Romney as a budgetary pragmatist

Romney Aggressively Closed Corporate Tax Loopholes as Governor (NY Times)

“The Romney administration relentlessly scoured the tax code for more loopholes, extracting hundreds of millions of corporate dollars to help close budget gaps in a state with a struggling economy. It was only after Mr. Romney was gearing up in 2005 for a possible White House bid that he backed away from some of his most assertive tax enforcement proposals amid intensifying complaints from local companies and conservative antitax groups in Washington.

Mr. Romney’s campaign against the tax loopholes, like no other period in his career, put him at odds with the values and expectations of the corporate world from which he came.

An examination of the period reveals a more complicated picture. It shows a governor who sometimes put the need to find new revenues ahead of the conservative argument that tax increases almost by definition kill jobs; a shrewd financial manager who aides said was guided by a strong sense of rectitude, not just pragmatism; and a political aspirant willing to buck the orthodoxies of his own party…when he proposed the tax changes, Mr. Romney argued that they amounted to vigilant and fair enforcement of existing rules. “

 

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3 Comments »

  1. Rick said

    Romney certainly knows how to balance a budget. To me, closing loopholes is very different from a general tax increase.

  2. Scott Peterson said

    Rick,
    I agree…typically a tax “loophole” amounts to allowing a narrow group of individuals or entities to avoid tax that most must pay.

  3. Rick said

    I would go so far as to say that mortgage and charitable deductions are special interest, even though they are popular. I know friends with mortgages who cannot claim the deduction because they do not have sufficient income to itemize.

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