Tommy Thompson on Tax Reform

Former Secretary of H.H.S.; former Republican Governor (WI)


FactCheck: Tax cuts would save top 1% $87,000 each

We rated Half True a Baldwin claim that Thompson would give a $265,000 tax cut to millionaires like himself, while raising taxes on the middle class. The tax cut figure, as an average, is accurate, but the impact of Thomson's plan for middle-class taxpayers is far less clear.

Baldwin's claim that Thompson's tax plan would cut taxes by $87,000 for the top 1 percent of income earners was rated Mostly True. Thompson didn't refute the figure and experts said it was a good estimate, but that Thompson's plan lacks enough detail to know for sure.

A public employee union's claim that Thompson "supports massive tax cuts for corporations that outsource jobs" was partially accurate. Thompson would, under certain conditions, exempt from taxation U.S. companies' profits from overseas operations. But it's not clear whether U.S. employment would decline under this approach; and part of Thompson's plan provides incentives that could convince companies to bring profits back home.

Source: FactCheck.org on 2012 Wisc. Senate debate , Sep 27, 2012

Limit federal revenue to 18.5% of GDP; and 15% flat tax form

Thompson announced plans to revise the federal tax code. Thompson says he first wants to make George W. Bush's tax cuts permanent. He'd also like to limit federal revenue to 18.5% of the gross domestic product. Thompson would also like to introduce a 15% flat tax form.
Source: WLUK-TV FOX 11 News on 2012 Wisconsin Senate debates , Apr 9, 2012

Replace alternative minimum tax with flat tax

Q: In addition to the Bush tax cut, name a tax youíd like to cut.

A: I was governor of Wisconsin and vetoed 1,900 items, and reduced taxes $16.4 billion. I think the biggest problem weíve got in America is the alternative minimum tax thatís bringing more middle-income people in. Letís put it in -- letís have the people have a flat tax and have the option of paying whichever is least.

Source: 2007 GOP primary debate, at Reagan library, hosted by MSNBC , May 3, 2007

Cut taxes 91 times in Wisconsin, totaling $16.7 billion

We cut taxes in the very first budget and havenít stopped since. We cut taxes 91 times totaling $16.7 billion. These cuts saved the average Wisconsin family $8,400. And they infused new money into the economy to help stimulate growth and prosperity.

And tonight, the stateís national tax ranking has fallen to ninth in the nation. And when the cuts we enacted for years 2000 and 2001 are factored into the equation, we can say with confidence that Wisconsin is finally out of the top 10 states.

Source: 2001 State of the State Address , Jan 31, 2001

Tax cuts are an investment in working families

The governor said tax cuts are a sound investment in stronger families, and the $1 billion in tax cut reductions enacted by the budget and the rebate checks builds on his record of reducing the tax burden on working families. Gov. Thompson proposed a $339 million permanent income tax cut, the largest middle-class income tax cut in state history. Governor Thompson has cut taxes a remarkable 91 times saving the average Wisconsin family more than $8,400.
Source: WI Governorís website , Jan 8, 2001

1993: Freeze property tax rates & control school spending

I couldn't get the public to understand that controlling school spending was the key to controlling property taxes. As my proposals worked their way through the legislative process, they always seemed to become muddied by exceptions, exemptions, and exclusions. People wanted to lower property taxes; they didn't want confusing formulas.

In 1993, we came up with a new idea. I simply proposed a freeze on property tax rates. "Freeze" was something everyone understood. People knew property taxes were out of control, and the freeze spoke to their concern. To most people, it meant, "We're going to stop this thing in its tracks." It didn't take long for the discussion over property taxes to shift. Finally, people on Main Street began to understand that to hold these taxes where they were, spending had to be "frozen" as well.

The rate freeze became a major issue. It allowed us to circumvent the bureaucrats and interest groups and speak directly to the people about the need to control spending.

Source: Power to the People, by Tommy Thompson, p.136-137 , Sep 1, 1996

Cut $1B in property tax without a general tax increase

[The 1995 budget] is the culmination of eight years of hard work and innovation. It is the final step in a long-fought battle for property tax relief. Everybody said we couldn't do it. Everybody said we couldn't take $1 billion off the property tax without raising the sales [and] income tax. And I am here today to tell you that we did it. When I traveled around the state last fall, I told the people of Wisconsin that the state would assume two-thirds of school costs. We did. I told them we would do this without a general tax increase. We did.

We have never spent more time putting a budget together--literally thousands of hours combing through agency budgets line by line. Looking for efficiencies. Looking for programs and positions that are no longer fundamental to our state responsibilities. As I said, it wasn't easy. But this budget is straightforward.It turns a tremendous challenge into a tremendous opportunity. And it provides the largest single tax cut in the history of this state.

Source: Power to the People, by Tommy Thompson, p.142 , Sep 1, 1996

No national sales tax or VAT.

Thompson adopted the National Governors Association policy:

Source: NGA Executive Committee Policy Statement EC-9 00-NGA1 on Feb 15, 2000

Opposes increasing tax rates.

Thompson opposes the CC Voters Guide question on tax rates

Christian Coalition publishes a number of special voter educational materials including the Christian Coalition Voter Guides, which provide voters with critical information about where candidates stand on important faith and family issues. The Christian Coalition Voters Guide summarizes candidate stances on the following topic: "Increasing federal income tax rates"

Source: Christian Coalition Voter Guide 12-CC-q11a on Oct 31, 2012

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Page last updated: Oct 28, 2021