|HSLDA News||April 26, 2001|
Taxpayer Watchdog Group Releases Ratings
WASHINGTON, DC—Two Texans wrangled top honors last year for voting to reduce the burden on taxpayers, according to the widely-anticipated annual Rating of Congress released today by the non-partisan National Taxpayers Union (NTU). Senator Phil Gramm and Congressman Ron Paul had the highest scores in their chamber for 2000, but many of their colleagues followed the special-interest spending stampede instead. The average lawmaker still voted less than half the time to reduce or control the federal government's burden on taxpayers.
"Pro-taxpayer voting records in Congress appear to have inched out of a prolonged slump, but most lawmakers had miles to go before they could claim big gains against big government last year," said NTU President John Berthoud.
Although the averages appeared to have leveled off and begun a modest rise, the ranks of top scorers designated as "Taxpayers' Friends" remained thin. In 1995, 121 lawmakers attained Taxpayer Scores sufficient for a grade of "A" (and hence "Taxpayers' Friend"). The latest Rating identified far fewer Taxpayers' Friends in Congress -- 42 in all. Meanwhile, nearly 200 Senators and Representatives earned the dubious title of "Big Spender," and received "F" grades in 2000.
"There is no doubt that government takes too much of family income," says HSLDA's Mike Farris. "Real tax reform for the family is certainly on our agenda."