It’s important to provide a little information about the situation Massachusetts was in when Romney became Governor, especially if you want to know how he would handle our current economic situation.
Before Romney took office in 2002, Massachusetts ranked 50th (2nd worst) in all states for increasing unemployment, and was ranked the worst in job losses. Massachusetts had shed 4.7% of all jobs in the two years prior and had lost 71,000 jobs in manufacturing alone.(Boston Globe, April 25th, 2003)
Speaker Thomas Finnernan was quoted as saying” There's a $300 million shortfall. There is a $2 billion structural deficit confronting Massachusetts. The budget is $23 billion, 40% of which is off the table because of court mandates and laws that you must provide that kind of funding. With the remaining $12 billion, you have to find $2 billion...”(October 2002)
"It's the worst I've seen it. Going back to the post-war era, I've never seen such an acute and focused fiscal crisis and particularly for the state government," said Richard P. Nathan, director of the Nelson Rockefeller Institute of Government at the State University of New York-Albany...
“The estimated budget gap of $547 million in Massachusetts is among the largest in total dollars, according to the report by the National Conference of State Legislatures... Massachusetts officials have predicted that in the next fiscal year the shortfall will far exceed an earlier projection of $2 billion.”(Boston Globe, December 5th, 2002)
By the time Romney took office, Massachusetts would see a structural budget deficit of nearly 3 BILLION.
So what did Romney do?
Romney convinced a legislature of 85% Democrats to allow him to make immediate changes to the existing budget, and he made changes to the budget that balanced the budget AS WELL AS ADDITIONAL BUDGETS AFTER THE CURRENT BUDGET. This resulted in SURPLUSES of 700 million (2004), nearly 1 billion (2005), 700 million (2006), and left a
2 BILLION “rainy day” fund for Governor Deval Patrick.
By the end of Romney’s term as Govenor, Massachusetts unemployment ranking went from the 50th to the 12th, bringing a net total INCREASE in jobs to 60,000. He did all of this WITHOUT RAISING TAXES.
In fact, Romney was successful in lowering taxes 19 times:“He cut capital gains taxes, benefiting well over 150,000 residents. Thousands more are currently benefiting from new jobs in the biotech field because of Romney's manufacturing tax relief and because he made the investment tax credit permanent. Thousands of Massachusetts families saved their hard-earned dollars when Romney enacted sales tax holidays. Seniors are benefiting from property tax relief proposed and signed into law by Romney. Our honorable veterans and National Guard members have several new tax breaks because of Romney's belief that they should be taxed less. Commuters can now deduct expenses for travel because Romney believes they shouldn't be penalized for helping increase commerce.”(Boston Globe, December, 2007)
Massachusetts is still utilizing some of that budget surplus that Romnet helped to accumulate!