May 25, 2010

Candidate Forum Fact Check #6: Taxin’ Tom

THE TRUTH ABOUT…Tom Campbell’s decades-long record of support for higher taxes.

Tom Campbell is a fiscal conservative.

In 1989, Tom Campbell introduced federal legislation to raise the gas tax. Although the measure never came up for a vote, Campbell continues to believe that raising the gas tax is a legitimate budget-balancing measure. In 1997, Campbell voted against the Clinton administration tax cuts and criticized the Bush tax cuts during his second failed campaign for U.S. Senate in 2000. Throughout his career, Campbell has supported taxes on carbon emissions, Internet sales and business net receipts – not to mention increases in sales taxes, tobacco taxes, alcohol taxes, oil taxes, income taxes, you name it! Most recently, Campbell proposed raising California’s gas tax by 32 cents per gallon to close the state’s budget deficit while a candidate for governor, which he said would have made Californians “better off” than they are now – despite the fact that California’s average gas prices were the third highest in the nation last year. Campbell is the only candidate in this primary who refuses to sign the Taxpayer Protection Pledge.

As A Member Of Congress In 1989, Campbell Introduced A Bill To Increase The Tax On Gasoline. (H.R. 2889, “To Amend The Internal Revenue Code Of 1986 To Increase The Tax On Leaded Gasoline,” 101st Congress, 7/13/89)

Campbell Maintains He “Never Voted For A Tax Increase” Because His Federal Gas Tax Hike Never Came Up For A Vote. “Campbell said he has ‘never voted for a tax increase. Never.’ However, he was the author of a bill in 1989 to raise the federal sales tax on leaded gasoline by 6 cents a gallon. Campbell spokesman Greg Stohr said last week that there is no inconsistency; the gasoline-tax bill never made it to a vote.” (“The Candidates & The Issue: Federal Taxes,” The Orange County Register, 3/9/92)

Asked On National Television If The Federal Gas Tax Should Be Hiked By Nine Cents, Campbell Replied “Yes” Twice. “Smith: Let’s talk consumption taxes here. Let’s take a couple more votes if you don’t mind. We’ll do them one at a time, consumption taxes. Yes or no, let’s raise the gasoline tax at least 9 cents. Campbell: Yes. … Smith: We–let’s get the raise our hands–raise of hands for yes. Campbell: Yes.” (“This Morning,” CBS, 10/18/90)

Campbell Has Flirted With Higher Taxes On Gasoline, Oil, Tobacco & Alcohol “As Measures To Help Balance The Budget.” “Most of the Republicans adamantly reject any tax increases. Only Campbell breaks ranks. Although he opposes any increase in the income tax, he has flirted with proposals for higher levies on gasoline, imported oil, tobacco and alcohol as measures to help balance the budget.” (Jonathan Marshall, “Recession Puts Spotlight On Economic Questions,” San Francisco Chronicle, 4/29/92)

In Congress, Tom Campbell Voted Against The First Major Tax Cut Since The Reagan Administration In 1981. “In all, the measure would cut taxes by $135 billion over five years, the first major cut since Ronald Reagan’s administration in 1981. The reductions would be partially offset by increases totaling $50 billion, an extension of an expiring airline ticket tax among them. … On final passage, the bill was supported by 226 Republicans and 27 Democrats in the House. Opposed were 177 Democrats, Republican Tom Campbell of California and Rep. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, the House’s lone independent.” (David Espo, “House Approves Tax Plan Worth Billions In Cuts,” The Associated Press via The Daily Press, 6/27/97)

Tom Campbell Was The Only House Republican To Vote With Democrats Against The Tax Relief Package. “As the Senate continued to debate late into the night its version of the tax bill, with final action expected sometime today, the House on Thursday passed its tax cut bill on a 253-179 vote, with 27 Democrats backing the measure and only one Republican, Rep. Tom Campbell of California, opposing it.” (“Senate To Debate Cigarette Taxes As House Passes Bill,” National Journal, 6/27/97)

In A Speech To The San Francisco Rotary Club, Campbell Publicly Criticized The Bush Tax Cut Plan. “Rep. Tom Campbell, who has received virtually no support from national party leaders in his quest for the U.S. Senate, issued a public criticism of Republican presidential candidate George W. Bush’s economic program on Tuesday. The decision by the Republican candidate to take on his own party’s standard-bearer a month before the election is just the latest in a series of unconventional strategies used by Campbell in his underdog bid to unseat incumbent Dianne Feinstein. Campbell’s speech to the San Francisco Rotary Club also did not spare Democrat Al Gore. Campbell denounced both major presidential candidates for finding ways ‘to spend a budget surplus, a surplus we have no reason to believe exists.’” (Barry Witt, “Maverick Senate Candidate Takes On His Party’s Leader In S.F. Rotary Speech; Campbell Hits Bush On Economy,” San Jose Mercury News, 10/11/00)

Campbell Criticized The Bush Tax Cuts As “Unwise.” “Campbell has been arguing for deficit reduction over tax cuts for months, saying the ‘alleged surplus’ is based on the federal government’s use of Social Security tax revenues for non-Social Security purposes. In interviews, he’s been willing to criticize Bush’s tax cut proposal as unwise because it fails to consider the possibility of an economic downturn when the government would need the revenue to assist people who are out of work and would have to consider cutting taxes to stimulate growth.” (Barry Witt, “Maverick Senate Candidate Takes On His Party’s Leader In S.F. Rotary Speech; Campbell Hits Bush On Economy,” San Jose Mercury News, 10/11/00)

Campbell “Supports States Levying Sales Taxes On Internet Purchases.” “Campbell is no panderer. His congressional district is a high-tech haven, yet, unlike many Repubs, he supports states levying sales taxes on Internet purchases. ‘Otherwise, where do you get your money for police and fire departments?’ Campbell explained. ‘I took that stand because it was right.’” (Debra J. Saunders, “Campbell, The Anti-Pol,” San Francisco Chronicle, 9/3/00)

“He Also Would Not Rule Out Taxing Sales On The Internet.” (Peter Nicholas and Evan Halper, “State Gets A New Finance Chief,” Los Angeles Times, 11/5/04)

Campbell’s “New Revenue” Proposal While A Candidate For Governor Was To Raise The Tax On Gasoline By 32-Cents A Gallon. “Republican gubernatorial hopeful Tom Campbell Thursday called for budget cuts and a temporary gas tax to close California’s $26.3 billion budget gap. Campbell, the state’s finance director in 2004-2005, said $16 billion in savings could be achieved if automatic increases in social-welfare benefits and state employee pay were slowed and brought into line with the national average. Another $4 billion could be carved out with an ‘expenditure freeze,’ he said. The final $6 billion should come from new revenue — a one-year gasoline tax that would raise the price of gas from roughly $3 per gallon to $3.32 per gallon, he said.” (Chris Kenrick, “Gubernatorial Hopeful Tom Campbell Outlines Budget Fixes,” Palo Alto Online, 7/10/09)

Campbell Believes Californians Would Be “Better Off” Paying .32-Cents More For Every Gallon Of Gas. “He said today that as a gubernatorial candidate last year he proposed $3 in spending cuts for every $1 he’d have raised through a temporary gas-tax increase, and had his plan been adopted, Californians would be better off.” (Josh Richman, “Tom Campbell Rolls Out Federal Budget Plan,” Political Blotter, 2/11/10)

In 2009, California’s Average Gas Prices Was Third Highest Among All 50 States. “Eureka has the highest gas prices in the contiguous United States at $3.35, with locals paying nearly $1 more than the nation’s average, according to the latest survey released by AAA. The latest report from AAA Northern California found most gas prices throughout the state rose slightly during the Labor Day holiday weekend. Since AAA’s last survey, all metro areas where AAA tracks gas prices in Northern California saw price increases anywhere from 3 to 12 cents. All metro areas in California tracked by AAA remain above the $3 a gallon mark. According to the latest report from AAA Northern California, California’s average gas price is the third highest among all 50 states.” (“Eureka Top In Gas Prices,” Eureka Times Standard, 9/9/09)

Earlier In 2009, Campbell Publicly Supported Tax Increases Overwhelmingly Rejected By California Voters. “Campbell’s other gamble is to be The Republican who backs Proposition 1A, the spending-cap-but-it-comes-with-tax-increases measure that will be on the May 19 special election ballot. Whitman and Poizner both oppose the measure being championed by Schwarzenegger, Democratic legislative leaders and the handful of Republicans who voted for Sacramento’s most recent budget. That’s right – Campbell is supporting a measure that continues the current budget’s sales tax, income tax and vehicle license fee increases for another two years.” (Debra Saunders, “Campbell Is Banking On His Experience,” San Gabriel Valley Tribune, 4/12/09)

In February 2009, Tom Campbell Wrote That Passing A Budget Loaded With Tax Increases “Was The Right Thing To Do.” “So, I do not criticize the State Senators and Assemblymembers, Democratic and Republican, who put together the current state budget fix. I predict we’ll have to revisit it; perhaps soon. For now, however, it was the right thing to do.” (Tom Campbell, “On The California State Budget,”, 2/25/09)

Campbell: Gov. Schwarzenegger And California Legislators Did The Right Thing By Passing $12.5 Billion In Tax Hikes. “After five years as governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger came full circle on Friday: The film star who promised to rescue California from its fiscal wreckage without raising taxes signed into law $12.5 billion in tax hikes. With that, the Republican governor broke one of the few bonds left between his shrunken party and California’s mainstream voters, marring its hard-won image as a guardian against higher taxes. … The party’s lone gubernatorial contender defending the tax hikes is Tom Campbell. A former Silicon Valley congressman and state finance director under Schwarzenegger, he all but guaranteed himself pariah status among the party’s rank and file by saying the governor and Legislature did the right thing.” (Michael Finnegan, “The State Budget Crisis: Financial And Political Fallout,” Los Angeles Times, 2/21/09)

Campbell Said The Legislature Was Right To Pass The Budget Loaded With Tax Increases. “Campbell said the Legislature was actually right to pass the budget last week. Rather than tell lies or risk being tarred and feathered, he skipped the convention a wise call to move to Orange County, where he’ll be a visiting law professor at Chapman Law School.” (Editorial, “So, Whitman And Poizner, How Would You Have Balanced The Budget?,” San Jose Mercury News, 2/23/09)

Campbell Supports A Carbon Emissions Tax. “Going into 2010, Mr. Campbell also says he supports open primaries, would like to see the output of a state constitutional convention and supports a carbon emissions tax (as long as business taxes are reduced in other ways).” (“Campbell Thinks He Has Answers For State,” Orange County Register, 9/30/09)

Campbell Is Optimistic About A Totally New “Business Net Receipts Tax.” “And he thinks a recent blue-ribbon commission headed by investor Gerald Parsky was ‘on the right track’ when it recommended a totally new ‘business net receipts tax’ to replace the corporation and state sales taxes. That’s because it would tend to tax consumption rather than income.” (George Skelton, “What If He Had The Money,” Los Angeles Times, 10/12/09)

Campbell Publicly Refused To Sign A No-Tax Pledge As Launched His Senate Campaign In January 2010. “Campbell, however, said he would not sign a No-Tax Pledge because, he argued, no one can anticipate every situation that might arise.” (Joel Fox, “Campbell Defends Fiscal Record As He Campaigns For U.S. Senate,” Fox & Hounds, 1/19/10)

Tom’s Beliefs On Tax Hikes Are Out-Of-Step With Californians. “Half of California voters believe the state should close its $19.9 billion deficit mostly or entirely through spending cuts rather than tax increases, according to a Field Poll released Tuesday. That compares with 29 percent who said the state should use an equal mix of spending cuts and tax increases, or 13 percent who prefer balancing the budget solely or mostly with tax hikes.” (Kevin Yamamura, “Field Poll: More California voters prefer spending cuts, not taxes, to close deficit,” Sacramento Bee, 3/2/10)

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About Carly Fiorina

Carly Fiorina is running for the U. S. Senate because she knows fiscal conservatism and a focus on jobs is the way to return America to greatness. More

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