CFG email to media
As career politician Tommy Thompson looks at the possibility of returning to the public arena, Thompson and his henchmen will make wild claims about the Club for Growth to distract from legitimate criticisms of his record. The facts are clear: Tommy Thompson’s tenure in state government ended with massive tax and spending increases, and his support for ObamaCare is undeniable.
Please feel free to use the following quote, attributable to me:
“Tommy Thompson has been in politics since 1966, so he knows a thing or two about misdirection. Wisconsin voters should take note that nowhere does Thompson or his henchmen take issue with the Cato Institute’s assessment of Thompson’s budget as massively increasing spending, or with the Associated Press’ reporting that Thompson proposed raising taxes and fees by $400 million, or with Barack Obama’s gratitude toward Thompson for supporting Obamacare. Maybe they’re hoping that no one will do a simple Google search and find that picture of a smiling Thompson standing next to Obama’s Health and Human Services Secretary and far-left former Democratic Senate Leader Tom Daschle months after ObamaCare passed. It’s a long way until Election Day, and Wisconsin conservatives will have a great chance to hear the whole set of facts regarding Tommy Thompson’s big government record.” – Club for Growth Spokesman Barney Keller
See below three claims that Tommy Thompson will make about his record, and the truth about Thompson’s record:
Claim Tommy Thompson and his allies will make to the Media: “I did not support Obamacare.”
– Tommy Thompson, Associated Press, 8/23/11
Truth: Tommy Thompson supports ObamaCare, and was working on ObamaCare with the Obama Administration after ObamaCare became law
The following picture from the official White House Blog, June 30th, 2010, months AFTER ObamaCare was passed into law:
(L-R: Dr. Mark McClellan, former CMS Administrator and former FDA Commissioner, Nancy Ann DeParle, Director of the White House Office of Health Reform, Secretary Tommy Thompson, and Senator Tom Daschle.)
Obama Health and Human Services Secretary wrote on the White House blog how “pleased” she was to have Thompson’s advice “to make sure that the Affordable Care Act is successful.”: “I was pleased to join my colleague Nancy-Ann DeParle, who is overseeing health care implementation on behalf of the President, in hosting former Senate majority Leader Tom Daschle, former HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson, and Dr. Mark McClellan, former CMS Administrator and former FDA Commissioner, at the Department today. They offered some great ideas about implementation and outreach, suggestions about strategies to make sure that the Affordable Care Act is successful, and I will continue to draw on their experience in the months ahead.” – Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, White House Blog, 6/30/10, http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2010/06/30/turning-affordable-care-act-a-reality )
After ObamaCare was passed by the Senate Finance committee, Tommy Thompson co-signed a statement with former Democratic House Majority Leader Richard Gephardt praising the bill. (New York Times, 10/5/09)
Thompson on ObamaCare: “The bill that the Senate Finance Committee will vote out for consideration by the full Senate this week is another important step toward achieving the goal of health care reform this year. It moves us down the path of providing affordable high-quality health care for all and expanding coverage for millions.” (New York Times, 10/5/09)
Obama Administration used support from Thompson as part of PR battle to pass ObamaCare: Administration officials say the White House is making a concerted effort to court high-visibility Republican support of the health care legislation away from Capitol Hill, in what appears to be a strategy similar to one used during debate of the economic stimulus plan earlier this year. (New York Times, 10/5/09)
President Obama noted support from Tommy Thompson in his weekly address (Source: White House YouTube Channel, 10/9/09, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lS5T-Nkti7o)
Thompson opposes repealing ObamaCare, and supports the individual mandate in ObamaCare: Last year on CNBC, Thompson urged Republicans to drop a move to repeal the bill “because President Obama is not going to sign it.” Two years earlier, he came out in support of an individual mandate — the heart of the Obama plan that conservatives are trying to strike down in court. (Politico, 5/18/11)
Tommy Thompson supports Health Insurance Exchanges, a major component of ObamaCare: Thompson: “Some governors have a negative opinion of insurance exchanges and I believe that by doing so they are giving up a tremendous opportunity to use marketplace choice and allow insurance companies to compete in their respective states.” (Huffington Post, 6/27/11)
Claim Tommy Thompson and his allies will make to the Media: “Tommy cut all taxes 91 times saving taxpayers more than $16.4 billion dollars since 1987.”
– Thompson Aide James Klauser, Politico, 8/23/11
Truth: Tommy Thompson supported hundreds of millions of dollars in Taxes and Fees as Governor
Thompson’s 1998 budget contained new taxes on cigarettes, gasoline, and Internet sales.”: He infuriated conservatives in the state legislature earlier this year by using his veto authority to shrink a property tax relief bill passed by the Republican legislature and to make it a one-time reduction rather than a permanent tax cut. Thompson called the legislature’s larger, permanent tax cut "shortsighted" and "imprudent." His 1998 budget contained new taxes on cigarettes, gasoline, and Internet sales. Overall, Wisconsin is a far more prosperous state today than when Thompson began his reformist crusade 12 years ago, but his recent record also confirms an iron law of politics: the longer Republicans stay in office, the more pro-tax and spend they become. (Cato Institute, “Fiscal Policy Report Card on America’s Governors: 1998”, 9/3/98)
In 1992, Thompson refused to veto an 8-cent-per-pack cigarette tax increase: A proposed 8-cent-per-pack cigarette tax increase must become law because the revenue is needed to balance the state budget through the 1992-93 fiscal year, Gov. Tommy Thompson says. A veto of the increase - from the present 30 cents to 38 cents per pack - would leave the budget out of balance, the governor said at a Capitol news conference Monday.''The budget needs the revenue,'' the governor said. The tax is expected to yield $ 30.4 million. (Capital Times, 4/21/92)
In 1997, Thompson signed a 15-cent-per-pack cigarette tax increase: It took many more months than anyone could have anticipated, but Gov. Tommy Thompson has signed the 1997-99 state budget into law. As part of that budget, state taxes on a pack of cigarettes will rise by 15 cents. (Wisconsin State Journal, 10/14/97)
In 1991, Thompson imposed a tax on nursing home beds. In 1993, he proposed to raise it even higher: Gov. Tommy Thompson has retreated from his plan to raise the state's tax on nursing home beds by $ 50 per month. The decision is a victory for the senior citizen lobby and families who pay nursing home bills… In the 1991 budget, Thompson and the Legislature imposed a $ 32 per month tax on nursing home beds to leverage federal welfare aid dollars for the nursing homes. Imposition of the tax fell on the one-third of nursing home patients who paid their own bills. Their tax dollars effectively were recycled to support the welfare patients in the nursing homes. That idea was initially sold as an ''assessment'' in a budget that the administration labeled a ''no tax increase'' budget. Leaders of senior citizen groups call it a tax. (Capital Times, 5/18/93)
Thompson proposed adding the sales tax to home heating fuel: His popularity stands at 67 percent, according to public opinion polls. His backers said his high ratings reflect that he understands the average citizen. To such citizens, welfare reform - a two tier welfare plan that penalizes new residents, lowers benefits if children don't go to school, and lowers benefits after two years on welfare - sounds great. Thompson hasn't always been in tune with the voters. In 1988, he proposed adding the sales tax to home heating fuel; in 1992, he proposed putting gambling terminals in taverns. But he has been flexible. When polls showed those ideas in disfavor, he abandoned his own ideas like unwanted puppies at the Humane Society. (Capital Times, 5/18/93)
Thompson’s 1995 budget plan increased fees and taxes by nearly $400 million over two years: Gov. Tommy Thompson's budget plan would mean an increase of nearly $ 400 million in fees and taxes in the next two years, a state government study says. A Legislative Fiscal Bureau report, released Sunday, said about $ 270 million of the total would result if oil companies shifted a proposed franchise fee to consumers. Kevin Keane, news secretary for the governor, said the fee increases represent a ''cost of doing business'' and did not violate Thompson's promises not to raise sales or income taxes. (Associated Press, 3/13/95)
Increases in the 1995-97 budget bill included:
ü Cutting the property tax-rent credit from 10 percent to 6.87 percent of the first $ 2,000 of a person's property taxes starting in January 1996 and cutting the maximum credit from $ 200 to $ 137. The change would produce $ 62 million for the state.
ü Doubling the $ 20 court services fee on forfeiture judgments and civil court filings starting Oct. 1. The change would generate $ 18.9 million in two years.
ü Charging an annual fee to state contractors and others who provide the state with supplies, equipment or materials worth more than $ 500 a year. The change would generate $ 14 million over two years.
ü Setting a $ 300 ''health care provider assessment'' on doctors, podiatrists and chiropractors when they renew their licenses. The change would generate $ 8.6 million over two years.
ü Raising tuition at University of Wisconsin campuses except UW-Madison by 1 percent in each of the next two years to help pay for extra computers. The fee would generate $ 6 million.
ü Requiring disabled residents to pay $ 7 for a one-year fishing license, which is now free. The fee would generate $234,500.
ü The budget also would raise various fees, such as those for hunting and fishing licenses, boat registrations and park admission.
(Source: Associated Press, 3/13/95)
Pushed for gas tax increase: Declaring that Assembly Democrats blocked a needed gas tax increase, Gov. Tommy Thompson said Friday he hoped bipartisanship in the Senate will produce ''some sort of tax increase'' to fund state transportation programs for the next two years…The Assembly stripped a proposed 2.9 cents-a-gallon tax hike from the nearly $3 billion transportation budget Thursday. ''The Democrats are the ones that did this,'' Thompson said about the potential delays in highway work projects under the pending no-tax-increase transportation bill. The Senate is expected to take up the slimmed down $2.95 billion budget upon its return Nov. 7… His recent 3.5 percent fee would have meant a tax hike of about 4 cents a gallon at the pump. His original 5.5 percent per gallon franchise fee was originally proposed to finance an ambitious $3.3 billion highway and transit program over the two-year budget period. Asked if motorists would balk at a gas tax increase, Thompson said hearings held by the Department of Transportation on long-range highway transportation goals met with approval. ''People said they would invest more in transportation,'' the governor said. ''When I was in the Legislature, I loved building roads in my district,'' he said. ''That's something you can point to with pride.'” (Associated Press, 10/14/95)
Democratic State Senator: “The reality is it’s a $270 million gasoline tax hike”: Gov. Tommy Thompson proposed Tuesday to pay for vital 1995-97 transportation programs through a new tax on oil companies -- a plan administration officials conceded could raise by $ 18 the yearly gasoline bill of a one-car family. The new ''oil company franchise fee,'' designed to bring in $ 270 million over two years to highway and other transportation programs, was seen by critics as a thinly veiled gasoline tax boost. It would be effective Oct. 1 if the Legislature approves. ''The reality is it's a $ 270 million gasoline tax hike,'' said Sen. Joseph Wineke, D-Verona, estimating it could raise the price at the pump by more than a nickel a gallon. ''It's going to be right on the pump.'' (Wisconsin State Journal, 3/8/95)
Thompson on higher gas prices: “That’s the price you’re going to have to pay for a modern transportation system.”: GOP Gov. Tommy Thompson defended a proposed transportation tax on oil companies Friday even though it likely will lead to higher gasoline prices. Even if gasoline costs more at the pump, Thompson said, ''that's the price you're going to have to pay for a modern transportation system.'' This week, Thompson aides released the governor's $ 3.4 billion transportation budget for 1995-97. Increased money in that budget for highway and other transportation projects is made possible by a tax on oil companies, which is estimated to bring in $ 270 million over two years. Depending on how much oil companies and retailers pass through to consumers, the proposal could add 3 cents to 5 cents a gallon if the Legislature OKs the tax, which would take effect Oct. 1. ''I consider it a franchise fee,'' Thompson told reporters in a wide-ranging news conference. ''Come up with something better,'' he challenged critics. ''This is the best alternative out there,'' he said. ''Everybody wants roads... Do you want to stop building roads?'' (Wisconsin State Journal, 3/11/95)
Thompson signed a sales tax to pay for a new stadium for the Milwaukee Brewers: Under the law signed by Gov. Tommy Thompson earlier this month, the state will create a new ''stadium authority'' that will levy a 0.1 percent sales tax in five counties around Milwaukee to pay most of the costs of the new stadium. In all, taxpayers in Milwaukee, Waukesha, Ozaukee, Washington, and Racine counties will pay a total of $ 160 million of the $ 250 million cost of builthe new facility. The Brewers will pick up the remaining $ 90 million, but $ $ million of that amount will come from a loan from the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority, a state agency. (The Capital Times, 10/30/95)
Claim Tommy Thompson and his allies will make to the Media: Thompson looks to cut spending – he “vetoed more than 900 spending items.”
– Tommy Thompson to the Associated Press, 8/23/11
Truth: The Non-Partisan Cato Institute Noted That Thompsons Fiscal 2000 budget grew by 13%, and that his later budgets “called for massive new spending.”
The non-partisan Cato Institute reported in 2000 that “in recent years, spending has far outpaced inflation and population growth – his fiscal 2000 budget grew by 13 percent in nominal terms. “Still, conservatives in the state grouse with some justification that Thompson has moved to the left ideologically in his last two terms. In recent years, spending has far outpaced inflation and population growth—his fiscal 2000 budget grew by 13 percent in nominal terms.” (Cato Institute, “Fiscal Policy Report Card on America’s Governors: 2000”, 2/12/01)
Cato Institute in 1998: Thompson’s latest budgets “have called for massive new spending”: The bad news is that Thompson's third term--and he is now running for a fourth--has been much worse than his first two. His latest budgets have called for massive new spending for school aid, day care subsidies, corporate pork, and transportation. (Cato Institute, “Fiscal Policy Report Card on America’s Governors: 1998”, 9/3/98)
Cato: Thompson’s “recent record also confirms an iron law of politics: the longer Republicans stay in office, the more pro-tax and spend they become.”: Overall, Wisconsin is a far more prosperous state today than when Thompson began his reformist crusade 12 years ago, but his recent record also confirms an iron law of politics: the longer Republicans stay in office, the more pro-tax and spend they become. (Cato Institute, “Fiscal Policy Report Card on America’s Governors: 1998”, 9/3/98)