergency rooms provide effective treatment for the uninsured.

During the campaign Romney had promised to increase funding for this program, but once in office he attempted to gut and slash social programs while giving a capital gains tax rebate of $250 million, half of which went to the 278 wealthiest taxpayers in the state. In the years that followed this cut in the anti-tobacco program, estimated sales of cigarettes to minors increased from 8% to 22%, nearly tripling. In previous administrations the anti-smoking program budget had been even larger, $33 million, and an MIT study had found that for every dollar put into this program, two dollars would be saved in health costs.

Perhaps this policy should have been expected of Romney because:

after Romney took over as CEO of Bain & Co. in the early 1990s, the consulting firm performed key research for Philip Morris that formed the basis for a price cut on which researchers blame a dramatic rise in teen smoking. The firm also worked with two cigarette companies to expand the Russian smoking market, making millions of dollars in the process.

In addition, when the state was working on legislation to ban smoking in the work place, Romney kept state health officials from testifying before the legislature; however, the bill still passed.

Romney Cuts Anti-tobacco Program

But it wasn't just anti-smoking efforts that Romney was bearish on, he also attempt to gut or slash many social service programs but was overruled by the state legislature.

These cuts would have totaled $26.8 million -- 2.2 percent of the $1.2 billion state budget deficit that Romney inherited upon taking office. None of these cuts were necessary for balancing the state's budget. All were overriden by the Democratic state legislature, and the state still closed its budget gap with room to spare.

The list of items Romney wanted cut, but which the legislature overruled him on inlcuded:

Legal aid -- $7,564,132 Mental health legal aid -- $501,085 Cervical/breast cancer -- $2,784,551 Turning 22 -- new clients (helping intellectually and physically disabled young adults live independently) $36,500 Holyoke Soldiers' Home long-term care fees -- $579,000 Nurse's aide scholarships -- $250,000 Regional emergency medical services -- $1,246,896 Newborn hearing screening -- $83,060 Suicide prevention -- $125,000 Prostate cancer prevention: -- $1,000,000 Healthy Families (counseling for young parents) -- $6,677,891 Housing Services Program -- $221,925 Medical assistance eligibilty for the blind -- $100,000 Commission for the Blind -- $213,456 Turning 22 services -- $131,240 Veterans' Outreach Centers -- $165,000 Ferguson Industries for the Blind -- $200,000 Community Services for the Blind -- $250,000 Independent living (aid for people with disabilities) -- $220,000 Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing -- $128,235 Early Intervention Services (for children w/ developmental delays) -- $697,132 Turning 22 community services for adults with intellectual and physical disabilities-- $150,155 Community mental health centers -- $3,000,000 Breast cancer detection and research -- $35,678 Chelsea Soldiers' Home -- $250,000 AIDS prevention and treatment -- $150,000 Total: $26,760,936 Source: Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center

Mitt Romney Massachusetts Budget Targeted Programs For Poor, Disabled

So he attempted to cut $27 million in services, and did slash the anti-smoking program in order to provide $125 million to the 278 wealthiest persons in Massachusetts -- which, no doubt included himself and his wife. Wonder if Romney's slashing of the anti-smoking program had anything to do with Bain Capital's relationship to Phillip Morris Co.?

We see here the kind of chief executive the US would have if they vote this guy into office.
edit on 4-11-2012 by MrInquisitive because: (no reason given)

posted on Nov, 4 2012 @ 02:52 AM
Lets remember of course.... Romney left Mass with a true Balanced budget....while Obama has taken the Federal budget from under a half trillion deficit to over a trillion in annual deficit and never sees it falling back below a half trillion in his long term projections.

On the other hand, Factcheck has this to say...while trying to be critical of Romney, they still have to give him this much.

It’s true that Romney balanced the state budget every year — as Massachusetts’ Constitution requires — and Romney never raised personal income taxes. But as we have noted whenever this claim has arisen — which has been frequently — Romney did hike government fees by hundreds of millions of dollars, and he also closed loopholes on some corporate taxes.

Ryan also said that under Romney, “unemployment went down.” That’s true. According to unemployment data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate in Massachusetts went from 5.6 percent when Romney took office in January 2003 to 4.6 percent when he left office in January 2007.

Hmmm.. Balanced budgets? Lower Unemployment? ..and he actually closed loopholes on Corp taxes in the process while not raising personal taxes. Hmm... He raised fees...but look around lately. That's happening regardless.

All in all, he did right in Mass, everything Obama has done wrong for the Nation. I didn't say it... ^^^ They did. I'd love to see it directly disproven though. I looked around a bit and didn't see outright, black and white, disproof of it. Just offering all sides.

posted on Nov, 4 2012 @ 04:09 AM
reply to post by Wrabbit2000

The point of my post was showing what Romney chose to attempt to cut: $26+ million in programs for the poor and disabled, which amounted to 2.2% of the $1.26 billion budget deficit, yet he did cut $250 in capital gains taxes, which went primarily to the rich, and half of which went to the richest 278 people. So yes, he, along with the Democratic super-majority state legislature, balanced the budget -- but without cutting these programs for the poor and disabled. He, however, has a tendency to want to cut programs for the poor and disabled, and wants to give breaks to the rich and powerful. This indicates what kind of character this guy is and who he looks out for.

He also cut the anti-smoking program, which was shown to save health costs two dollars for every dollar spent in the program, after pledging to increase it; given his and his company's affiliation with Phillip Morris, this would appear to be a conflict of interest.

posted on Nov, 4 2012 @ 05:36 PM
reply to post by MrInquisitive

Okay, point by point... The most obvious point of what exactly the purpose was...I'll let slide.
Thats too partisan to touch.


The point of my post was showing what Romney chose to attempt to cut: $26+ million in programs for the poor and disabled, which amounted to 2.2% of the $1.26 billion budget deficit, yet he did cut $250 in capital gains taxes, which went primarily to the rich, and half of which went to the richest 278 people.

Well, Yes, he sure did. He balanced a budget with it. Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid will comprise more as a combined total than our "below-deficit" spending totals are for the WHOLE Federal budget as it stands today and that comes by the end of the decade. Not some 20 or 30 years out. So....If we aren't to be totally destroyed by those programs, we will HAVE to see cuts. Mass seems to be running okay these many years later. his cuts seem to have been effective without poor dying in the streets or the old eating dog food. I'm proud to vote for him to try it for the U.S. as a whole. The turkey we have now sure failed across the board.

Capital Gains is something that just blows my mind to hear people hold up as some "rich man's" tax. It damn sure tells me in an instant, who has owned a house and who has never owned their own home. Prior to bush's cuts, selling your home...* A N Y * home...was subject to Capital Gains taxes. There is no such thing as a SMALL tax when it's coming against 6 figure totals and it's applied against most of that (assuming you aren't selling at a loss of course). So..... GOOD.. I'm glad he cut Capital Gains. Countless middle class homeowners were spared the pain of that hit on their real estate transaction. Likewise.... have any stocks? Retirement in private accounts? Anything at all besides paycheck to paycheck? You too are among the "RICH" he was babying. Anyone who has faced that damned infernal tax knows the truth of my statement. It's self evident. Those who have never owned anything? Can never understand......and we know who is voting for whom in that category.

He, however, has a tendency to want to cut programs for the poor and disabled, and wants to give breaks to the rich and powerful. This indicates what kind of character this guy is and who he looks out for.

The United States is ruined. Totally, absolutely and without hope of recovery...RUINED if we don't do something to control SS, Medicare and Medicaid. Obamacare MIGHT have helped but the GOP and Dems managed to strip all the good and leave the crap at the bottom by the time that monster even what started good wasn't there by the end. :thumbdown:

Romney better be able to make hard choices because THAT isn't a choice at all. Obama can't or won' yeah. I'm happy he has a history of it. We're *ALL* poor otherwise.

He also cut the anti-smoking program, which was shown to save health costs two dollars for every dollar spent in the program, after pledging to increase it; given his and his company's affiliation with Phillip Morris, this would appear to be a conflict of interest.

Good. Outstanding. I'm an Ex-Smoker. I watched my father die hard from lung cancer and I will forever live with being the man who made the final decision that killed him. Life support had to be decided...I made that. It's my cross to to speak. I also quit smoking after 25 years myself, shortly after that.

NOTHING else would have gotten me to quit and the more the state pushed...the more I ignored it and smoked with gleeful smiles. It became a matter of spite! This is not the right way...and it's throwing good money after bad.

*BILLIONS* From the tobacco companies were to pay for all this....yet, from almost the day after that lawsuit, you can find the budget line items in the state budgets and out of General Funds, for smoking programs. We got screwed on that settlement while Lawyers won. Smokers got screwed again when taxes went to the MOON...and now, it's a matter of financially breaking them to save them. THAT kind of logic is why I want Obama and his type out of my White House and never back.

The Nanny State HAS TO STOP. Romney doesn't have HALF the track record in Mass for playing Mr. Nanny as Obama and his crew have had running our nation. I'l vote for Romney twice on that basis ALONE...if there weren't laws against it.

edit on 4-11-2012 by Wrabbit2000 because: fixed quotes

posted on Nov, 4 2012 @ 05:42 PM
reply to post by Wrabbit2000

Straw man to Compare State with National Budgets, and you know that.

This countries Money Problems arise with National Programs, SS, Military, Deficit Interest and on...

Nice try though, many will fall for it.

posted on Nov, 4 2012 @ 06:31 PM
I'm somewhat okay with some of these programs
Others I think should be abolished and I wouldn't fund them either

posted on Nov, 4 2012 @ 06:59 PM

Originally posted by ModernAcademia
I'm somewhat okay with some of these programs
Others I think should be abolished and I wouldn't fund them either

This is one of the fundamental problems, emotive decision making based on political or religious ideologies. As a leader, you would be expected to lead an entire nation, even those you don't like very much because of your political or religious ideals.

It's not your job to decide which people "deserve" assistance based on your own principles, it is the job of a real leader to provide for ALL citizens. Then again, Romney has stated that he views 47% of Americans as pretty much worthless.

This is where the right wing fail every time, they like to judge who is deserving and who isn't, based on their own personal views. Republicans want to govern the USA for Republicans only, screw everyone they don't like.

A national budget cannot be managed in this way. A capitalist like Romney is programmed to think in terms of the quick buck. Look around you, one of the biggest flaws of modern "capitalism" (even though we don't actually have capitalism) is the "get rich quick" scheme, no long term planning.

Men like Romney will cut as much as possible now, and not consider the long-term losses. As long as the books look good tomorrow, they don't think about what those books will look like next month.

This is what we are fighting against in the UK - capitalist thinkers who use the model of a household budget to run a country. They don't consider that cutting services now will lead to increased loses in another year. Cut policing now, increase it in a year when you're paying them over time to deal with protests that spin out of control because you don't have the police numbers. Cut education now, but spend double the saving in two years when you have another million unemployed because they can't read properly. Cut the health budget now and save a couple of million, and then in a year you're paying ten million to treat cancers that could have been stopped early with the screening program that had to be cut.

This is the kind of economics you are going to get from a capitalist. It's dangerous.

What many forget to consider when banging on about how bad things have been over the last four years is that it would have been no better under any other president. Although I am by no means a fan of Obama, America is in a hole, and he's done well to keep it together as much as he has.

It's delusional to think that Romney is going to come in and magically make that $16 trillion debt disappear. It's not going to happen. He's just promising the same old BS "hope and change" that Obama promised, and it's not gonna happen.

I've said it before, but I almost hope Romney does get in, because it could be the end of the Republican party when he completely screws up your country beyond all recognition. That really is what I think he will do.

posted on Nov, 4 2012 @ 07:04 PM
reply to post by Tw0Sides

Well, I can go with that too, if that's the side you'd insist on taking. Fine...

State Budgets don't count. Romneys balancing Mass, cutting their unemployment, closing corporate loopholes and doing this all without raising income taxes won't count. Not one bit.

Then we have Bain Capital as his greatest claim to fame...where he became a Multi-Millionaire many many times over. It tells me he is intelligent, capable and very well versed in business and what it takes to make it work.

Another thread has people tearing up the U.S. tonight for being I'll enjoy the moment where so many can't even debate this with a straight face. America is, as so many are beating us over the head with, a Capitalist System. Yes, Oligarchy it may be in functional reality, but it is a capitalist system. Romney is a WILDLY successful Capitalist.

I see a match made in perfection there.

Enter 1 Bad..failing economy in what amounts to a GIANT corporation.
Enter 1 man whose whole life and fortune was made diagnosing broken corporations and fixing them, when possible.


On the other side, We have a former State Senator, Community Organizer and Lawyer. I hate Lawyers....but more than that, we DO have HIS record and that one can't be brushed off the porch so easily. If you'd like to start your own thread for THAT.....I'll bury the argument in pages of sourced, cited and totally documented evidence of how BAD Obama's actual RECORD...Is. hell... I'll spend half the rest of the night on it. I just don't think the mods would let me skate on that outside a thread meant for it specifically. Even true and sourced info...need proper topic.

posted on Nov, 4 2012 @ 07:07 PM

Originally posted by detachedindividual
This is one of the fundamental problems, emotive decision making based on political or religious ideologies. As a leader, you would be expected to lead an entire nation, even those you don't like very much because of your political or religious ideals.

Wow all that?

You didn't even ask my why or which programs I would not enforce.

It's the ones finding a cure mostly
There's no profit in a cure, so I don't believe any of these programs are trying to find a cure for cancer or aids!!!

posted on Nov, 4 2012 @ 07:27 PM
It is our job to hold the POTUS accountable.

It has been damn hard with the MSM painting it all sunshine and roses. They won't treat Romney that way. People are going to have to wise up and learn to think for themselves and quit drinking MSM Kool-Aid.

ATS members should being well above the average guy when it comes to critical analysis of the political issues.

Make yourself the media, people. Get in your legislators face. Tell the MSM what you think of there shoddy reporting. Use your voice to make the changes you want to see happen. Today Drudge is running 2 stories on Benghazi that I sent them as a tip. It could of been someone else's doing. It doesn't matter who sent them. Somebody did.

posted on Nov, 4 2012 @ 10:37 PM
reply to post by Wrabbit2000

Capital gains is predominantly a rich person's tax, as they are the one's making their primary money on stocks and bonds and real estate. Most people are wage earners and pay primarily income tax. As for single-home owners, if one puts money from a sale of their residence into a new residence, I don't believe capital gains is paid. Capital gains on property is primarily for people buying and selling property as a revenue earner; it seems appropriate for them to pay a tax on profits.

As I pointed out IN THE ORIGINAL POST, the capital gains tax cut Romney pushed through predominantly affected the 278 wealthiest people in Mass.; they got $125 million of the $250 million capital gains tax cut , so yes, this tax cut primarily affected the wealthiest people, your arguments not withstanding.

And hey, if you want rich people to get richer, and for more programs for the poor, disabled and disenfranchised to be cut, then by all means vote for Romney and the GOP. The OP was to show what Romney is about. If you dig that stuff, then support him.

As to your touting of Bain Capital, it is not the fact that it made money per se that people criticize, it is the way it did it, i.e. via vulture capitalism -- corporate raiding that bought out companies and then sold the assets or moved the labor force for them out of this country. It also invested in Chinese companies involved in pirating US intellectual property, something Romney complains about in his campaign rhetoric, but clearly has actually made money off of.

posted on Nov, 6 2012 @ 02:02 AM
reply to post by MrInquisitive

Our core difference here comes at the most basic level. I don't see rich people as being a problem in the first place. Period. I also don't see firms like Bain Capital as being the problem. They didn't buy healthy and stable companies then destroy them for liquidated profit. If I'm wrong....the name of one company they did it with will work. I may have missed something in previous research on Bain. I'm wide open to that if you have an example by name. I'd welcome the target for research...although in less than 24hrs, it's all a moot point anyway.

Your lack of understanding of the Capital Gains tax and how hard it hits middle class people is staggering to me and can *ONLY* come from a man who has not owned a home then sold it for a profit. Like you, my mother believed this too about churning money back into another home. Her tax guy told her that too. So when she sold her California home to move out of that place, then put the money into land and space in a better part of the country she figured it was all good. ...5 years later, the $30,000 TAX BILL from the IRS was not amusing. They also had absolutely no humor and didn't mean for it to be amusing. It could have destroyed her if the Tax guy hadn't made enough screw ups to be the one in the jackpot for the most part.

That was before Bush kindly cut that, with others. So...You see it as a tax cut for the wealthy that..gee..just kinda hurts some middle class, but it's a necessary evil to clobber the rich. I see it as a tax that has the potential to destroy middle class people and just happens to benefit the rich when it's cut........while they really don't give a damn either way if it's not. Rich means not CARING on a serious level about such things. Oh, paying taxes pisses them off too, no question....but it doesn't HURT them the way the staggering taxes that used to come (and will again after Jan 1) in selling a house does hit Middle Class people.

There is a class of people in America today that see hunting and destroying the Rich as a national sport. What I don't get is.....when all the rich people are gone...just who the hell is left to hire anyone?! I've never worked for a poor person. Have you? Aside from working with sole proprietor type stuff doing odd jobs when trucking wasn't keeping me busy, I've never even worked for a person I'd call "middle class". Sure not by my humble standards.

So....this chase to soak the rich, to my view, borders on economic suicide by tax code. We're damn near there at the end point too. Another year or two of spending like printing money is just a natural thing to do...while lying to the public about how Rich people can even BEGIN to pay the INTEREST on the debt we're racking up..and that's about game over. We'll *ALL* be poor together and some will finally have their equality. It isn't a world I look forward to. Not one bit. I'm am glad I'm a very active shooter though. That world will require those guns...just to survive.

edit on 6-11-2012 by Wrabbit2000 because: (no reason given)

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