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The Facts About Phil Bredesen’s Record

Sep 11, 2018 by AFP

Americans for Prosperity launched a television and digital ad highlighting Phil Bredesen’s abuse of taxpayer dollars and support of higher taxes. The ad reads:

When times are tough, we budget for our families.

But when our states budget was in crisis, Phil Bredesen supported higher taxes on us.

Higher gas taxes, sales taxes, and more.

And while we struggled through a recession,

Bredesen wasted nine million taxpayer dollars upgrading his Governor’s mansion.

Four million on a party cave, gilded bathrooms and a kitchen worth two Tennessee homes.

Phil Bredesen lived the life. We paid the bill.

Phil Bredesen responded by claiming, “I never raised either the gas tax or the sales tax.” Thankfully, he didn’t. But he absolutely supported both of those harmful policies.

The facts couldn’t be clearer. Not only did Bredesen support raising the gas tax and sales tax, he talked about it repeatedly. Don’t take our word for it. Take his:

  • The Tennessean: “Bredesen Says Gas Tax Hike Needed To Get Federal Road Funds”. (The Tennessean, 3/12/03)
  • Bredesen: “I’ve always thought that if the (Bush) administration were to pass a new, long-term highway bill, that might be a time you want to revisit the whole gas tax issue. That would definitely be the time.” (Knoxville News-Sentinel, 5/30/04)
  • Knoxville News-Sentinel: “Bredesen said he also sees a need to raise taxes on gasoline and diesel fuel, not this year, but probably before his term ends.” (Knoxville News-Sentinel, 1/15/07)
  • Associated Press: “Bredesen: Lift Sales Tax Cap Or Cut State Salaries”. (Associated Press, 4/16/10)
  • Lawmakers Rejected Bredesen’s Proposal To Eliminate The Sales Tax Cap. “After some late-night wrangling, the state Senate approved a $28 billion budget shortly before 11 p.m. Thursday, laying the foundation for Tennessee government spending for the fiscal year beginning July 1. … Legislators said they tried to create a pact that would balance the budget without raising taxes. They rejected proposals by Gov. Phil Bredesen to lift the sales tax cap on items that sell for more than $3,200, which would have raised $85 million for the state, and a proposal to tax cable boxes and to equalize sales taxes on cable and satellite television services, which would have brought in $23.3 million.” (Chas Sisk, “Senate Passes Hurdle, Budget,” The Tennessean, 6/4/10)

Bredesen is now running on the record of those who saved him from himself and is seeking credit for failing to fully implement his own bad ideas. If he had his way, Tennesseans would have seen even higher taxes throughout his time as governor.

Some in the press think that Bredesen should get a pass because the policies he supported never went into effect. We disagree.

Phil Bredesen is running for U.S. Senate. Senators have to vote on things like higher taxes. His consistent and repeated support for higher gas and sales taxes is something that every Tennessean should know about.

This is why it is paramount that you get out and vote for Marsha Blackburn, who has proven that she keeps her word and will always fight for Tennesseans. Sign the petition and pledge to vote for Marsha in November!