At a public appearance in Waukesha, Wisconsin on Wednesday, Tommy Thompson said he will NOT release his tax returns, and that’s final. “No,” Thompson told the pesky reporters who had the gall to press him for more info.  “The answer is N-O.  What part don’t you understand?” 

Tom Murray of 620 WTMJ Newsradio was one of the (bothersome) reporters on the scene today at Husco International, where Thomspon spoke in front of employees:

“When I was governor and I was employed by the people of the State of Wisconsin, I released my tax returns, but I’ve been in the business world,” Thompson said.  “The question is, ‘am I going to release my tax returns?’  The answer is ‘no’.”

Thompson stood firm when pressed by reporters.

“No,” Thompson said.  “The answer is N-O.  What part don’t you understand?”

What’s the big deal? After all, Tammy Baldwin, Tommy’s Democratic opponent for U.S. Senate, has already released ten years worth of state and federal tax returns.

According to her campaign, “Baldwin has earned an average Adjusted Gross Income of $169,392. In 2011 she paid $51,315 in taxes and her effective income tax rate was 19.35%.

Said John Kraus, Tammy Baldwin’s Communications Director:

“Wisconsin voters deserve to know if the Republican candidates would personally benefit from their own tax cut proposals and the positions they have taken in this campaign. The Republican hopefuls also owe it to the people of Wisconsin to disclose if they if they are taking advantage of, and benefitting from, any tax loopholes or sheltering any of their income or profits in off shore accounts in order to pay a lower tax rate than middle class families in Wisconsin.”

Mike Tate, Chair of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin, concurs:

“Multimillionaires like Tommy Thompson and Mitt Romney want tax cuts that will end up making them richer and that will result in tax increases for the middle class, but for all their talk of taxes they won’t show the people of Wisconsin their own tax returns.”

Give it up. It’s not gonna happen. N-O.

By the way, if you’d like to support Tammy Baldwin’s campaign, there is still time to get in on The Tammy Baldwin Cheddar Bomb.

18 Responses to Tommy Thompson gets cranky about his tax returns

  1. Joanne says:

    If someone is a multimillionaire they will not be as responsive to the poor as some one makeing less. I have to make my tax returns available to get insurance or help of any kind….So let the money grubbing jack bunnies have to do the same. What do they have to hid, I was always taught if I have to keep it a secret i am doing something wrong.

  2. Aaron Camp says:

    Every candidate for federal office should be legally required to make available for public inspection twelve years of tax returns. That currently isn’t law of the land, but it should be.

    George Romney is probably rolling over in his grave because his son, Mitt Romney, won’t release twelve years of tax returns. It’s worth noting that George, when he ran for the Republican presidential nomination in 1968, set the standard of presidential candidates releasing twelve years of tax returns.

  3. Jake formerly of the LP says:

    Yes Tommy, what business is it of the people who WOULD PAY YOUR SALARY to know what you stand to gain financially from legislation. How dare we try to see who’s holding the puppet strings.

    Tommy doesn’t seem to understand that the 20th Century’s over, and “take my word for it” is not a valid defense. Not after the abuses of the financial industry and their lackeys in Congress the last 14 years (with the rare exception of people like Tammy Baldwin, who did not vote for Glass-Steagal repeal, IIRC).

    And when you combhine this with the 7-figure Paul Ryan family trust that he only changed and revealed 2 months ago and combine it with the Ryan insider trading story, you bet we deserve to know what these people are doing, and whether they’re trying to help their portfolios with their moves in Congress.

    I don’t see why this is a partisan issue, but apparently WisGOPs are so corrupted to their cores that they don’t believe in disclosure to the public anymore.

  4. Grung_e_Gene says:

    The George W(orst President Ever) Bush era is going to have a ton of fallout. The reason the Republicans won’t release their tax returns from the time Bush was screwing America is because Republicans made millions and off-shored hundreds of millions under Bush’s screw the poor tax cuts. They can’t win an election if their duped and battered conservative voters knew that while “regular americans” were losing their homes, business and going bankrupt their were setting up dummy corporations in the Cayman Islands!

  5. onevote says:

    Most places require you to show tax returns as well as Statements of Economic Interest as part of filing your political campaign registration papers. I don’t know the exact legal details of this protocol, but often times SEI’s tell a lot of what tax returns do.
    Since leaving Health & Human Services, Tommy has really cashed in on private business connections. He’s been installed on boards of several corporations, most likely related market-wise to his experience with HHS. If those companies are part of the movement to overturn Obamacare, doesn’t that raise red flags about his public office position as U.S. Senator? Any conflicts of interest?

  6. John Casper says:

    Free, if you were remotely conservative, you’d want to see the tax returns of your elected officials. It’s called an audit trail. You want to know how they made their money.

  7. PJ says:

    Much praise to Tammy Baldwin for her forthright integrity. Thompson’s refusal to act transparently on his own volition proves the point not argued enough in recent days – Mitt Romney set a terrible precedent both furtive and clandestine. I agree the practice should be law and not voluntary. In absence of that legislation, however, if Democrats were smart, they’d make that standard requisite for any candidate on the Democratic ticket running for any office at any level.

  8. BadgerBob says:

    Love the use of “multi-millionaires”. Every Dem should adopt it to replace “millionaires”. It conveys excess. Multi-millionaires have multiple homes, multiple cars, multiple everything wasteful and extravagant, when many good people don’t have a place to live or decent food.

  9. SuzyMetta4 says:

    We need to take this hidden money issue up like a terrier gnawing on a rabbit, and never stop shaking. Go, Tammy.

  10. KAH says:

    The refusal to release tax returns is a direct result of Romney refusing to release his. If anyone else releases more than he is it makes him look bad/worse, so there is a behind-doors agreement in the GOP that candidates suddenly act like releasing returns is an egregious invasion of privacy invented by the media and Democrats. Why do you think Ryan is only releasing 2 years, same as his new boss? I happen to think 7 years is a good number, because that is how long the IRS suggests you keep copies of your returns. I also think that the reason Romney won’t release his is that it will show the general public how the wealthy avoid taxes and hide money, as several readers have noted. There is OBVIOUSLY a very important reason that the Romneys do not want the public to see those documents, and this issue will not go away. He should have just done it last year when he announced and the issue would be past by now. Dumb.

  11. Mark idzik says:

    Tommy is doing the right thing its really no ones business. We all know Tammy has hidden money from her last relationship.We will elect Tommy because of his experiance and honest leadership. Income has nothing to with this. The Dems have no other issues to work with.

    • John Casper says:

      “We all know Tammy has hidden money from her last relationship.”

      Do you have a mouse in your pocket?

      Do you have a link to what “we,” all know?

    • PJ says:

      “When you control a man’s thinking you do not have to worry about his actions. You do not have to tell him not to stand here or go yonder. He will find his “proper place” and will stay in it. You do not need to send him to the back door. He will go without being told. In fact, if there is no back door, he will cut one for his special benefit. His education makes it necessary.”

      ~Carter Woodson

      I find it extraordinary how readily rank and file Conservatives will cut themselves a back door. It’s like clockwork. For all their yammering about “dependency” they will consistently and without fail abandon all independent thought and reason. They will find no compunction in goose stepping without integrity. How fervently they’ve carried the banner for “transparency” and “vetting” but how quickly they recede if honesty and scrutiny turn disadvantageous. As I’ve said many times before, the fish rots from the head down. Romney is a rotting head, Thompson, the rank and file who justify his petulant mendacity – rotting tail fins all.

      Idzik says: “Tommy is doing the right thing” – What he is he doing? He’s eschewing transparency and razing the vetting process. The right thing for a candidate to do is to declare he will not be forthright? So hardened is the Conservative rank and file, so determined to defeat the Democratic candidate that they will willingly give up their own rights to honest democracy. It’s astounding to me. Tommy isn’t doing the right thing – he’s limiting your rights for open, transparent government.

      Nobody’s business? Thompson, ostensibly, desires to be a public servant. If elected he will be entrusted with ensuring the public good. How he transacts the civic duty second only to voting is paramount in evaluating his commitment to the public good, his level of honesty, and how honorably he conducts his business. It’s everybody’s business. Most importantly, it is the business of Thompson’s supporters – far more than Thompson’s detractors.

      Idzik says: “Income has nothing to do with this.” Income isn’t an issue for the incorruptible. It is very much the issue for the one who is corrupt. The only way for the public who must choose with whom to cast their vote to know if Thompson is corrupt is for Thompson to release his taxes. Trust, but verify. Hmmm…that’s a good quote. Who said that?

      “The Dems have no other issues to work with.” Perhaps this is true, but there’s no way to know that; there’s no way for the public to know if there’s no comparable evidence to base that decision. So it isn’t true until Thompson releases his taxes and those documents receive public scrutiny. Until Thompson releases his taxes, his honesty, his level of incorruptibility, and his integrity are suspect. He cannot be assumed to be truthful until he acts truthfully and he cannot be given the public trust until he proves he can be trusted. If the Dems have no other issues to work with then truth will out. But truth will out only if Thompson volunteers the truth. That he will not volunteer the documentary evidence that reveals the truth is admission of untruthfulness. At the point of his refusal to release his tax returns he engages in the untruthful regardless of the contents of his tax forms. He may have been untruthful in his tax returns, we don’t know. What we do know is Thompson is being untruthful now.

      Idzik -That Conservative rank and file will numbly accept untruths is frightful. You will ignore your freedoms until all your freedoms are gnawed to the bone. You will allow attrition to dissolve every principle of liberty accorded to you as if it were a luxury. Romney and Thompson are not above scrutiny and criticism. They are properly the subjects of scrutiny and criticism because they have chosen to run for public office in order to become public servants. You will use their propaganda to shield them from that scrutiny. That is more terrifying than what may be in any tax return.

  12. Cheryl Lemke says:

    How can they run our country if they are too incompetient to read their financhel statements?

    • PJ says:


      Romney and Ryan are not too incompetent to read their financial statements. They are perfectly aware of finance and economy and how their approach will redistribute wealth from the poor and middle class to wealthy individuals and the corporate sector without creating any jobs and without stabilizing the economy. Romney and Ryan are not incompetent; they are iniquitous and unscrupulous. They can run our country just fine by running it into the ground. This nation is deep in the ditch due to the predominance of Conservative economic policies which are a corrosive acid acting on the public good and individual liberty. Few Americans will ever enjoy economic liberty because liberty is not an outcome of our globalized investor economy.

      Thompson will not set himself apart from Romney’s cozening and chicanery. Romney is circumventing transparency and so is Ryan. What Romney and Ryan are doing is profiteering and they are institutionalizing profiteering. One doesn’t need to see their tax returns to recognize that, but a goodly number of tax returns would provide definitive, incontrovertible proof.

      By not standing independently, Thompson indicates he favors the Radical Right Wing’s collusive shell game. This is hardly a surprise. By his own admission he registers discrepancy between revealing tax returns as governor and revealing tax returns from his time in the private sector. The latter are potentially damming, potentially illustrative of profiteering in the same way Ryan and Romney’s taxes are.

      Again, Thompson’s lock-step is hardly a surprise. That rank and file Conservatives are so willfully incredulous, so quick to lower their expectations of their own candidates, that they are not stammering in gaping awe instead of blubbering in blind support for artifice is what I find amazing.

  13. NS says:

    So many people claim Paul Ryan is some rich Republican…well it looks like Tammy Baldwin’s net worth is the same as Paul Ryan’s.

    • PJ says:

      I suppose, NS, if one relies on the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel one might conclude that Baldwin and Ryan possess comparable wealth. Then again, if one were to review the public record and fact-check MJS, one might have to reassess that assumption. Baldwin is in the upper tier, that much is true. But Ryan’s assets far outweigh Baldwin’s and his estimated wealth ranges something closer to between $3 million and $7million.

      The point to consider is which candidate is advancing a profiteering agenda? Which candidate is manipulating the tax code to disproportionately favor the upper tier of wealth? Which candidate’s approach to governance is one that not only favors but permanently secures and magnifies wealth accumulation for that upper tier through tax policies that redistribute wealth from the bottom tiers to the top? Which candidate derives substantial benefit directly from the tax policies proposed? Which candidate is abusing his position of governance to advance an agenda of disproportionate wealth accumulation? That candidate is Paul Ryan.

      Pretend all you want that wealth accumulation isn’t a structural issue and merely a matter of “chance” or “drive” or “initiative” but do so and you bury your head in the sand. Pretend all you want that a governing class has not arisen in this country but do so and you don willful blinders. Pretend all you want that among the “checks and balances” fiercely debated by the Founding Fathers was a “check” on wealth accumulation to “balance” disparities of wealth. If you believe for a moment they did not assume “equality of opportunity” would lead to “equality of outcome” you are woefully mistaken. You know that equality thing written into the Constitution – they weren’t kidding. They meant it. That they couldn’t establish all their competing egalitarian ideals fully and completely right then and there is a matter upon which they were well aware – it is why they envisioned “a more perfect” union. The Founding Fathers were hardly perfect nor were they in solidarity about details, nor in how to ensure progress, nor who should share in the blessings of equality and liberty, but they did have some unifying ideals – one of those ideals was progressiveness.

      Ryan’s regressive budget is without question the most UnAmerican budget in American history.

  14. PJ says:

    Correction – I meant “equality” expressed in the Declaration of Independence, and I somewhat conflated Declaration and Constitution…. ah well, I’m imperfect…

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