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Results tagged “Mitt Romney”

May 10, 2013

The Washington Post editorializes, "LIKE MITT ROMNEY, Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli II wants to cut taxes -- by a lot. Like Mr. Romney, Mr. Cuccinelli, the Republican candidate for governor, promises this would not reduce government revenues by a dime, since he would also eliminate significant tax loopholes and deductions. And like Mr. Romney, Mr. Cuccinelli adamantly refuses to identify these loopholes and deductions. Why would Mr. Cuccinelli expect Virginians to fall for this?"

Progressive Point: It's basic arithmetic -- the numbers in Ken Cuccinelli's tax plan only work if he cuts funding for public safety, our kid's schools, and other essential home front investments. His top-down class warfare budget priorities mirror Mitt Romney's and would focus on cutting programs that help the middle and lower class. All that to pay for $1.4 billion more in cuts from Virginia's already regressive tax system.

While closing unnecessary tax loopholes is good, Ken Cuccinelli fails to name those he would actually close. It's simple math -- if he wants to cut more and more taxes, the rest of us will have to make up for it. Just like Mitt Romney, Cuccinelli vaguely says he's willing to end tax loopholes without naming them. As a result his numbers only work if the middle class pays more and important home front programs get cut. Working families pay their taxes, so it isn't right when millionaires and big corporations don't do their fair share. But just like Mitt Romney, that is the failed tax philosophy with which Ken Cuccinelli wants to cripple our Commonwealth.

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  • Via the Washington Post:
    • Ken Cuccinelli's tax plan "would starve the state of the resources it needs to fund public schools, state colleges and universities, public safety, mental health programs and state parks. Somehow, he would slash $1.4 billion in taxes -- about 8 percent of the state's annual tax collections -- but hold revenue steady. It's economics reduced to magic."

    • "Already, Virginia's tax code is highly regressive. The personal income tax, which accounts for about two-thirds of state revenue, is a flat 5.75 percent for everyone making more than $17,000 a year. For the sake of fairness, the wealthiest Virginians should be asked to do more. By cutting personal income taxes, Mr. Cuccinelli would ask them to do less."

    • "His proposal assumes that Virginians are overtaxed and in need of relief. In fact, Virginia is one of the wealthiest and most frugal states in the country. Its median income ranks eighth nationally, but state outlays on a range of functions are average or below average. On public and higher education, for instance, Virginia's per capita spending ranks 38th nationally. On health care, its per capita spending ranks 40th."


  • "Ken Cuccinelli's so-called tax plan shows yet again that he puts ideological goals ahead of the good governance that Virginia is known for. His approach would create a budget crisis on the state level, while shifting the burden to localities and local taxpayers. Make no mistake, Cuccinelli's plan would cause deep cuts that could undermine Fairfax County schools, force local property taxes to rise, and even threaten Virginia's credit rating. Fairfax County taxpayers won't be fooled. Cuccinelli's plan would hit us where it hurts most -- our property tax bills." (Rep. Gerry Connolly, May 9, 2013, DPVA press release via NotLarrySabato)

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Cuccinelli echoes Romney's '47 percent'

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January 31, 2013

The Washington Post reports, "Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli's new book doesn't hit stores until Feb. 12, but a few pages of it have trickled out to The Washington Post... On the pages sent the Post's way, Cuccinelli uses language akin to Mitt Romney's famous '47 percent' comment. The Republican presidential candidate had suggested that a share of the electorate was so dependent on government hand-outs that it would never vote for him."

Progressive Point: Like Mitt Romney, Ken Cuccinelli's new book ridicules 47% of Americans as victims who are dependent on government handouts. Cuccinelli is stuck in the backward mindset of writing off almost half of Americans as irresponsible victims in his attempts to pander to extreme ideologues to gain power.

Virginians who have paid into Social Security and Medicare all their lives aren't victims and they're not freeloaders. They're folks who worked hard all their lives and played by the rules to get a little bit of security in retirement. These are the very people our elected officials should be fighting for, but Ken Cuccinelli is making it clear he wants make the working poor pay more so the wealthy pay less.

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Women's Health: Cuccinelli has been an outspoken advocate for personhood legislation that could criminalize some forms of birth control. Personhood isopposed by a clear majority of Virginia voters, as evidenced by their rejection of personhood supporters Mitt Romney and George Allen.

In 2012, Cuccinelli intervened with the independent Board of Health, bullying members into approving abortion clinic regulations designed to shut down clinics. Health Commissioner Karen Remley resigned over the interferenceand The Washington Post called it "in keeping with Mr. Cuccinelli's crusading style."

Equality: Cuccinelli has done little to hide his animosity to Virginia's LGBT community, telling the Virginian Pilot, "homosexual acts...are "intrinsically wrong. And I think in a natural law-based country it's appropriate to have policies that reflect that. . . . They don't comport with natural law. I happen to think that it represents (to put it politely; I need my thesaurus to be polite) behavior that is not healthy to an individual and in aggregate is not healthy to society."

In 2010, "his most aggressive initiative on conservative social issues since taking office", Cuccinelli demanded state colleges and universities immediately rescind policies offering workplace protections against discrimination based on sexual orientation.

In another example of interference with independent boards and commissions, Cuccinelli has repeatedly pressured the Virginia Board of Juvenile Justice to eliminate protections for LGBT youth. The Board has thus far refused.

Climate Change: Cuccinelli, an extreme right-wing climate change denier, has used the power of his office to wage a "witch hunt" against UVA climate scientist Michael Mann. Even climate skeptics condemned Cuccinelli's suit, one saying "what Ken Cuccinelli is doing is going fishing for wrongdoing without an allegation of such wrongdoing." Cuccinelli's suit, a huge waste of taxpayer resources, has been repeatedly thrown out by Virginia courts, including the Virginia Supreme Court. The Washington Post editorialized, "IF VIRGINIA Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli II (R) needs examples of official waste and abuse as he runs for governor, he could cite the harassment that he conducted against climate scientist Michael E. Mann, a costly episode of government overreach that is finally over."

Health Care Grandstanding: As Attorney General, Cuccinelli sued the federal government over the Affordable Care Act. Cuccinelli refused to join the multi-state suit against the legislation, instead preferring to spend extra resources going it alone. While the multi-state suit progressed to the Supreme Court, Cuccinelli's solo attempt was unanimously dismissed by the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals. The Court found no standing for the suit. "Writing the majority opinion, Justice Diana Gribbon Motz suggested that if Cuccinelli's suit were allowed to proceed, it could lead to an onslaught of politicized and frivolous legal challenges."

Voting Rights: Further solidifying his adherence to an extreme, right-wing ideology, Cuccinelli "completely" agreed with a radio hosts' assessment that voter fraud was to blame for President Obama's reelection and more strict voter ID laws could have changed the outcome.

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What's at stake today for Virginians

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November 6, 2012

The Washington Post reports, "They lined up before dawn in the cold and the dark, voters of all political persuasions, clutching cups of hot coffee and their American dreams... In storm-ravaged New Jersey, deep purple Virginia and all-important Ohio, the rhetorical battles that Democrats and Republicans have waged for months finally gave way to the simplest of civic traditions: one voter, one ballot and the freedom to decide."

Progressive Point: There is a lot at stake today for Virginia and if you don't vote, you can't complain. We're Americans. Voting is our civic duty and opportunity to stand up to the politicians and special interests trying to keep those who disagree with them from voting at all.

Mitt Romney's allies are manipulating our voting laws to make it harder to vote, making workers who don't vote for Romney fear for their jobs, and trying to trick voters with false campaign ads and scare tactics at the polls. If they can't count on you to vote their way, they want to keep you from being counted at all. It's our responsibility as American citizens to participate in our great democracy -- even if some politicians and their allies are pulling out all the stops to stop us.

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Get the Facts:

  • Do you know what form of ID you need to bring? View the official list here.

  • You can find your up-to-date polling place, driving directions, absentee voting information and more on the State Board of Election's website.

  • If you encounter any sort of problem at your polling place or have a question, call the nonpartisan election protection hotline at 1-866-OUR-VOTE. Examples of potential issues at the polls include:
    • Long lines
    • Voter intimidation
    • Suspicious behavior
    • Voting machine malfunctions
    • Registration errors

  • Voters experiencing problems at the polls on Election Day can also report it to Election Protection via your Twitter account. Tweets should include a description of the problem, #EPVA and a hashtag+zip code (ex. #22205).

  • Via the Center for American Progress and ProgressVA:
  •  
    • Middle-class Virginians would pay more in taxes while millionaires would pay less.Millionaires in the state would receive an additional $87,000 in tax breaks under the tax plans of Gov. Romney and Rep. Ryan, while middle-class families would pay up to $2,000 more in health care taxes and $1,066 more in taxes on their mortgages.

    • Jobs would decline across Virginia. Gov. Romney and Rep. Ryan plan to provide extra tax incentives for corporations to outsource jobs and are pushing policy proposals to cripple the clean energy industry, jeopardizing 90,000 jobs across the state.

    • Drastic cuts to federal spending would shrink Virginia's middle class. The state stands to lose more than $46 billion in federal funding from 2013 through 2022--an aver­age of more than $4.6 billion a year--from cuts to schools, law enforcement, transportation, highway repairs, job-training programs, and more. These cuts would fall predominantly on middle-class and low-income families, especially cuts to education programs that would result in nearly $156 million in reduced federal support for education and job training in the state in 2013 and $361 million in 2014 alone.

    • Seniors in Virginia would lose health care benefits and pay more. Gov. Romney and Rep. Ryan would force seniors in the state to pay at least $639 more for their prescrip­tion drugs each year. At the same time, the Romney-Ryan plan to turn Medicare into a voucher system would cost current seniors at least $11,000 more in out-of-pocket expenses.

    • Severe cuts in veterans' health services. The Romney-Ryan budget would require cuts that would slash Veterans Affairs discretionary spending by nearly 20 percent. More than 85 percent of Veterans Affairs discretionary spending supports medical care; such a cut could have a significant impact on the 820,000 veterans in Virginia, including the 130,000 veterans who receive care in Virginia's VA Medical Centers each year.

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Today's Romney University video from former Congressman Tom Perriello is What Romney's tax plan means for Virginia. It is based our joint report with the Center for American Progress Action Fund.

Though Gov. Romney and Rep. Ryan repeatedly refuse to say which specific tax breaks they would eliminate or reduce, the Tax Policy Center calculates that these major tax benefits for middle-class families would have to be reduced by 58 percent to pay for his tax cut for the rich. That 58 percent cut does not even account for the fact that middle-class taxpayers would be forced to pay for the $1.1 trillion corporate tax cut also championed by the Republican ticket.

Today's Romney University video from former Congressman Tom Perriello is What Mitt Romney's Medicare changes mean for Virginia. It is based our joint report with the Center for American Progress Action Fund.

  • Seniors in Virginia would lose health care benefits and pay more. Gov. Romney and Rep. Ryan would force seniors in the state to pay at least $639 more for their prescription drugs each year. At the same time, the Romney-Ryan plan to turn Medicare into a voucher would cost current seniors at least $11,000 more out of pocket.
  • Romney's plan is even worse for the future seniors. Because of cost shifting and increases in system-wide health care costs, Medicare costs for future seniors who become eligible for Medicare after 2022 will increase dramatically under the Romney-Ryan plan. Specifically, upon retirement:
    • Today's 54-year-old will have to pay increased Medicare costs of $59,450
    • Today's 49-year-old will have to pay $124,626 more/li>
    • Today's 39-year-old will have to pay $216,631 more
    • Today's 29-year-old will have to pay $331,170 more
  • Gov. Romney and Rep. Ryan claim that no one over 55 will be affected by their plan to turn Medicare into a voucher. But that's simply not true. The reason: Seniors across our country are already benefiting from changes to Medicare because of Obamacare.
  • In Virginia more than 559,753 seniors who rely on their Medicare benefits receive one or more preventive services--such as cancer screenings, diabetes testing, and bone density scans--free of charge through their Medicare plan. This is saving Virginia seniors money each year and also providing them with the care needed to protect their health.
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Today's Romney University video from former Congressman Tom Perriello is What Mitt Romney's budget cuts mean for Virginia. It is based our joint report with the Center for American Progress Action Fund.

Today's Romney University video from former Congressman Tom Perriello is What Mitt Romney's budget cuts mean for Virginia. It is based our joint report with the Center for American Progress Action Fund.

The Romney-Ryan budget cuts include:

  • Drastic cuts to federal spending would shrink Virginia's middle class. The state stands to lose more than $46 billion in federal funding from 2013 through 2022, an average of more than $4.6 billion a year, from cuts to schools, law enforcement, highway repairs, job-training programs and more. These cuts would fall predominantly on middle-class and low-income families, especially cuts to education programs that would result in nearly $156 million in reduced federal support for education and job training in the state in 2013 and $361 million in 2014 alone.

Cost of romney to Virginia.jpg

  • The Head Start program for pre-Kindergarten children would be crippled. Under their plan, in 2013 alone Head Start in Virginia would lose $16 million, resulting in 2220 slots for children eliminated and 888 job losses. In 2014 those numbers jump to $38 million in cuts, resulting in 4,791 slots for children eliminated and 2,154 jobs lost.
  • Special education funding would be slashed. Under their plan $45 million in cuts for special-education grants would result in the costs for 24,785 students' special instruction being shifted to the states, jeopardizing their education and costing 644 jobs to be lost. But in 2014, these cuts become even more drastic with the cuts increasing to $103 million, resulting in 57,306 children at risk of no longer having their classes and 1,472 jobs being cut.
  • Big cuts for colleges and aspiring students. The Romney-Ryan budget would so severely restrict Pell Grant eligibility that more than 1 million low- and middle-income students would no longer be able to count on them to help pay for college. Cuts to these grants would be devastating to the 192,144 Virginia students who depend upon them to further their education. The average Pell Grant to Virginia students under the Romney-Ryan plan would be cut by about $850 a year.

You can read the full report here.

October 30, 2012

The New York Times editorializes, "Disaster coordination is one of the most vital functions of 'big government,' which is why Mitt Romney wants to eliminate it. At a Republican primary debate last year, Mr. Romney was asked whether emergency management was a function that should be returned to the states. He not only agreed, he went further... He said it was 'immoral' for the federal government to do all these things if it means increasing the debt. It's an absurd notion, but it's fully in line with decades of Republican resistance to federal emergency planning."

Progressive Point: When a natural disaster like Hurricane Sandy strikes, Americans pull together. The aftermath of this storm shows why the federal government's safety net and emergency response is so important. Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan would cut funding for vital agencies like FEMA and limit federal government's ability to respond.

We're Americans, and we don't turn our backs on neighbors when they're in need or tell communities "you're on your own" when folks have lost houses and livelihoods. Romney and Ryan's plan to defund FEMA would mean Americans would have to rely on businesses trying to make a buck off of their misfortune or cash-strapped states without the proper resources. National disaster coordination is a vital role of our federal government and shows we are strongest when Americans work together.

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  • During the Republican primary debate last year, Mitt Romney called federal disaster relief spending "immoral" and that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) should be privatized. (ThinkProgress, June 14, 2012)

  • "Over the last two years, Congressional Republicans have forced a 43 percent reduction in the primary FEMA grants that pay for disaster preparedness. Representatives Paul Ryan, Eric Cantor and other House Republicans have repeatedly tried to refuse FEMA's budget requests when disasters are more expensive than predicted, or have demanded that other valuable programs be cut to pay for them. The Ryan budget, which Mr. Romney praised as 'an excellent piece of work,' would result in severe cutbacks to the agency, as would the Republican-instigated sequester, which would cut disaster relief by 8.2 percent on top of earlier reductions." (New York Times, October 29, 2012)

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Two weeks ago, former Congressman Tom Perriello broke down what a Romney-Ryan budget would truly cost Virginia's family based on a joint report released by ProgressVA and the Center for American Progress Action Fund. Today, ProgressVA is releasing the first of 5 videos that will be posted this week from that session: What Romney-Ryan means for Virginia families' health care.

The Romney-Ryan budget costs include:

  • Seniors in Virginia would lose health care benefits and pay more. Gov. Romney and Rep. Ryan would force seniors in the state to pay at least $639 more for their prescription drugs each year. At the same time, the Romney-Ryan plan to turn Medicare into a voucher would cost current seniors at least $11,000 more out of pocket.

  • Women in Virginia would pay more for health care but receive less bang for their buck. Gov. Romney and Rep. Ryan would once again allow insurance companies to charge women more than men while taking away preventive care from at least 1,376,205 women in the state.

  • Young adults in Virginia would lose access to their families' health insurance. Gov. Romney and Rep. Ryan promise to dismantle Obamacare, which would directly result in 66,000 young adults in Virginia losing the insurance they have today due to the Affordable Care Act.

You can read the full report here.

October 22, 2012

ThinkProgress reports that last night at the final Presidential debate Mitt Romney told 24 myths in just 41 minutes. Here are the 10 worst:

"Syria is Iran's only ally in the Arab world. It's their route to the sea." Romney has his geography wrong. Syria doesn't share a border with Iran and Iran has 1,500 miles of coastline leading to the Arabian Sea. It is also able to reach the Mediterranean via the Suez Canal.

"[W]hen -- when the students took to the streets in Tehran and the people there protested, the Green Revolution occurred, for the president to be silent I thought was an enormous mistake." Obama spoke out about the Revolution on June 15, 2009, just two days after post-election demonstrations began in Iran, condemning the Iranian government's hard-handed crackdown on Iranian activists. He then reiterated his comments a day later in another press conference. Iranian activists have agreed with Obama's approach.

"And when it comes to our economy here at home, I know what it takes to create 12 million new jobs and rising take-home pay." The Washington Post's in-house fact checker tore Romney's claim that he will create 12 million jobs to shreds. The Post wrote that the "'new math'" in Romney's plan "doesn't add up." In awarding the claim four Pinocchios -- the most untrue possible rating, the Post expressed incredulity at the fact Romney would personally stand behind such a flawed, baseless claim.

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 "[W]e're going to have to have training programs that work for our workers." Paul Ryan's budget, which Romney has fully endorsed, calls for spending 33 percent less on "Education, training, employment, and social services" than Obama's budget.

"Our Navy is old -- excuse me, our Navy is smaller now than at any time since 1917...That, in my view, is making -- is making our future less certain and less secure. The U.S. Navy is smaller than it was in 1917, but it is not making America less secure. The navy has actually grown in the sheer number of ships under Obama and Romney's plans to increase shipbuilding is unrealistic. As one historian told PolitiFact, counting the number of ships or aircraft "is not a good measurement of defense strength because their capabilities have increased dramatically in recent decades." Romney's comparison "doesn't pass 'the giggle test,'" he said.

"And then the president began what I have called an apology tour, of going to various nations in the Middle East and criticizing America. I think they looked at that and saw weakness." Obama never embarked on an "apology tour."

"And I think that when the president said he was going to create daylight between ourselves and Israel, that they noticed that as well." They haven't noticed because it's not true. Israeli Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister Ehud Barak told CNN, "President Obama is doing . . . more than anything that I can remember in the past [in regard to our security]." "When I look at the record of President Obama concerning the major issues, security, I think it's a highly satisfactory record, from an Israeli point of view," said Israeli President Shimon Peres.

"It's not government investments that makes businesses grow and hire people." The Romney campaign routinely touts government military spending as a way to create jobs and boost businesses.

"My plan to get the [auto] industry on its feet when it was in real trouble was not to start writing checks. It was President Bush that wrote the first checks. I disagree with that. I said they need -- these [auto] companies need to go through a managed bankruptcy." Romney's plan for the auto bailout would have ensured the collapse of the auto industry. In his editorial titled "Let Detroit Go Bankrupt," Romney advocated for letting the private sector finance the bankruptcy of General Motors and Chrysler. Auto insiders, however, have said that plan was "reckless" and "pure fantasy."

"I was in a state where my legislature was 87 percent Democrat. I learned how to get along on the other side of the aisle." Given Romney's 844 vetoes as governor, Massachusetts legislators dispute this claim. As the New York Times has noted, "The big-ticket items that Mr. Romney proposed when he entered office in January 2003 went largely unrealized, and some that were achieved turned out to have a comparatively minor impact."

For a full list of all 24 please visit ThinkProgress.

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October 16, 2012

ThinkProgress reports, "During the first presidential debate in Denver, Colorado Romney managed to tell 27 myths in his 38 minutes of speaking time. But at his second encounter with Obama in New York, the GOP presidential candidate -- who has run a post-truth campaign from day one -- outdid himself and crammed 31 myths in 41 minutes." Here are the 10 worst:

"I put out a five-point plan that gets America 12 million new jobs in four years and rising take-home pay." The Washington Post's in-house fact checker tore Romney's claim that he will create 12 million jobs to shreds. The Post wrote that the "'new math'" in Romney's plan "doesn't add up." In awarding the claim four Pinocchios -- the most untrue possible rating, the Post expressed incredulity at the fact Romney would personally stand behind such a flawed, baseless claim.

"I'd just note that I don't believe that bureaucrats in Washington should tell someone whether they can use contraceptives or not. And I don't believe employers should tell someone whether they could have contraceptive care of not. Every woman in America should have access to contraceptives." But back in March, Romney expressed strong support for the so-called Blunt amendment, which that would allow employers to deny contraception coverage to women. Romney also wants to defund Planned Parenthood, where76 percent of the patients seek low-cost birth control options. Defunding the organization would make it much harder for those women to obtain contraceptives.

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"I believe very much in our renewable capabilities; ethanol, wind, solar will be an important part of our energy mix." Romney is actually against a one-year renewal of the wind production tax credit. The wind production tax credit has led to $14 billion of investment in 2011 and tens of thousands of American jobs.

"I went to a number of women's groups and said, 'Can you help us find folks,' and they brought us whole binders full of women. I was proud of the fact that after I staffed my Cabinet and my senior staff, that the University of New York in Albany did a survey of all 50 states, and concluded that mine had more women in senior leadership positions than any other state in America." Romney did not ask women groups for candidates. Instead, prior to his election, a "bipartisan group of women in Massachusetts formed MassGAP to address the problem of few women in senior leadership positions in state government." They "put together the binder full of women qualified for all the different cabinet positions, agency heads, and authorities and commissions" and presented it to Romney after he was elected. A UMass-Boston study found that "the percentage of senior-level appointed positions held by women actually declined throughout the Romney administration, from 30.0% prior to his taking office, to 29.7% in July 2004, to 27.6% near the end of his term in November 2006."

"It was a terrorist attack and it took a long time for that to be told to the American people." Obama called the Libya incident an act of "terror" the very next day. "No acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this great nation, alter that character, or eclipse the light of the values that we stand for," he said. "Today we mourn four more Americans who represent the very best of the United States of America. We will not waver in our commitment to see that justice is done for this terrible act. And make no mistake, justice will be done."

"So when you say that I wanted to take the auto industry bankrupt, you actually did. And -- and I think it's important to know that that was a process that was necessary to get those companies back on their feet, so they could start hiring more people. That was precisely what I recommend and ultimately what happened." This is false. As Buisnessweek explains: Romney "opposed any use of taxpayer dollars to bail out the automakers, advice that President George W. Bush and Obama ignored. GM and Chrysler went through managed bankruptcies after Bush, at the end of his presidency, and later Obama provided federal funds." "Without federal funds, GM and Chyrsler would not have survived. As former Bush aide Tony Fratto explained, "It wasn't just that there wasn't credit available; a lot of private equity had cash, they just weren't giving it away."

"And I will not -- I will not under any circumstances, reduce the share that's being paid by the highest income taxpayers. And I will not, under any circumstances increase taxes on the middle-class." As the Tax Policy Center concluded, Romney's plan can't both exempt middle class families from tax cuts and remain revenue neutral. "He's promised all these things and he can't do them all. In order for him to cover the cost of his tax cut without adding to the deficit, he'd have to find a way to raise taxes on middle income people or people making less than $200,000 a year," the Center found.

"Now, when the president ran for office, he said that he'd put in place, in his first year, a piece of legislation -- he'd file a bill in his first year that would reform our -- our immigration system... He didn't do it. He had a Democrat House and Democrat Senate, supermajority in both houses." Senate Republicans repeatedly prevented Obama's immigration reform efforts. The GOP actually blocked the DREAM Act from securing 60 votes to pass cloture, denying hundreds of thousands of young undocumented immigrants a path to legal status if they enrolled in college or joined the military. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) even said on the Senate floor that young people lobbying his office had wasted their time.

"He keeps saying, 'Look, I've created 5 million jobs.' That's after losing 5 million jobs. The entire record is such that the unemployment has not been reduced in this country." Job creation is net positive since Obama took office in the middle of the worst recession since the great depression. Economists estimate that up to 3 million jobs were created by the stimulus alone.

"I want to make sure we keep our Pell grant program growing. We're also going to have our loan program, so that people are able to afford school." Paul Ryan's budget could cut Pell Grants for nearly 1 million college students and even Romney's white paper on education, "A Chance for Every Child," suggests that he "would reverse the growth in Pell Grant funding." It says: "A Romney Administration will refocus Pell Grant dollars on the students that need them most and place the program on a responsible long-term path that avoids future funding cliffs and last-minute funding patches."

For the full list of all 31, please visit ThinkProgress.

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October 16, 2012

The Washington Post's Fact Checker reports, "Romney's 12-million job promise has garnered a lot of attention... But this is campaign math, which means it is mostly made of gossamer... The candidate's personal accounting for this figure in this campaign ad is based on different figures and long-range timelines stretching as long as a decade... We just find it puzzling that Romney agreed to personally utter these words without asking more questions about the math behind them."

Progressive Point: We can't solve our problems if our leaders won't tell the truth. Mitt Romney is misrepresenting his own plans because he knows the vision and values they represent are unpopular with the American people. Instead of investing in the middle class to build our economy, Romney and Ryan would raise taxes on the middle class to pay more more tax cuts for the already rich.

Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan don't want us to know their plan would end guaranteed Medicare and cut Social Security. There's a clear choice in this election: a country where hardworking families pay more so the richest few pay less, or an America where we all pay our fair share and get a fair shot.

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Get the Facts:

  • Mitt Romney's plan, featured in campaign ads, to create 12 million jobs over four years doesn't add up. Independent analysts found the claim is based on projections that don't take Romney's proposals into account and that are projected out over as many as ten years. (Washington Post, October 16, 2012)

  • At the first presidential debate Mitt Romney, "spoke for 38 minutes of the 90 minute debate and told at least 27 myths." (ThinkProgress, October 4, 2012)

  • Gov. Romney and Rep. Ryan's plan would provide extra tax incentives for corporations to outsource jobs and pushes policies that would cripple the clean energy industry, jeopardizing 90,000 jobs across the state. (The True Cost of Romney-Ryan to Virginians, ProgressVA, October 2, 2012)

  • Moody's Analytics in August and Macroeconomic Advisors in April predicted 12 million jobs will be created by 2016 no matter who is president. (Washington Post, August 31, 2012)

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October 8, 2012

The Virginian-Pilot reports, "Mitt Romney will address a rally in Newport News this afternoon, the second of two Virginia campaign stops today by the Republican presidential candidate... This morning, Romney plans to deliver what is being billed as a major foreign policy speech at Virginia Military Institute in Lexington."

Progressive Point: If you want to know how a politician will treat you once elected, listen to how he talks about people. Mitt Romney told his millionaire donors that 47% of Americans "will never take personal responsibility" for their lives and see themselves as "victims." Mitt Romney includes soldiers serving in war zones in those he is accusing of being deadbeats.

Even worse than calling our brave soldiers victims, Romney would abandon them when they return home from combat. We've seen Romney's true colors before in his plan for Americans who work their hearts out, play by the rules, and pay plenty of taxes. How Romney sees the people of this great country says more about him than about the current and former military members he has written off as not worth a president's time. If a politician doesn't want to serve every American as president, he doesn't deserve to serve any American as president.

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Get the Facts:

  • "U.S. military personnel deployed to war zones are exempt from paying federal taxes on their combat pay. In addition, many states exempt military personnel from state taxes as well. Meanwhile, the U.S. spends more than $87 billion every year on veterans benefits for our military men and women and their families." (The Grio, September 18, 2012)

  • The Romney-Ryan budget would require cuts that would slash Veterans Affairs discretionary spending by nearly 20%. More than 85% of Veterans Affairs discretionary spending supports medical care; such a cut could have a significant impact on the 820,000 veterans in Virginia, including the 130,000 veterans who receive care in Virginia's VA Medical Centers each year. (ProgressVA, October 2, 2012)

  • "This is not a culture of dependency. It is a part of a long tradition that gave this country its freedom and independence. They paid, some with their lives, some through wounds and disabilities, some through their emotional scars, some through the lost opportunities and delayed entry into civilian careers which had already begun for many of their peers who did not serve. And not only did they pay. They will not say this, so I will say it for them. They are owed, if nothing else, at least a mention, some word of thanks and respect, when a presidential candidate who is their generational peer makes a speech accepting his party's nomination to be commander-in-chief. And they are owed much more than that -- a guarantee that we will never betray the commitment that we made to them and to their loved ones." (Sen. Jim Webb, Politico, September 27, 2012)

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Fact Checking Romney Debate Lies

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October 4, 2012

Fact Checking Mitt Romney: Via ThinkProgress, "[Mitt Romney] spoke for 38 minutes of the 90 minute debate and told at least 27 myths." While there are way to many to include in a single email, here are eight of Romney's worst lies from last night's debate:

"I don't have a $5 trillion tax cut. I don't have a tax cut of a scale that you're talking about." A Tax Policy Center analysis of Romney's proposal for a 20 percent across-the-board tax cut in all federal income tax rates, eliminating the Alternative Minimum Tax, eliminating the estate tax and other tax reductions, would reduce federal revenue $480 billion in 2015. This amounts to $5 trillion over the decade.

"I will not under any circumstances raise taxes on middle-income families. I will lower taxes on middle-income families. Now, you cite a study. There are six other studies that looked at the study you describe and say it's completely wrong." The studies Romney cites actually further prove that Romney would, in fact, have to raise taxes on the middle class if he were to keep his promise not to lose revenue with his tax rate reduction.

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"The president's put it in place as much public debt -- almost as much debt held by the public as all prior presidents combined." This is not even close to being true. When Obama took office, the national debt stood at $10.626 trillion. Now the national debt is over $16 trillion. That $5.374 trillion increase is nowhere near as much debt as all the other presidents combined.

"I want to take that $716 billion you've cut and put it back into Medicare.... But the idea of cutting $716 billion from Medicare to be able to balance the additional cost of Obamacare is, in my opinion, a mistake. There's that number again. Romney is claiming that Obamacare siphons off $716 billion from Medicare, to the detriment of beneficiaries. In actuality, that money is saved primarily through reducing over-payments to insurance companies under Medicare Advantage, not payments to beneficiaries. Paul Ryan's budget plan keeps those same cuts, but directs them toward tax cuts for the rich and deficit reduction.

"What I support is no change for current retirees and near-retirees to Medicare." Here is how Romney's Medicare plan will affect current seniors: 1) by repealing Obamacare, the 16 million seniors receiving preventive benefits without deductibles or co-pays and are saving $3.9 billion on prescription drugs will see a cost increase, 2) "premium support" will increase premiums for existing beneficiaries as private insurers lure healthier seniors out of the traditional Medicare program, 3) Romney/Ryan would also lower Medicaid spending significantly beginning next year, shifting federal spending to states and beneficiaries, and increasing costs for the 9 million Medicare recipients who are dependent on Medicaid.

"Number two is for people coming along that are young, what I do to make sure that we can keep Medicare in place for them is to allow them either to choose the current Medicare program or a private plan. Their choice. They get to choose -- and they'll have at least two plans that will be entirely at no cost to them." The Medicare program changes for everyone, even people who choose to remain in the traditional fee-for-service. Rather than relying on a guaranteed benefit, all beneficiaries will receive a premium support credit of $7,500 on average in 2023 to purchase coverage in traditional Medicare or private insurance. But that amount will only grow at a rate of GDP plus 1.5 percentage points and will not keep up with health care costs. So while the federal government will spend less on the program, seniors will pay more in premiums.

"Preexisting conditions are covered under my plan." Only people who are continuously insured would not be discriminated against because they suffer from pre-existing conditions. This protection would not be extended to people who are currently uninsured.

"If the president's reelected you'll see dramatic cuts to our military." Romney is referring to the sequester, which his running mate Paul Ryan supported. Obama opposes the military cuts and has asked Congress to formulate a balanced approach that would avoid the trigger.

For the full list, please visit ThinkProgress.

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For Immediate Release
October 4, 2012
Contact: Anna Scholl (434)218-2113 anna@progressva.org

Romney's trail of whoppers heads to Virginia: Is today the day he comes clean about his plan for Virginia families?

As Romney heads to Fishersville today for a campaign rally, his debate performance last night is keeping fact checkers across the country employed. Among the whoppers Romney trotted out last night: his tax planwouldn't raise taxes on the middle class, his health care plan would continue to cover Americans with preexisting conditions, denying the existence of tax credits for shipping jobs overseas and repeatedly accusing President Obama of cutting Medicare benefits.

Since Virginia families can't count on Romney to come clean about what his proposals would mean for us, nonprofit organizations ProgressVA and Center for American Progress Action Fund have crunched the numbers in a new report, "The Real Cost of the Romney Ryan Plan to Virginians". Here's a few of the facts you won't likely hear from the Republican nominee in Fishersville tonight:

 

  • Millionaires in Virginia would receive an $87,000 tax cut while middle-class families would pay up to $2,000 more in health care taxes and $1,066 more in taxes on their mortgages.
  • Governor Romney's plan to provide extra tax incentives for outsourcing and policy proposals to cripple the clean energy industry would jeopardize 90,000 Virginia jobs.
  • Seniors in Virginia would lose health care benefits while paying more. Romney would force seniors to pay at least $639 more for their prescription drugs each year. At the same time, the Romney-Ryan plan to turn Medicare in a voucher would cost current seniors at least $11,000 more out of pocket.
  • Women in Virginia would pay more for health care but receive less bang for their buck. Romney and Ryan would once again allow insurance companies to charge women more than men while taking away preventive care from at least1,376,205 women in the Commonwealth.
  • Young adults in Virginia would lose access to their families' health insurance. Romney and Ryan's promise to dismantle Obamacare would directly result in 66,000 young adults in Virginia losing the insurance they have today thanks to the Affordable Care act.

ProgressVA Executive Director Anna Scholl commented, "Facts matter to Virginia families, and the simple fact is that under his plan, Gov. Romney's top direct donor would receive over $2 billion in direct tax benefits while a typical police officer in Richmond making a little over $48,760 a year would see their taxes increase by $1,660. We need leaders who will value and invest in the middle class, not pull the rug out from under us."

Previously:

 

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ProgressVA is a multi-issue advocacy organization dedicated to engaging citizens from across the Commonwealth around issues of immediate state and local concern. www.ProgressVA.org

October 3, 2012

Yesterday, ProgressVA and the Center for American Progress released a report titled 'The True Cost of the Romney-Ryan Plan To Virginians.' According to CAP Action President Tom Perriello, "'Virginians are tired of the ads and hungry for facts, and this report lays out the evidence behind the fact that Gov. Romney's plan would mean higher taxes, tuitions, and health care costs for middle-class families. The report outlines specific proposals that underfund transportation and research, reward outsourcing, and ask struggling families and seniors to pick up the tab. We outline what the Romney-Ryan plan means for Virginia, and the results just aren't pretty.'"

Progressive Point: Virginia voters want leaders who say what they mean, no matter who they are talking to. Mitt Romney says he won't raise taxes on the middle class--but that means he's promising to not follow his own tax plan. The fact is that his plan would make middle-class Virginians pay more while millionaires pay less.

Romney and Paul Ryan's plan would raise taxes on middle-class Virginia families and cut home-front investments in schools, police, and roads in order to pay for even more tax cuts for millionaires. Our families deserve a fair shot at the American Dream, but Romney and Ryan are only interested in making sure their already-rich campaign donors get a return on their investment. Facts matter in elections. The facts are clear that the real cost of Romney-Ryan policies to Virginians is more than we can bear.

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Get the Facts: ProgressVA and CAP Action report, "The True Cost of Romney-Ryan to Virginians" shows:

  • Middle-class Virginians would pay more in taxes while millionaires would pay less. Millionaires in the state would receive an additional $87,000 in tax breaks under the tax plans of Gov. Romney and Rep. Ryan, while middle-class families would pay up to $2,000 more in health care taxes and $1,066 more in taxes on their mortgages.

  • Jobs would decline across Virginia. Gov. Romney and Rep. Ryan plan to provide extra tax incentives for corporations to outsource jobs and are pushing policy proposals to cripple the clean energy industry, jeopardizing 90,000 jobs across the state.

  • Drastic cuts to federal spending would shrink Virginia's middle class. The state stands to lose more than $46 billion in federal funding from 2013 through 2022--an aver­age of more than $4.6 billion a year--from cuts to schools, law enforcement, transportation, highway repairs, job-training programs, and more. These cuts would fall predominantly on middle-class and low-income families, especially cuts to education programs that would result in nearly $156 million in reduced federal support for education and job training in the state in 2013 and $361 million in 2014 alone.

  • Seniors in Virginia would lose health care benefits and pay more. Gov. Romney and Rep. Ryan would force seniors in the state to pay at least $639 more for their prescrip­tion drugs each year. At the same time, the Romney-Ryan plan to turn Medicare into a voucher system would cost current seniors at least $11,000 more in out-of-pocket expenses.

  • Severe cuts in veterans' health services. The Romney-Ryan budget would require cuts that would slash Veterans Affairs discretionary spending by nearly 20 percent. More than 85 percent of Veterans Affairs discretionary spending supports medical care; such a cut could have a significant impact on the 820,000 veterans in Virginia, including the 130,000 veterans who receive care in Virginia's VA Medical Centers each year.

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For Immediate Release
October 2, 2012

Contact
Joshua Dorner, 202.481.8153
jdorner@americanprogressaction.org

Anna Scholl, 434.218.2113
anna@progressva.org

RELEASE: ProgressVA and CAP Action Release New Report 'The True Cost of the Romney-Ryan Plan To Virginians'

Washington, D.C. -- The Center for American Progress Action Fund launched Romney University this summer to inject facts and policy into the national debate. Over the past month, CAP Action has been touring the country--traveling to six states, reaching 16 cities, and meeting with community leaders--to release state-specific reports that take a close look at the costs each American will pay for Republican presidential nominee and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and his running mate Rep. Paul Ryan's (R-WI) policies, which ask the middle class to pay more so the wealthiest Americans and huge corporations can pay less.

"Virginians are tired of the ads and hungry for facts, and this report lays out the evidence behind the fact that Gov. Romney's plan would mean higher taxes, tuitions, and health care costs for middle-class families," said Tom Perriello, President of the Center for American Progress Action Fund. "The report outlines specific proposals that underfund transportation and research, reward outsourcing, and ask struggling families and seniors to pick up the tab. We outline what the Romney-Ryan plan means for Virginia, and the results just aren't pretty."

"Virginians are looking for leaders who will invest in our future and prioritize building the middle class," said Anna Scholl, Executive Director of ProgressVA. "Gov. Romney and Rep. Ryan would raise taxes on middle-class Virginian families and cut home-front investments in schools, police, and roads to pay for tax cuts for millionaires. Our families just want a fair shot at the American Dream, but Gov. Romney and Rep. Ryan are only interested in making sure their already-rich campaign donors get a return on their investment."

Real Cost Of the Romney-Ryan Plan to Virginians

ProgressVA and CAP Action today released the report, "The True Cost of Romney-Ryan to Virginians." Impacts of their plan on Virginia would include:

  • Middle-class Virginians would pay more in taxes while millionaires would pay less.Millionaires in the state would receive an additional $87,000 in tax breaks under the tax plans of Gov. Romney and Rep. Ryan, while middle-class families would pay up to $2,000 more in health care taxes and $1,066 more in taxes on their mortgages.
  • Jobs would decline across Virginia. Gov. Romney and Rep. Ryan plan to provide extra tax incentives for corporations to outsource jobs and are pushing policy proposals to cripple the clean energy industry, jeopardizing 90,000 jobs across the state.
  • Drastic cuts to federal spending would shrink Virginia's middle class. The state stands to lose more than $46 billion in federal funding from 2013 through 2022--an aver­age of more than $4.6 billion a year--from cuts to schools, law enforcement, transportation, highway repairs, job-training programs, and more. These cuts would fall predominantly on middle-class and low-income families, especially cuts to education programs that would result in nearly $156 million in reduced federal support for education and job training in the state in 2013 and $361 million in 2014 alone.
  • Seniors in Virginia would lose health care benefits and pay more. Gov. Romney and Rep. Ryan would force seniors in the state to pay at least $639 more for their prescrip­tion drugs each year. At the same time, the Romney-Ryan plan to turn Medicare into a voucher system would cost current seniors at least $11,000 more in out-of-pocket expenses.
  • Severe cuts in veterans' health services. The Romney-Ryan budget would require cuts that would slash Veterans Affairs discretionary spending by nearly 20 percent. More than 85 percent of Veterans Affairs discretionary spending supports medical care; such a cut could have a significant impact on the 820,000 veterans in Virginia, including the 130,000 veterans who receive care in Virginia's VA Medical Centers each year.

To speak with CAP Action experts, contact Josh Dorner at jdorner@americanprogressaction.org.

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The Center for American Progress Action Fund is the sister advocacy organization of the Center for American Progress. The Action Fund transforms progressive ideas into policy through rapid response communications, legislative action, grassroots organizing and advocacy, and partnerships with other progressive leaders throughout the country and the world. The Action Fund is also the home of the Progress Report.

September 28, 2012

The Washington Post reports, "Voters in three critical swing states broadly oppose the far-reaching changes to Medicare ­associated with the Republican presidential ticket and, by big margins, prefer President Obama to handle the issue, according to new state polls by The Washington Post and the Kaiser Family Foundation. For seniors in Florida, Ohio and Virginia, Medicare rivals the economy as a top voting issue. And by majorities topping 70 percent, seniors say they prefer to keep Medicare as a program with guaranteed benefits, rather than moving to a system in which the government gives recipients fixed payments to buy coverage from private insurers or traditional Medicare, as Romney advocates."

Progressive Point: Medicare guarantees health care coverage to our seniors who have worked hard all their lives. Let's be clear: Obamacare preserves every dime of Medicare benefits. Romney-Ryan would not. Whether they'll privatize it or bankrupt it, Romney-Ryan would end Medicare as we know it.

After attacking Obamacare for the same $700 billion savings in their own plan, Romney & Ryan are now claiming they'd put that $700 billion in waste and abuse back into Medicare--making Medicare go broke in just four years. That's on top of their plan to replace Medicare with a privatized voucher system that sticks seniors with just a coupon to hand over to the insurance companies. Obamacare reinvests savings back in Medicare to expand benefits and extend Medicare's finances by nearly a decade. Any way you look at it, Romney-Ryan would cut benefits and end Medicare as we know it.

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Get the Facts:

  • The Romney-Ryan agenda would end Medicare as we know it by replacing it with a privatized voucher system that sticks seniors with a coupon to hand over to the insurance companies. (Center for American Progress, Aug. 24, 2012)

  • Romney-Ryan would massively raise Medicare costs for current and future seniors. (Center for American Progress, Aug. 24, 2012)

  • In Virginia, seniors give President Obama a 13 percent lead over Mitt Romney on who they trust to deal with the Medicare. "The importance of Medicare as an issue also boosts Obama more directly: In the three Post-Kaiser state polls, voters who call Medicare an 'extremely important' voting issue side with him over his challenger, 59 percent to 36 percent." (Washington Post, Sept. 28, 2012)

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For Immediate Release
September 27, 2012
Contact: Anna Scholl (434) 218-2113 anna@progressva.org

Virginians Demand Answers From Mitt Romney On His Taxes

News report indicates Romney may have violated federal law in tax and ethics filings.

As Mitt Romney today prepares to campaign in Springfield, VA, a new report from the Boston Globe continues to raise questions about Mitt Romney's taxes. A legal analysis of Romney's 2011 ethics filing found he may have violated the False Statements Act by declaring he had not been involved in the operations of any Bain Capital entity in any way since Feb. 11, 1999. That statement contradicts Securities and Exchange Commission filings, reported by the Globe in July, that demonstrated Romney continued to serve as Bain's chief executive and chairman as late as 2002.

"When it comes to Mitt Romney and taxes, there are always more questions than answers," said ProgressVA executive director Anna Scholl. "Romney still hasn't told Virginians why he thinks it's ok that he pays a significantly lower tax rate than teachers, firefighters, and nurses. He hasn't come clean to Virginians about the foreign tax havens he may have used to lower his tax liability and now he's refusing to answer questions to a pretty simple question: when did you stop working at Bain Capital? What is Mitt Romney hiding?"

Romney has repeatedly refused to adhere to the standard of transparency in presidential campaigns set by his father in 1967. George Romney released 12 years of tax returns during his pursuit of the White House. Mitt Romney's own 2011 tax returns demonstrate he purposefully manipulated his tax liability in order to pay more than an approximate 10% tax rate that many Americans would find disqualifying. The release of his 2011 return came days after Romney ridiculed 47% of hardworking Americans as victims who depend on government for a handout.

BACKGROUND:

 

  • "In the 2011 [ethics] disclosure, which Romney was required to submit as a presidential candidate, the former Massachusetts governor stated that he "has not been involved in the operations of any Bain Capital entity in any way'' since Feb. 11, 1999." [Boston Globe, 9/27/12]
  • "Government documents filed by Mitt Romney and Bain Capital say Romney remained chief executive and chairman of the firm three years beyond the date he said he ceded control, even creating five new investment partnerships during that time." [Boston Globe, 7/12/12]
  •  Moveon.org "citing its own review of the public records, contends that Romney may have violated the False Statements Act by lying on his 2011 federal financial disclosure statement." [Boston Globe, 9/27/12]

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ProgressVA is a multi-issue, progressive advocacy organization dedicated to engaging citizens from across the Commonwealth around issues of immediate state and local concern. www.ProgressVA.org

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