Romney Cut Only 603 Govt. Jobs in MA, While His Predecessor Cut 7,700

Governor Bill Weld and Mitt Romney, circa 1990 (Photo courtesy of the Boston Globe)

In his campaign for the presidency, Mitt Romney often touts his job creating record as the CEO of Bain Capital, a very successful private equity firm he left for politics in 1999. His critics, meanwhile, attack that record, saying that he was a corporate raider who cut jobs and put profits ahead of people. The truth, as always, is somewhere in between. But there’s one jobs record that is easily verifiable: that of state workers in Massachusetts.

“[Romney’s] cuts to the state bureaucracy, however, turned out to be fairly modest,” write Boston Globe reporters Scott Helman and Michael Kranish in the newly released book, The Real Romney. “After four years, he reduced the payroll of agencies under his direct control by 603 jobs, according to his administration’s tally.”

His predecessor, the liberal Republican Governor William F. Weld, they note, “had closed state hospitals, privatized services, and slashed about 7,700 jobs during his first term, though the numbers had later increased when the economy improved.” (240).

Now to be fair, perhaps Weld, coming on the heels of Governor Michael Dukakis, simply had more things to cut. It’s probably a lot easier after twelve years of Republican governors, but it’s fair to say that Romney’s record on job creation in Massachusetts wasn’t all that great.

“My program for creating jobs is second to none in the entire history of the state,” Romney boasted during his campaign for the governorship in 2002, but as Governor Romney routinely got rolled by the Democrats on Beacon Hill who routinely overturned his veto. By the end of Romney’s term, fewer than 40,000 net new jobs had been created statewide, a mere 1 percent increase, according to The Real Romney.