Oct 30, 2017

At Every Step of Her Public Career, Tammy Baldwin Has Been Making Life More Difficult for Working Families

Post by Freedom Partners

Arlington, VA – Wisconsin Senator Tammy Baldwin opposes the unified plan for tax reform proposed by the Trump administration and key lawmakers, saying it doesn’t do enough to help the middle class. But the truth is, one look at Baldwin’s record shows a career spent making life harder for working families and easier for well-connected, powerful special interests.

In both state and federal office, Sen. Baldwin supported higher income taxes, sales taxes, and energy taxes — all of which make life harder and more expensive for ordinary Americans, especially those who can least afford it. As a member of the Dane County Board of Supervisors, she supported a county sales tax that has put taxpayers on the hook for nearly $1 billion to date, and as a Member of the U.S. Senate, she’s repeatedly supported higher taxes for online shoppers.

When Baldwin wasn’t trying to raise taxes, she was giving billion-dollar, taxpayer funded bailouts to some of the biggest and most powerful banks in the world.

Freedom Partners spokesman Bill Riggs issued the following statement:

“The only thing surprising about Tammy Baldwin’s opposition to tax reform is her newfound concern for working families. Throughout her entire career, Tammy Baldwin has supported tax hikes that fall hardest on lower and middle-income earners and increase the cost of virtually everything people need to survive. The best thing Tammy Baldwin can do for all working families in Wisconsin is to support tax reform.”

Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce recently launched a new $1.6 million television and digital ad campaign in Wisconsin highlighting Senator Tammy Baldwin’s long history of supporting higher taxes and preserving a broken system rigged against ordinary Americans. In one ad, Chris, president of Northwest Builders Inc. in Wisconsin, put it this way: “If Tammy Baldwin opposes tax reform, it’s proof that she opposes jobs. She opposes higher wages.”


Baldwin: “I’m Fighting For Tax Breaks For Middle Class Families And Working People … I’m Fighting To Put Working Families First.” (“My Actual Tax Plan,” Tammy Baldwin For Senate, Accessed 10/30/17)


Baldwin: “The Current Proposal Gives 80% Of The Tax Breaks To The Wealthiest 1% While Big Corporations Also Get A Tax Break. I Just Do Not Think That’s Right.” “In a statement, Baldwin said: ‘I think Wisconsin families need a tax break and that’s what I’m working for. But the current proposal gives 80% of the tax breaks to the wealthiest 1% while big corporations also get a tax break. I just do not think that’s right.’” (Bill Glauber, “Tammy Baldwin, Leah Vukmir, Kevin Nicholson Take Positions On Trump Tax Overhaul Plan,” Journal Sentinel, 10/11/17)

  • 2015: “These Tax Policies And Economic Policies Have Served To Benefit Those Who Are At The Very Top. … For Far Too Long, This Tax System That’s Really Been Rigged In Many Ways Has Resulted In Rewards That Are Disproportionately Helping Those That Are At The Top.” “I wanted to just talk, first of all, very broadly about the moment we find ourselves in because this is really the compilation of decades of economic and tax policy that has been enacted because of the influence of some wealthy and powerful interests and these tax policies and economic policies have served to benefit those who are at the very top. … For far too long, this tax system that’s really been rigged in many ways has resulted in rewards that are disproportionately helping those that are at the top and, as I said, our workers have seen their wages flat-lined.” (“Baldwin, Levin, Patriotic Millionaires To Urge Congress To Close Carried Interest Loophole,” Senator Tammy Baldwin YouTube, 11/18/15, @10:40)


As A Member Of The Dane County Board Of Supervisors, She Supported A County Sales Tax That Has Put Taxpayers On The Hook For Nearly $1 Billion

As A Member Of The Dane County Board Of Supervisors, Baldwin Supported A 0.5-Cent County Sales Tax. “[Dane County Board candidate Jim] Bishop said students get minimal benefits from the county, and he believes Baldwin should have voted against the sales tax. The 1/2-cent sales tax, which took effect last April, has become a ‘big cookie jar’ for funding county programs, Bishop said. If elected, he said, he would seek to repeal the tax. … Baldwin said she would make a better County Board member because she’s more experienced. She believes the board made the right decision to impose the sales tax, she said.” (Joel Broadway, “Board Incumbent, Student Face Off,” Wisconsin State Journal, 3/10/92)

  • Baldwin Justified Her Support By Saying He Was Being “Responsive To Needs” While Not Increasing Property Taxes. “‘We’re continuing to do what this county wants us to do,’ Baldwin said, ‘which is to be responsive to needs but to not increase property taxes.’” (Joel Broadway, “Board Incumbent, Student Face Off,” Wisconsin State Journal, 3/10/92)

The Sales Tax Has Put Dane County Taxpayers On The Hook For Nearly $1 Billion:

Dane County, Wisconsin County Sales Tax Revenue

(“2003 Dane County Adopted Budget,” Dane County Government Controller’s Office, 12/10/02; “2009 Adopted Budget,” Dane County Government Controller’s Office, 12/18/08; “2017 Adopted Budget,” Dane County Government Controller’s Office, 12/16/16 At 85)

The Liberal Center For American Progress Slams Sales Taxes As Regressive Because They Impose A Heavier Burden On Lower-Income Taxpayers. “Consumption taxes are regressive; that is, they impose a heavier burden on lower-income taxpayers than higher-income taxpayers for two reasons. The first is that the dollar amount of tax paid on any given item does not vary according to the purchaser’s income or ability to pay. The result is that the tax would hit low-income people harder. Paying $100 of tax on the purchase of a new refrigerator represents a greater relative burden for someone making $10,000 a year than it does for someone making $100,000 a year. The second reason why consumption taxes are regressive is that, by definition, they do not apply to what is not consumed. In general, people with higher incomes are able to save and invest more of their income and thus spend a smaller share of their income on goods and services that would be subject to a consumption tax. By comparison, low- and moderate-income people must spend all or most of their earnings on goods and services with little left over to save or invest. As a result, they would pay a greater share of their income in consumption tax than a higher-income person.” (Alexandra Thornton And Harry Stein, “Who Wins and Who Loses?,” Center For American Progress, 10/22/15)

The Institute On Taxation And Economic Policy (ITEP) Shows That Sales Taxes Comprise A Much Larger Share Of Family Income For Lower-Income Wisconsin Families. (“Wisconsin: State & Local Taxes In 2015,” Institute On Taxation And Economic Policy, 1/13/15)

(“Wisconsin: State & Local Taxes In 2015,” Institute On Taxation And Economic Policy, 1/13/15)

As A Member Of The Wisconsin State Assembly, She Opposed A Plan To Cut State Income Taxes By $130 Million

Baldwin Opposed A 1996 Plan To Cut State Income Taxes By $130 Million. “The Wisconsin State Journal asked candidates in this area whether they would: A. Favor the Republican plan to cut state income taxes by $ 130 million. Can the state afford it? … Rep. Tammy Baldwin, D-Madison; says the state can’t afford large tax cut …” (Mike Flaherty, “Legislative Candidates Address Tax Cut, School Choice, Other Issues,” Wisconsin State Journal, 11/3/96)

  • In Comparison, Wisconsin Raised $4.1836 Billion From The Individual Income Tax In Fiscal Year 1996. (“1996 Annual Fiscal Report,” State Of Wisconsin, 10/11/96 At 7)

As A U.S. Representative, She Voted For A Destructive Cap And Trade Bill That Would Have Disproportionately Burdened Lower-Income Individuals

In 2009, Baldwin Voted For The American Clean Energy And Security Act (Also Known As The Waxman-Markey Cap And Trade Bill). (H.R. 2454, Roll Call Vote #477: Passed 219-212: R 8-168; D 211-44, 6/26/09, Baldwin Voted Aye)

  • The American Clean Energy And Security Act Was Estimated To Raise $846 Billion Over Ten Years. “CBO and the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) estimate that over the 2010-2019 period enacting this legislation would: Increase federal revenues by about $846 billion …” (“H.R. 2454 American Clean Energy And Security Act Of 2009,” Congressional Budget Office, 6/5/09)

One Study Estimated That Wisconsin Would Have Lost Up To 56,700 Jobs Because Of Waxman-Markey. “The jobs impact of W/M is delayed by the free allocation of permits and generous carbon offsets. By 2030, as emission reduction targets tighten and other W/M provisions phase out, Wisconsin jobs decline by 41,600 under the low cost case and by 56,700 under the high cost case (Figure 2). The primary cause of job losses is lower industrial output due to higher energy prices, the high cost of complying with required emissions cuts, and greater competition from overseas manufacturers with lower energy costs.” (“Wisconsin: Economic Impact On The State From The Waxman-Markey Bill, H.R. 2454 Proposed Legislation To Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions,” National Association Of Manufacturers, 12/3/09)

  • Energy Prices Would Have Risen Dramatically. “Most energy prices would rise under W/M, particularly coal, oil and natural gas. By 2015, gasoline would increase between 6% and 8%, electricity between 2% and 5% and natural gas between 17% and 26%. By 2030, gasoline prices increase between 20% and 26% while electricity prices increase by up to 60% and natural gas by up to 79%.” (“Wisconsin: Economic Impact On The State From The Waxman-Markey Bill, H.R. 2454 Proposed Legislation To Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions,” National Association Of Manufacturers, 12/3/09)
  • Wisconsin Families Would Have Seen Drops In Disposable Income By Up To $264 Per Year By 2020 And Up To $1,432 Per Year By 2030. “Higher energy prices would have ripple impacts on prices throughout the economy and would impose a financial cost on households. Wisconsin would see disposable household income reduced by $134 to $264 per year by 2020 and $881 to $1,432 by 2030 (Figure 3).” (“Wisconsin: Economic Impact On The State From The Waxman-Markey Bill, H.R. 2454 Proposed Legislation To Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions,” National Association Of Manufacturers, 12/3/09)
  • Wisconsin’s Poor And Elderly Would Have Suffered Disproportionately. “The impacts of W/M will be felt especially by the poor, who spend a greater share of their income on energy and other goods than other income brackets. By 2030, higher energy prices mean that low income families in Wisconsin (with average incomes of $17,624) will spend between 14.5% and 15.3% of their income on energy under W/M compared to a projected 12.3% without W/M. Others on fixed incomes such as the elderly will also suffer disproportionately.” (“Wisconsin: Economic Impact On The State From The Waxman-Markey Bill, H.R. 2454 Proposed Legislation To Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions,” National Association Of Manufacturers, 12/3/09)

As A U.S. Senator, She’s Pushed Repeatedly For An Online Sales Tax

Baldwin Voted For The Marketplace Fairness Act Of 2013. (S. 743, Roll Call Vote #113: Passed 69-27: R 21-22; D 46-5; I 2-0, 5/6/13, Baldwin Voted Yea)

  • The Marketplace Fairness Act Would Have Allowed States And Local Governments To Require Large Internet Retailers And Other ‘Remote Sellers’ With Sales Over $1 Million Annually To Collect Sales Taxes And Send The Revenue To The Appropriate Location. “The Marketplace Fairness Act, as it’s called, would allow states and local governments to require large Internet retailers and other ‘remote sellers’ with sales over $1 million annually to collect sales taxes and send the revenue to the appropriate location. But this wouldn’t be automatic. The states would first have to pay for software that makes collection easier. States and localities would also need to simplify their tax system to make things easier for retailers — they’d have to have a single tax agency, a single tax return, and a single audit before they could require online retailers to collect.” (Brad Plumer, “Everything You Need To Know About The Senate’s Online Sales-Tax Bill,” The Washington Post’s Wonkblog, 4/22/13)
  • Baldwin Called This A “Pro-Growth Measure.” “U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin today voted in favor of the Marketplace Fairness Act, S. 743, which passed the Senate with bipartisan support, 69-27. ‘Today, I joined a bipartisan majority of the U.S. Senate in support of the Marketplace Fairness Act. This pro-growth measure will level the playing field for Wisconsin small businesses and allow local brick-and-mortar retailers to compete more effectively against out-of-state Internet sellers,’ Baldwin said.” (Press Release, “U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin Levels The Playing Field For Wisconsin Small Businesses,” Senator Tammy Baldwin, 5/7/13)

Baldwin Cosponsored The Marketplace Fairness Act Of 2015. (“S.698 – Marketplace Fairness Act Of 2015,” Congress.gov, 3/10/15)

Baldwin Cosponsored The Marketplace Fairness Act Of 2017. (“S.976 – Marketplace Fairness Act Of 2017,” Congress.gov, 4/27/17)


Baldwin Voted To Bail Out Big Banks In The Emergency Economic Stabilization Act Of 2008. (H.R. 1424, Roll Call Vote #681: Passed 263-171: R 91-108; D 172-63, 10/3/08, Baldwin Voted Yea)

  • The Bailout – Originally Pegged At $700 Billion – Was Described At The Time As “The Most Expensive U.S. Government Intervention In History.” “The U.S. House of Representatives gave final approval Friday to the $700 billion bailout for the financial system, reversing course to authorize what may be the most expensive U.S. government intervention in history.” (David M. Herszenhorn, “Congress Approves $700 Billion Wall Street Bailout,” The New York Times, 10/3/08)

The Nine Banks That Received The First Capital Injections From The Bailout Accounted For Around 75 Percent Of All Assets Held By U.S. Banks. “On Oct. 13, after Congress had passed the $700 billion financial bailout program earlier that month, Treasury provided capital injections for nine institutions that together held over $11 trillion in assets: Bank of America, Citigroup, Wells Fargo, JP Morgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Merrill Lynch, State Street and the Bank of New York Mellon. As of June 2008, these nine banks accounted for around 75 percent of all assets held by U.S. banks.” (Matthew Jaffe, “Government Watchdog Says Treasury And Fed Knew Bailed-Out Banks Were Not Healthy,” ABC News, 10/5/09)

These Nine Banks Received $125 Billion In Bailout Funds:

* “Initially allocated to Merrill Lynch, which Bank of America purchased on Jan. 1, 2009” (“Bailed Out Banks,” CNN Money, Accessed 10/26/17)