Bill Weld on Tax Reform

Former Republican Governor; former Senate candidate (MA)


1990s: Produced nine tax cuts as governor of Tax-achussets

A pre-campaign strategy in 1995 found negatives for Weld in the Republican Party. Weld was pro-choice; pro-gay rights; a creature of the eastern establishment and its core institution, Harvard, where Weld had graduated and received his law degree; he had been born with a silver spoon and had money; and he was from Massachusetts, which most people would assume meant he must be a liberal. All 5 reinforced each other and all came back to Massachusetts. The most effective way to handle the negatives was to meet them head-on and convert them to Weld's advantage. This could be done by building a message around Weld as the leader who changed the political culture of Massachusetts almost single handily in 4 years. In the state known for high taxes (Tax-achusetts, as it was sometimes called) and liberal social engineering, he had produced 9 tax cuts and started sweeping welfare reform. Who better to change the Washington political culture?
Source: The Choice, by Bob Woodward, p.115 , Nov 1, 2005

Roll back more than $2 billion in recent tax increases

To emphasize his determination to reduce spending drastically, Weld endorsed Question 3, a ballot initiative (ultimately unsuccessful) to roll back more than $2 billion in recent tax increases. Budgets, he declared in May 1990, ought to start each year "from scratch: You assume no program is necessary; no bureaucrat's job is necessary; no line item in the budget is necessary." He cheerfully told editorial boards he would "blow up" unneeded state agencies and cited robust privatization as the key to shrinking "the beast"--his term for state government. "If the private sector can run something better and cheaper, and it isn't a core function of government, I say: More power to them."

He was scathing in his indictment of the Democrats who ran the State Senate and House of Representatives. "The Legislature," he said, "has proven itself incapable of restructuring state government."

Source: Jeff Jacoby in City Journal , Jan 1, 1996

Other governors on Tax Reform: Bill Weld on other issues:
MA Gubernatorial:
Charlie Baker
Dan Wolf
Deval Patrick
Don Berwick
Karyn Polito
Martha Coakley
Marty Walsh
Richard Tisei
Steve Grossman
Tom Menino
Warren Tolman
MA Senatorial:
Brian Herr
Bruce Skarin
Ed Markey
Elizabeth Warren
Gabriel Gomez
John Kerry
Martha Coakley
Mo Cowan

Gubernatorial Debates 2014:
AL: Bentley(R) vs.Griffith(D)
AR: Ross(D) vs.Hutchinson(R) vs.Griffin(R,Lt.Gov.)
AZ: Ducey(R) vs.DuVal(D) vs.Mealer(AE) vs.Gilbert(L) vs.Riggs(R)
CA: Brown(D) vs.Kashkari(R)
CO: Hickenlooper(D) vs.Beauprez(R) vs.Tancredo(R) vs.Hess(L)
CT: Malloy(D) vs.Foley(R) vs.Walker(R,Lt.Gov.)
FL: Scott(R) vs.Crist(D) vs.Snitker(L,Lt.Gov.)
GA: Deal(R) vs.Carter(D) vs.Hunt(L)
HI: Ige(D) vs.Aiona(R) vs.Abercrombie(D)
IA: Branstad(R) vs.Hatch(D) vs.Hoefling(R)
MA: Coakley(D) vs.Baker(R) &Polito(R,Lt.Gov.) vs.Grossman(D) vs.Berwick(D)
ME: LePage(R) vs.Michaud(D) vs.Cutler(I)
MI: Snyder(R) vs.Schauer(D)
NM: Martinez(R) vs.King(D)
NY: Cuomo(D) &Hochul(D,Lt.Gov.) vs.Astorino(R) vs.Hawkins(G) vs.Teachout(D)
OK: Fallin(R) vs.Dorman(D)
PA: Corbett(R) vs.Wolf(D) vs.Schwartz(D,lost primary) vs.Critz(D,Lt.Gov.,lost primary)
Newly-elected 2014:
AK-I: Bill Walker
AR-R: Asa Hutchinson
AZ-R: Doug Ducey
IL-R: Bruce Rauner
MA-R: Charlie Baker
MD-R: Larry Hogan
NE-R: Pete Ricketts
PA-D: Tom Wolf
RI-D: Gina Raimondo
TX-R: Greg Abbott

Up for re-election 2014:
AK-R: Sean Parnell
AL-R: Robert Bentley
CA-D: Jerry Brown
CO-D: John Hickenlooper
CT-D: Dan Malloy
FL-R: Rick Scott
GA-R: Nathan Deal
HI-D: Neil Abercrombie
IA-R: Terry Branstad
ID-R: Butch Otter
IL-D: Pat Quinn
KS-R: Sam Brownback
ME-R: Paul LePage
MI-R: Rick Snyder
MN-D: Mark Dayton
NH-D: Maggie Hassan
NM-R: Susana Martinez
NV-R: Brian Sandoval
NY-D: Andrew Cuomo
OH-R: John Kasich
OK-R: Mary Fallin
OR-D: John Kitzhaber
PA-R: Tom Corbett
SC-R: Nikki Haley
SD-R: Dennis Daugaard
TN-R: Bill Haslam
VT-D: Peter Shumlin
WI-R: Scott Walker
WY-R: Matt Mead
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Term-Limited or Retiring 2014:
AR-D: Mike Beebe
AZ-R: Jan Brewer
MA-D: Deval Patrick
MD-D: Martin O'Malley
RI-I: Linc Chafee
TX-R: Rick Perry

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Page last updated: Nov 26, 2014