Tommy Thompson is a budget cutting expert? Hardly!

Watch as former Governor and current Republican U.S. Senate candidate Tommy Thompson explains at a meeting of the Lake Country Area Defenders of Liberty in Oconomowoc on June 4 how he’s got the expertise necessary to curb government spending if elected to the U.S. Senate:

But here’s some irrefutable facts about Tommy Thompson the budget cutting expert:

  • State Spending Doubled Under Thompson – “State spending doubled in the 1990s, when Republican Tommy G. Thompson was governor and McCallum was lieutenant governor.” [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 6/1/01]
  • La Crosse Tribune: Spending Increased 118% Under Thompson – “But it’s time to bust the myth that Thompson was the paragon of conservatism on the platforms of less government and reduced spending. In fact, the opposite is true. State spending increased 118 percent under the Thompson administration from 1987 to 2001. Thompson did add jobs state government employment rose 25 percent.” [La Crosse Tribune editorial, 3/06/11]
  • Tommy Thompson’s 2000 state budget grew state spending by 13 percent. “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. He has supported spending for sports stadiums in Milwaukee and Green Bay. Even with his tax cuts, state income tax collections have outpaced personal income growth (revenue growth is twice as high as personal income growth, in fact), suggesting that he should have provided even more tax relief. In 1998 he vetoed the Republican legislature’s property tax cut. He endorsed new taxes on cigarettes and gasoline. And he supports taxing Internet purchases. So in many ways, Thompson is a political enigma. His first two terms as governor produced some truly historic public policy accomplishments, but his last two terms were mildly disappointing as he has jockeyed himself into the middle of the political playing field.” [Cato Institute “Fiscal Policy Report Card on America’s Governors: 2000”, 2/12/01]
  • State government spending increased every year under Gov. Tommy Thompson – From 1992, the first year in which this data was available, state government spending increased every year under Thompson’s leadership. [US Census Bureau, State and Local Government Finance Historical Data]

    Year State Government Expenditures
    1992 13,595,620
    1993 14,620,876
    1994 15,281,465
    1995 16,301,863
    1996 16,989,913
    1997 18,199,533
    1998 19,001,608
    1999 20,465,757
    2000 22,833,463
    [Source: US Census Bureau, State and Local Government Finance Historical Data]

The fact is, Tommy Thompson doesn’t know the first thing about cutting spending in order to balance a budget. Sure, Wisconsin had balanced budgets during Gov. Thompson’s time in office, but that’s more a product of our state’s Constitutional requirement to have a balanced budget than it is a product of Tommy Thompson’s supposed budget-cutting prowess. Once again, Tommy Thompson’s bluster just doesn’t match his record, but that shouldn’t surprise anyone who’s followed Thompson’s career in politics.

For more on Tommy Thompson, check out the Thirteen Gaffes of Tommy.


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4 thoughts on “Tommy Thompson is a budget cutting expert? Hardly!

  1. And let’s see how the Father of Badgercare disowns his creation, as he must, if he is to win the graces of the teadhadists. The pretzel logic should be fascinating.

  2. There are a large number of undecideds that will decide who wins the WI-Sen GOP primary, and very few of those undecideds are going to even remotely consider voting for Thompson, given how the Tea Party wing of the GOP is taking over the party both in Wisconsin and across the country.

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