Mitt Romney Used Tax Hike to Convince S&P to Raise State Credit Rating


After Standard & Poor’s downgraded the U.S. from its AAA credit rating, GOP hopeful Mitt Romney seized the opportunity to contrast it with events in his home state. Romney boasted that as governor the “S&P rewarded Massachusetts with a credit rating upgrade for our sound fiscal management and the underlying strength of our economy.” Of course, what Romney didn’t mention was how exactly he lobbied S&P to give his state the upgrade. Politico has uncovered the documents:

If that sounds at all familiar, well, it should.

Like most of his fellow Republican candidates, Mitt Romney opposed the debt-limit deal hashed out by Congress last week because he believed it would pave the way for tax increases, the same kind of tax increases he appears to have touted as governor. His campaign disputes this account. When asked about the S&P presentation, Romney’s aides asserted that the candidate never signed a single tax increase as governor and achieved a balanced budget by “cutting waste and inefficiency, by streamlining and economizing, and by reducing nonessential state spending.” The loophole closures, his aides say, were “more authentic than Obama’s” and served only to eliminate “corporate trickery.”

More “authentic”? Maybe Romney’s just trying to get back at Obama for calling him “weird.”

Taxes key to Mitt Romney’s ‘04 pitch to Standard & Poor’s [Politico]