Skip to comments.More Mitt Malarkey
Posted on 12/29/2007 9:10:23 PM PST by freespirited
Romney's latest ad attacks McCain in New Hampshire with false and misleading claims:
It claims McCain "voted to allow illegals to collect Social Security." That's untrue. Nobody who is in the country illegally could be paid any Social Security benefits under McCain's immigration bill.
It implies McCain supported "amnesty" for illegal immigrants. That word isn't accurate. Illegal immigrants wouldn't have received a blanket pardon under McCain's bill. Instead, they would have had to pay thousands in penalties and fees to gain legal status. In fact, in 2005 Romney called McCain's proposal "reasonable" and said it wasn't amnesty.
The ad says Romney "cut taxes" in Massachusetts. While he did cut some taxes for example, enacting business tax credits tax rates remained unchanged. Plus, Romney raised state revenues by hundreds of millions of dollars per year by increasing fees and closing corporate tax loopholes.
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney announced his ad attacking Arizona Sen. John McCain Dec. 28. It is set to run in New Hampshire, where the two face each other in the Republican presidential primary scheduled for Jan. 8.
Social Security for Illegal Aliens
In contrasting supposed differences between the two men, the ad's announcer falsely states that McCain "voted to allow illegals to collect Social Security." This tired and misleading claim was used by several Republicans against Democrats in the 2006 elections. We debunked it then, and it is no more true now that it is being used to attack a Republican.
The claim is based on the immigration bill that McCain cosponsored in 2005 and 2006. The bill died, but as we said before, the measure did not propose to pay Social Security benefits to illegal immigrants, not until and unless they become U.S. citizens or are granted legal status. Under current law, illegal immigrants who work and pay Social Security taxes may later receive credit toward future benefits for the amounts they have paid, if they become legal residents or citizens. The McCain measure wouldn't have changed that.
During the immigration fight Republicans proposed an amendment that would have prevented anyone who became a legal immigrant under the McCain bill from receiving credit toward future Social Security benefits for the taxes they paid and the time they had worked while in the U.S. without legal permission. McCain was one of 11 Republicans who voted to kill that amendment.
Thus, the statement that McCain "voted to allow illegals to collect Social Security" is false. Nobody proposed to pay benefits to anyone who is in the U.S. illegally. To be accurate, the ad might have said that McCain "voted against a measure that would have denied illegal immigrants Social Security credit for their work once they gain legal status." But such a truthful statement might not strike New Hampshire voters as so damaging.
The Romney ad also misleads by using the inaccurate and emotionally laden term "amnesty" to describe what the immigration bill would have offered illegal immigrants. As we've said any number of times, the dictionary definition of "amnesty" is a pardon for past offenses, and the McCain bill did not offer a simple pardon. Rather, it would have imposed thousands of dollars in penalties and fees on any illegal immigrant wishing to gain legal status.
The ad's wording is technically accurate on this score. It says, "He [Romney] opposes amnesty for illegals." What's misleading is the suggestion that McCain embraces "amnesty," when he doesn't. Romney's ad might truthfully have said he currently takes a tougher line on illegal immigrants than does McCain, but characterizing his opponent as favoring "amnesty" isn't accurate.
Also, while the former governor has hardened his stance on immigration, it's worth noting that he once called the legislation for which he now attacks McCain a "reasonable" proposal. In a 2005 interview with the Boston Globe after McCain's bill was introduced, Romney also said he didn't believe the legislation granted "amnesty."
Boston Globe (March 2007): In a November 2005 interview with the Globe, Romney described immigration proposals by McCain and others as "quite different" from amnesty, because they required illegal immigrants to register with the government, work for years, pay taxes, not take public benefits, and pay a fine before applying for citizenship.
McCain issued a response to the Romney attack, alluding to the somewhat tougher stand on immigration that the senator has embraced since the defeat of his immigration plans. He said he now favors securing U.S. borders and instituting a "temporary worker program" before attempting to deal "comprehensively" with immigrants currently in the U.S. illegally.
John McCain: I'm familiar with tailspins and I think he's [Romney is] in one. Look, on the issue of immigration, my position is clear: We have to secure the borders, the borders have to be secured first. As president I would have the governors in the border states certify that the borders are secure. We learned a lesson and the message is they want the borders secured first. Then we go on to a temporary worker program and addressing the issue comprehensively.
A Misleading Claim About Taxes
We also find the ad's claim that "Romney cut taxes" to be misleading. It is true that Romney proposed some income tax cuts that the Democratic-controlled Massachusetts Legislature rejected. And he did succeed in cutting some taxes for example, he enacted property tax relief for seniors and approved business tax credits but overall tax rates remained the same. The conservative Club for Growth said his term included "some solid efforts" but that "overall, Romney's record on tax policy is mixed." Indeed, he increased state revenues significantly.
Technically, Romney's often-repeated boast that he didn't raise taxes is true, but it's also misleading, as we discussed in our critique of the second Republican presidential debate back in May. In 2003, to help close a big budget gap, he pushed through a number of increased state fees that brought in $400 million in their first year. For example, he doubled fees for marriage licenses and other court filings. He also quintupled the per gallon delivery fee for gasoline (money that is supposed to be for cleaning up any leaks from underground fuel tanks). Romney also "closed loopholes" in the corporate tax structure, a move that generated another $150 million in increased revenue.
Romney also shifted some of the state tax burden down to the local level, by cutting local aid revenues. The Massachusetts Municipal Association, representing the state's cities and towns, said Romney's cut "forced communities statewide to cut services and raise local taxes and fees." The exact amount of the local increases hasn't been determined, but Romney at least partly avoided increasing state taxes by forcing Massachusetts cities and towns to raise theirs.
S. 2611, 109th U.S. Congress, 2nd Session.
U.S. Senate, 109th Congress, 2nd Session. Vote No. 130.
S. 1639, 110th U.S. Congress.
Helman, Scott. "Romney's words grow hard on immigration." Boston Globe. 16 Mar. 2007.
Bovbjerg, Randall R. State Responses to Budget Crises in 2004: Massachusetts. 1 Feb. 2004. The Urban Institute. 16 May 2007.
Cardozo, Carol L., et al. State Budget '04: The Long Road Back. 1 Jan. 2004. The Massachusetts Taxpayer Foundation. 16 May 2007.
Are you on LSD?
I don’t know how you could judge that from the present polls. it is a long time until november.
“Yep, and playing right into the Democrat plan.”
The plan at freerepublic as best I can tell, is to fight for Thompson and Hunter in the primary, and knock off all of the rinos.
The consensus here is that the Democrat plan is to get someone besides those two, to win the republican nomination.
I usually agree with FactCheck, but not always. This is one of those cases.
First, on Social Security for illegals. It is true that the Republicans tried to make it so illegals could not EARN social security while they were illegal, and McCain blocked them.
It is also true that illegals living in the United States could not collect that social security unless they became legal.
BUT, we have an arrangement with Mexico, where credited social security benefits are passed to Mexico for their citizens. Because of McCain’s blocking the amendment, those benefits would have included social security earned by illegals, to be paid to them by the United States through money sent to Mexico.
Therefore, McCain’s vote meant that illegals would get paid Social Security. ROmney is right, FactCheck (and McCain)were wrong.
On the second issue, amnesty. It is true that, as FactCheck says, in order to get citizenship or permanent legal resident status, you had to pay fines.
However, the bill that was about to pass in the Senate, which McCain was sponsoring, had another provision. If you were here illegally, you could file paperwork to get a temporary visa, and you just had to pay a fee for the paperwork, which is NOT a criminal penalty.
You may also have been forced to pay your taxes, but taxes are not a penalty, we all have to pay them.
So McCain’s bill provided “amnesty”, in that an illegal could stay here for years with a real visa, and therefore be “legal” for a time period, without having to pay any penalties — the definition of “amnesty”.
I would also note FURTHER that the bill originally considered, the one that was talked about at the time Romney said he thought the bill sounded reasonable, did not have the de-facto amnesty.
In fact, most people didn’t know it was in THIS version until Jeff Sessions put out his fine paper detailing all the bad things in the bill.
So I’m sorry, Factcheck was wrong, as we pointed out before, and just because they are goring Romney now is no reason to abandon our principles and agree with them.
Romney’s never grabbed a gun, he’s never passed a bill that took away anybody’s gun, and when he DID pass a bill which restricted the new purchase of some weapons, he did so with the support of the NRA, in a way that prevented the liberals from enacting a much more severe measure.
But it's all OK. Let him dig his own political grave.
Fred is hovering at 10.8% in Iowa and 3.8% in NH. He couldn’t defeat Edwards at this point. Get a grip.
The day is coming when the defeated Thompson will withdraw and endorse Mitt.
Don’t you have some Jews to bate or something?
You're too much with the comedy! No way does Thompson endorse a liberal weasel like Romney.
I thank you for your honesty. But it is a foundation of conservatism that we not adopt the left’s “end justifies the means” yellow journalism simply because we think our job is to “derail” someone.
I realise that leaves some here with a conundrum. Their principles of conservatism require they defend conservative values, respect the facts, and judge people fairly.
But if they do that, they can’t fulfil their “mission” to “derail Romney”, so they throw their own principles out the window. Some of them can’t bring themselves to do it directly, so they instead find liberal newspaper articles to do it instead — because the liberals never had any trouble making wild assumptions and misrepresenting the facts.
Once they have some “news article” that has completely misrepresented the facts in what they rarely label their “analysis” section, the freepers feel free to quote liberally from the liberals, after all it’s “just what was in the article”.
My plan is to fight for conservative principles, support candidates who are pushing those conservative principles, and get those candidates elected.
It is unfortunate that you believe a conservative site has decided to work a cross-purposes with the conservative mission, simply because they don’t like a candidate.
It all sounds good in theory , but the problem is that Romney is not , nor has he ever been a Conservative. You can’t trust him in his lust for power , as he will do and say anything to acquire it .
Yep , Romney was a pleaser for the Libs and a teaser for Conservatives ...
Soon there will be weeping and wailing arising from the Fred bully boys here, as their candidate goes down and out in Iowa and NH. Now that’s comedy!
And it’s only a matter of days.
McCain and Thompson in the battle of their lives for 3rd place in Iowa. Thompson with a death grip on 6th place in NH.
“My plan is to fight for conservative principles, support candidates who are pushing those conservative principles, and get those candidates elected.
It is unfortunate that you believe a conservative site has decided to work a cross-purposes with the conservative mission, simply because they dont like a candidate.”
I of course aren’t much fond of your goal of getting Mitt Romney elected and selling that to us here at FR, but really, sell it to JR not to me, I never care about your fluffy opinions.
When I read Jim Robinson’s posts 229 and 256, at this link I accept his statement as the truth, of what he desires for and from freerepublic.
1. "It claims McCain "voted to allow illegals to collect Social Security." That's untrue. Nobody who is in the country illegally could be paid any Social Security benefits under McCain's immigration bill."
Nobody who is in the country illegally under McCain could be paid any Social Security benefits...well,duh, McCain would makes the illegals LEGAL, then give them Social Security benefits. This shot at Mitt misses, Romney is correct.
2."It implies McCain supported "amnesty" for illegal immigrants. That word isn't accurate. Illegal immigrants wouldn't have received a blanket pardon under..."
Only devious dishonest people define amnesty as a "blanket pardon". This shot also misses. This assault on Mitt is oh for two, I didn't bother to read further.
Full disclosure, my GOP candidates go in this order: Hunter, Thompson, Romney, Guliani, Paul, McCain.
Whatever are you going to do when your candidates are out?
Good post about FactCheck.
>>You may also have been forced to pay your taxes, but taxes are not a penalty, we all have to pay them.<<
In the Senate “comprehensive immigration” bill, some weasel sneaked in a provision so that the Z-visa people would not have to pay back taxes. If I remember correctly, McCain found out about it, and wrote an amendment, but I think his amendment required Z-visa people to pay back taxes only if they applied for “permanent status” (I. e. green card). I’m not sure if McCain and Bush really thought that was good enough (if they were “Z-immigrants” forever they would never have to pay back taxes), or he wanted to fool us by claiming that the requirement to pay taxes was one reason that the immigrations bill was “not amnesty.” Bush’s “comprehensive immigration reform” talking points (mistakenly or dishonestly) claimed that “they would have to pay back taxes” even before McCain’s amendment passed.
At that time, I adopted the tagline:
“Illegals: representation without taxation. US Citizens: Taxation without representation.”
Just a small sample of what a mess the entire McCain immigration bill was.
“Whatever are you going to do when your candidates are out?”
I will answer by using JR’s post 263 from the link below.
“Uh, this is Free Republic. We advocate for conservatives/conservatism not RINOS/liberalism. We will continue to advocate for life, family, liberty, national security, individual freedom, limited government, low taxes, originalist judges and the constitution, etc, regardless of who wins the current election. You can shove your dose of RINO reality where the sun dont shine. Im sure itll do wonders for you.”
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