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Tommy Thompson on Budget & Economy

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


Balanced budget is first priority

If elected to the U.S. Senate, Thompson said one of the first needs he would support is "a balanced budget. I'd also ask every federal agency to reduce spending by 5 percent and give the Secretaries who run those departments the authority to do away with programs that weren't working."

Baldwin, if elected, "would end the war in Afghanistan, make it illegal for drug companies to profit from Medicare Part D, get rid of corporate welfare for big farms and big oil."

Source: Madison Agri-View on 2012 Wisconsin Senate debates , Oct 4, 2012

Tax-and-spend policies are out of the mainstream

Thompson opened the debate by labeling his opponent Tammy Baldwin "a taxer and a spender." He accused her of being out of the mainstream and failing to produce any changes in Washington. "Baldwin doesn't have a record to run on, so all she can do is try to get people not to like me," Thompson said.

Baldwin responded by labeling partisan name-calling "crazy."

Source: Wisconsin State Journal on 2012 Wisc. Senate debate , Sep 28, 2012

Addressing runaway spending is defining issue of our day

Q: How would you help Americans build a financial nest egg for their retirement?

A: Governor Thompson fully and wholeheartedly endorses Paul Ryan's Path to Prosperity and will take all necessary steps to ensure the U.S. Senate takes up the plan. Addressing runaway spending and the debt it causes is the defining issue of our day. The clearest, most immediate path to achieving lasting reform is to elect a senator who is most prepared to move the core tenets of Paul Ryan's plan through the Senate.

Source: 2012 Senate campaign website in AARP Senate Voter Guide , Aug 24, 2012

Full audit of the Federal Reserve

Question 6. Would you support a full audit of the Federal Reserve?

Mark Neumann: Yes

Tommy Thompson: Yes

Source: 2012 Wisconsin Tea Party Senate Debate Questionnaire , Aug 13, 2012

Build the roads and the jobs follow

When we came in, Wisconsin was largely a network of inefficient and dangerous two-lane highways. So we built strategic corridors of four-lane roads that are delivering remarkable economic benefits for communities. From 1990 to 1996, more than 87% of the 1,900 manufacturing developments in Wisconsin occurred within five miles of a Corridors 2020 highway. And these plants created 90% of the new manufacturing jobs in our state. We built the roads and the jobs followed. The correlation couldn’t be clearer, nor could the payoff on the investment.

We also increased spending on mass transportation by 140%, helping our workers get to and from their jobs. And we are leading the nation into an exciting new era of high-speed passenger rail with the help of Amtrak. We’ve taken a balanced approach to moving our products and people in Wisconsin.

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

Vetoed 255 spending bills totalling $43M

The 1999-2001 Budget made historic investments in Wisconsin families, provided over $1 billion dollars in tax relief and made unprecedented commitments in education and health care.

Gov. Thompson strengthened the budget by making 255 vetoes to cut a record $43 million in unnecessary spending. The governor also used his veto pen to eliminate $43 million in tax hikes on business, including $31 million in recycling taxes on companies.

Source: Wisconsin Governor’s web site, “Budget” , Dec 25, 2000

Bring state spending in line with ability to pay

As a candidate in 1986, I told people I would control government spending and cut taxes. It may not have been the most original platform in my campaign--Ronald Reagan had won election and reelection with this theme--but it really was the bedrock of my thinking. It was the most commonsense thinking I knew. I said, "Government spending drives taxes. That is a simple truth most politicians have lost sight of recently. We face a fiscal crisis because of our excessive government spending."

I told voters that "the goal of the Thompson Administration will be to bring state spending in line with our ability to pay." This was a fundamental departure from the fiscal policy the government had followed for years, in which the government first decided what it wanted to spend and then raised the necessary taxes to pay for the programs. I turned that on its head, promising to determine our revenue levels first and then limit spending to the revenues we actually had. There would be no more credit-card spending.

Source: Power to the People, by Tommy Thompson, p.124-125 , Sep 1, 1996

Let state meat inspection suffice for interstate shipments.

Thompson signed the Midwestern Governors' Conference resolution:

Source: Resolution of Midwestern Governors' Conf. on Meat Inspection 00-MGC3 on Jul 25, 2000

Supports a constitutional BBA.

Thompson supports the CC Voters Guide question on a constitutional BBA

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: "Passage of a Balanced Budget Amendment to the U.S. Constitution"

Source: Christian Coalition Voter Guide 12-CC-q11c on Oct 31, 2012

Foster dairy production that is market driven.

Thompson signed the Midwestern Governors' Conference resolution:

Source: Resolution of Midwestern Governors' Conf. on Dairy Reform 98-MGC1 on Feb 24, 1998

  • Click here for definitions & background information on Budget & Economy.
  • Click here for VoteMatch responses by Tommy Thompson.
  • Click here for AmericansElect.org quiz by Tommy Thompson.
Other candidates on Budget & Economy: Tommy Thompson on other issues:
Former Presidents:
George W. Bush (R,2001-2009)
Bill Clinton (D,1993-2001)
George Bush Sr. (R,1989-1993)
Ronald Reagan (R,1981-1989)
Jimmy Carter (D,1977-1981)
Gerald Ford (R,1974-1977)
Richard Nixon (R,1969-1974)
Lyndon Johnson (D,1963-1969)
John F. Kennedy (D,1961-1963)

Former Contenders:
V.P.Al Gore
Pat Buchanan
V.P.Dick Cheney
Sen.Bob Dole
Ralph Nader
Gov.Sarah Palin

Political Thinkers:
Noam Chomsky
Milton Friedman
Arianna Huffington
Rush Limbaugh
Tea Party
Ayn Rand
Secy.Robert Reich
Donald Trump
Gov.Jesse Ventura
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Page last updated: Mar 14, 2014