Former Massachussetts Governor Mitt Romney gave a speech in Detroit Wednesday. In it, he supports making the Bush tax cuts permanent. However, Mitt wasn’t always a supporter of the Bush tax cuts.
After refusing to endorse President Bushâ€™s tax cuts when he was governor, Mitt Romney has now made them a central part of his presidential campaign, stirring accusations that he is changing his position to appeal to GOP primary voters.
In 2003, Romney stunned a roomful of Bay State congressmen by telling them that he would not publicly support Bushâ€™s tax cuts, which at the time formed the centerpiece of the presidentâ€™s domestic agenda. He even said he was open to a federal gas tax hike.
â€œFor a Republican governor, I thought it was interesting,â€ U.S. Rep. Michael Capuano (D-Somerville) said. â€œI donâ€™t prejudge people, so I thought he might have the courage of his convictions, but I guess I was wrong.â€
In a key policy speech in Detroit yesterday, Romney said it is â€œabsolutely criticalâ€ to renew President Bushâ€™s tax cuts, set to expire in 2010, to help spur economic growth. It is a stance he has repeated in recent days.
So Mitt, in 2003 at least, was willing to raise gasoline taxes and income taxes. Now, in 2007 when he’s running for president, he’s for income tax cuts. Plus, he’s claiming to be a fiscal conservative as well. However, what Mitt claims and the truth are usually not the same.
But Romneyâ€™s fiscal policies in Massachusetts have received mixed marks from conservative watchdogs. The tax-averse Cato Institute gave Romney a â€œCâ€ on its 2006 fiscal report card, saying the former governor acted aggressively to combat overspending, but failed to hold the line on taxes.
â€œHis first budget included no general tax increases but did include a $500 million increase in various fees,â€ noted Cato Institute budget director Stephen Slivinski.
In other words, he’s a typical Northeastern Republican. What’s next I’m guessing is that Mitt is going to convert to evangelical Christianity before the South Carolina primary.