Republicans love to play semantics. The 1% are not bloated pigs bleeding the country dry, they’re “job creators.” We’re not empire building when we invade sovereign countries, we’re “spreading democracy.” We’re not raising your taxes, we’re only charging you a “fee.”
While he was governor of Massachusetts, Mitt Romney chose to balance his budget by charging all kinds of “fees” instead of raising taxes. Semantics. But the newsworthy part is who he charged with new “fees” and for what. Business Insider found all sorts of ugly stuff back in January. Why it hasn’t been used is a mystery but there’s still five months to go before election day.
Pay per not view: “It now costs to be blind in Massachusetts. The state’s approximately 35,000 blind and legally blind residents must now pay $10 annually for a certificate of blindness and $15 every four years for a blind identification card. Without the formerly-free documents, blind people cannot take advantage of tax abatements, affordable housing programs, health care services, transportation discounts and other benefits. … The fees originated in February, in Gov. Mitt Romney’s budget proposal for fiscal 2004.” (Shaun Sutner, “Advocates Fight Fees For The Blind,” Telegram & Gazette, 8/5/03)
Sure, it’s only $10 but try charging a rich person $10 extra for a yacht license. “Why are you punishing success?!”
But the far more disturbing is this:
Punishing mental retardation: “The committee will also accept most of the fee recommendations made by Romney, Rogers said, but would not endorse … a new fee for some mentally retarded citizens…” (Jennifer Peter, “House Leaders Agree With Romney’s Plan To Eliminate Urban Park Agency,” The Associated Press, 4/16/03)
I guess the fact that the State House wouldn’t go along with it makes it slightly better but the fact remains, Romney tried. Two of our more vulnerable kinds of citizens and Romney was perfectly fine with charging them for the privilege of living in Romney’s Massachusetts. This is typical of the Republican worldview in which those less fortunate deserve to be punished and the rich deserve praise and rewards. Can you imagine what he would do, as president, to the handicapped and poor in order to avoid raising taxes on his 1% buddies?
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