“Massachusetts has a very strong legislative system, and whenever the governor submits his budget, it is politely accepted by Democratic leadership and then they proceed to write what they want to write,” said Mr. Bayles. “They did whatever they wanted.”
Lawmakers embraced Mr. Romney’s plans to raise revenues by closing corporate-tax “loopholes” and joined him in passing universal health care.
But lawmakers opposed most of his attempts to streamline government, to slash the state income tax from 5.3 percent to 5 percent and to tweak a state law that makes it nearly impossible to privatize or outsource state services.
Near the end of the one Romney term, Stephen Slivinski of the libertarian-leaning Cato Institute gave Mr. Romney a “C” in his rankings of the nation’s governors. In his evaluation, he said the governor generally limited more spending, but that Mr. Romney’s claim that he met his no-new-taxes vow is “mostly a myth.”
“If you consider the massive costs to taxpayers that his universal health care plan will inflict … Romney’s tenure [was] clearly not a triumph of small-government activism,” Mr. Slivinski said.
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