An article from the Daily Beast, by Paul Begala, suggests that Mitt Romney is hiding his record as Governor, specifically on employment, because, as Mr. Begala suggests, Romney’s record is not so hot. However, when one reviews data supplied by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and compares the Statistic (via a handy map) of Massachusetts and Neighboring States, one finds that Romney’s Massachusetts actually fared better, than he predecessor, and was on a par with the previous administration.
In fact, although no great shakes on paper, Massachusetts unemployment dropped under Romney’s watch. In fairness, one cannot count the data of March 2003, for Romney as that would have been from the prior administration, nor 2007, under Duval Patrick’s watch, as that would have been Romney policies that had lowered the unemployment rate. However, both Romney and Patrick (who is a model for Obama), fight the corporate tax rate in Massachusetts, which when state, local and Federal taxes are combined, make Massachusetts one of the most inhospitable States in the Union (and globally) for Corporations to do business in – several have moved to nearby Rhode Island, where the Corporate Rate made that state more attractive.
The Review: Bureau of Labor Statistics:
In March of 2003, the Unemployment rate in MA was 5.7% (Seasonally Adjusted), In 2002: 5.1%, In 2003: 5.7%, In 2004: 5.4%, In 2005: 4.8%, In 2006: 4.8%, In 2007: 4.5%, In 2008: 4.6%. It now stands at 6.5% (2012)
For information on Massachusetts and Taxes in General, the Tax Foundation offers a snapshot of the state, as well as a 50 state standing on Corporate Tax Rates: The Massachusetts Corporate Tax rates have been consistently high (not including Local and Federal taxes):
Massachusetts Corporate Tax Rates (Tax Foundation) 2002: 9.5% through 2008, the corporate tax rate remained at 9.5%.
The corporate tax rate is set in the budget which is set by both the legislature and the Governor.
The legislature, at the time when Romney was Governor, as with any Republican Governor in Massachusetts, was primarily Democrat, with a handful of Republican legislators and Senators.
In addition the Governor, with two hands tied behind his back, walked Massachusetts through both the aftermath of 2001, which affected businesses nationwide, and enjoyed the Bush Administration’s first term of low national unemployment rates. Therefore, it is difficult, when looking at the “big picture” so to speak, to chastise Romney for his Record on employment in the State of Massachusetts. He maintained an even keel, improved the record, albeit slightly, under the auspices of the State Legislature, where, if one lives in Massachusetts understands they tax everything and anything, including one’s dogs. (No Joke.)