National Democrats are attacking Wisconsin Republican U.S. Senate hopeful Tommy Thompson Monday after a newspaper report supported a Democratic analysis of the impact of top-tier tax cuts.
The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee is cheering an analysis released Monday by PolitiFact Wisconsin and the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel that supports the claim Democratic Senate candidate Tammy Baldwin made over the weekend that Thompson's tax plan would cut taxes by $87,000 for the top tax bracket.
The analysis included discussions with several tax economists who said the analysis provided by Baldwin was accurate, but noted that they did not have all the numbers available.
As for the specifics of Baldwin's claim, we ran her numbers by three tax experts: Tax Policy Center senior fellow Roberton Williams and Tax Foundation economist Mark Robyn, both in Washington, D.C.; and Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance president Todd Berry in Madison.
All three said Baldwin is generally on target, but that Thompson’s plan is too short on details to know for sure whether Baldwin’s $87,000 figure is on the money.
Williams said Baldwin’s numbers, on their face, are accurate.
"It’s a back-of-the-envelope calculation, that’s what it is," said Robyn.
PolitiFact also spoke with Thompson's spokesman who confirmed Baldwin's analysis.
The fact check did not include Baldwin's claim that Thompson's plan would also raise taxes on middle-class Wisconsites.
Thompson, a former Wisconsin governor and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services secretary, released a tax plan in April that includes calls to make the Bush tax cuts permanent, the implementation of a 15-percent flat tax and setting the rate of federal government spending at 18 percent of the gross domestic product, while capping total tax collection at 18.5 percent of the GDP. Thompson, who also proposes changes to the business tax code, has said his plan would spur job creation in Wisconsin and nationally.
"By making these sensible reforms, we will keep more money in the hands of hard-working Americans and put our nation on the pathway to sustained economic growth," Thompson said in an April statement released by his campaign.
The DSCC refutes Thompson's claims and ties his tax plan in with his business career since leaving HHS in 2005. Thompson is locked in a three-way GOP primary with businessman Eric Hovde, Assembly Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald and former Rep. Mark Neumann for the right to face Baldwin in November for the seat of retiring Sen. Herb Kohl (D).
“Not only does Tommy Thompson want to create another tax break for himself and people like him, he wants to make middle -class Wisconsinites pay more and force deep cuts in Social Security and Medicare in the process,” DSCC spokesman Matt Canter said.
“Tommy Thompson has made millions peddling influence on K Street, and now he’s running for Senate and proposing new tax loopholes to protects his fortune. Wisconsin families and small businesses want leaders who will level the playing field and make sure everyone pays their fair share, not D.C. insiders like Thompson who want to bill the middle class for more handouts to the very rich.”