Las Vegas Sun

August 29, 2014

Currently: 84° — Complete forecast | Log in | Create an account

election 2012:

Line of Attack: Is it fair to label Romney as a tax- and fee-raiser?

Attack: Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney raised fees and taxes as governor of Massachusetts.

Method of delivery: It came in a television ad and was emphasized in a Las Vegas news conference organized by Democrats last week that featured Nevadans — cosmetologists, gun owners, nurses — who would have been hit by the fee increases.

The Obama campaign TV ad begins with a grainy Romney in 2002 promising to cut taxes. Narrator: “As governor, Mitt Romney did cut taxes ... on millionaires like himself.”

The ad claims that Romney raised $1.5 billion in taxes and more than a thousand fees, ticking off a list in an increasingly rapid-fire voice.

Strategy: This is part of the effort to paint Romney as favoring the rich and having a disregard for the middle class. There’s no attack as universal as the suggestion that an opponent is a hypocrite.

Fairness meter: When Romney came into office, he faced a $3 billion budget hole, Romney’s former chief legal counsel Dan Winslow told the Sun. Romney told his cabinet to get to work — make cuts, find efficiencies and, yes, raise some fees.

He drew a line in the sand on taxes. The fees, though, were voluntary, Winslow said.

“People could choose not to have that service or be in the regulated entities,” he said.

Some of the fees hadn’t been adjusted for inflation in decades.

Sound way to run a state, maybe, but fees were raised. So that’s legit.

But the ad claims Romney also raised taxes to get that $1.5 billion.

That claim is dicier. Romney closed tax loopholes, Winslow said, and that’s also the citation in the backup provided by the Obama campaign.

Closing tax loopholes, such as those Democrats claim oil companies get, is different than a tax increase.

Given that, this line of attack gets an Eye Roll.

Join the Discussion:

Check this out for a full explanation of our conversion to the LiveFyre commenting system and instructions on how to sign up for an account.

Full comments policy

Previous Discussion: 13 comments so far…

Comments are moderated by Las Vegas Sun editors. Our goal is not to limit the discussion, but rather to elevate it. Comments should be relevant and contain no abusive language. Comments that are off-topic, vulgar, profane or include personal attacks will be removed. Full comments policy. Additionally, we now display comments from trusted commenters by default. Those wishing to become a trusted commenter need to verify their identity or sign in with Facebook Connect to tie their Facebook account to their Las Vegas Sun account. For more on this change, read our story about how it works and why we did it.

Only trusted comments are displayed on this page. Untrusted comments have expired from this story.

  1. You can't have it both ways...

    If President Obama 'raised fees' and 'closed tax loopholes' (as is in the works; hope springs eternal)...
    Right-winger's & TeaNuts would go BALLISTIC and charge that 'Obama is raising TAXES!!!'...

    RIght, right???

  2. Is it fair? What the Heck does that mean "Fair?" Is it the TRUTH? YES..and all the entire political/government machine has been grinding out regulations/fees/fine/penalies..mandate on every conceivable LEGAL human and inhuman activity and Now..Inactivy

    Roberts merely stated.. that all human activity..inactivity cannot be regulated under the commecrce act..and that fees/fines/penalties on legal activety/inactivity is a tax
    That is what Roberts said ..and "free health care" is not FREE.
    A vote for Obama is a Yes Vote for unlimited government power..A vote for Romney is a warning to the government to clean up its act..
    The voters will decide and I think the idiots will vote for their "free health care" from the "Good King Obama" ..but remember the government now owns everything you have..and has complete and absolute control over your activity and inactivity..
    Enjoy!

  3. CBarrius
    Exactly which of your enumerated regulated activities are not regulated in Nevada..and taxed?
    Are you saying that it is only q question of "how much." A democrat in Nevada would not raise fees that much..???
    It sounds like the old joke about the word "whore."
    "A man asks a women if she would sleep with him for a million dolars. She said YES..He said "How about ten dollars.. She gets huffy and says "What? Do you think I am a whore?" He says "We have already established that..we are only arguing about price."
    And as for using regulation and taxation to control behavior..the Rebuplicans have learned the Democrats tricks..Mississippi has regulated and taxed abortion clinics/mills out of the state..
    So it depends on how much and whose ox is getting gored..except ..the government does not have the unlimited power to tax.no matter what Roberts said..

  4. Can we get a little less hyperbole in these comments? Even a single shred of reality would be nice.

    To think that these same people can't figure out why no one takes them seriously.

  5. OK..the government can intentially use regulation, taxation (mandates/fees/fines/penalties) to control behavior (cigarettes) and businesses (strip clubs/abortion mills)
    BUT Romeny raised 1.5 billion by raising fees in one State?
    Obama's EPA closed down all American manufacturers of class 8 engines..save one..
    What did it cost America to put every manufacturer of class 8 engines out of business in American is jobs, tax revenue..and damaage to collateral industries such as trucking and agriculture?
    Is it fair to say Romney raised fees/taxes..Yes, to pay for an expanded welfare state..
    I believe in repentence..and Romney has repented..Obama has not

  6. The Republican point about regulation has been proven:
    The government does use regulation and taxation (mandates/fees/fines/penalties) to intentionally control behavior (cigarettes) and discourage business (strip clubs and abortion mills)
    Therefore..excessive regulation and taxation does discourage business and has a negative effect on the behavior of people in business (ship jobs overseas, go out of business)
    What cannot be regulated and taxed..for "health" reasons, such as the rape kit tax on strip clubs " who promote "unhealthy attitudes toward women?"

  7. manhunt
    Play the racist card while making bigoted remarks about Mormons?
    Where the heck do you think you are? BOTH Nevada Senators are Mormons and many public officials in Western States of both parties have been Mormons; bishop, jack and otherwise.
    The Bigoted Racist Left..on full display. West of Denver..bigoty toward Mormons gets you nowhere and nothing..and as my mother once said.."There is nothing East of Denver!"

  8. M. Malone,
    Please provide the source for this contention:
    "Obama's EPA closed down all American manufacturers of class 8 engines..save one..
    What did it cost America to put every manufacturer of class 8 engines out of business in American is jobs, tax revenue..and damaage to collateral industries such as trucking and agriculture?"

    And show the context is accurate as well.

  9. "Caterpillar has determined independently that it will not supply EPA 2010-compliant engines to truck and other on-highway original equipment manufacturers (OEMs)."
    Mac..No Volvo( foriegn engine manufacturer) Detroit Deisel..??
    Cummins is supplying the engines but..the warranty work is too expensive. There are problems with the EGR valve..it blows turbos at $$$+ about every 60,000 miles..and a few other..minor problems like melting pavement and setting the woods on fire..
    Cummins can't afford the warranty work and the owners can't afford the engines after the engines are out of warranty..
    This is from owners..drivers, mechanics, not from web sites or government handouts..
    I just talked to an owner of a 2006 volvo..He said he was getting rid of it because he couldn't keep it out of the shop and it was going out of warranty. He was looking to buy an older 525 Cummins

  10. Mark..
    Remember Gibson Guitar?
    Here is a June 12, 2012 article about International (Navistar) and the problems..

    "Navistar has incurred $10 million in fines for the production of non-EPA 2010 compliant engines, according to its second quarter results.

    Navistar ran out of emissions credits, which it had previously relied on to meet the 2012 emissions standards in its GVWR >14,000 pounds engine family, on February 29, 2012. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said it would impose a penalty of at least US$1,900 per non-compliant engine after this point.

    Daniel C. Ustian, Navistar chairman, president and chief executive officer, said: "Certainly, our first half performance was unacceptable. It included a warranty reserve to repair early 2010 and 2011 vehicles. We were also affected by speculation surrounding our engine certification for our Class 8 engine, which is why we are working tirelessly with the U.S. EPA to get resolution."

    HINT HINT..no class 8 engine can meet the regulations..the technology is just not there so Navistar has "carbon credits" until it can comply..but..that is a hell of a "TAX" $10 million dollars..SHEESH

  11. Mark
    I read a website..no date..but the author claims that Cummins has not solved the problems and is using carbon credits..just like Navistar for 2010 and later models

  12. And the last comment about trucks:
    "The emmisions-related technology results in a high rate of problems, particularly with ECM calibration, exhaust gas recirculation,and engine sensors resulting in more problems and downtime..

    So..the manufacturers are either on the edge or like Caterpiller ..OUT
    Mack Is Out (no longer manufactures it own engines.) Mack OEM use Volvos..
    Cummins and Navistar are OUT (using carbon credits..and paying huge fines)
    Volvo has the same problems as Cummins..expensive warranty work..and customer disatifaction..

  13. You can parse the words anyway you want but the bottom line is no one cares about this issue. What they do care about is how Romney is trying so hard to keep us in the dark about his past as governor. He will not show the American people more than one year of his tax returns. He will not tell us why he took state property as governor when he took his administrations hard drives. He will not come clean on his off shore and swiss bank accounts not to mention his questionable $100 million dollar IRA. He will not tell the American people in any detail what he will do as president other than add another 5 trillion to the debt with more tax cuts for the rich. He only goes on Fox and refuses to be specific about anything. This is Tricky Dick Nixon jr. and the people know it. If the Grand Obstructionist Party is OK with this lack of information good for them but educated people know who Romney is and what he is going to do. The election boils down to the education of the people. One side looking for truth and the other side is content with voting against their own interests in the name of conservatism and fanatical religion as long as they win. The GOP wants to force their backward thinking philosophy on all of us and make this country a oligarchy. Nothing else matters.