ALEXANDRIA, Va., April 4, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Even with many stellar performances from "Taxpayers' Friends," a huge chorus of "Big Spenders" belted out a tune of costlier government, according to the 362,000 member National Taxpayers Union's (NTU's) 32nd annual Rating of Congress. The scorecard, the only one to utilize every roll call vote affecting fiscal policy, was based on 165 House and 142 Senate votes from 2010.
Between 2009 and 2010, the average "Taxpayer Score" in the House rose from 38 percent to 42 percent. The Senate's average increased from 39 percent to 45 percent. The Senate had an all-time low of 28 percent in 1988 (the House hit bottom that same year, at 27 percent). The highest marks were reached in 1995, when House and Senate averages were 58 percent and 57 percent, respectively.
In 2010, 79 lawmakers attained scores sufficient for an "A" grade and hence were eligible for the "Taxpayers' Friend Award" – an increase from the 55 who earned top grades in 2009. Meanwhile, 264 Senators and Representatives captured the title of "Big Spender" for posting "F" grades – just three shy of the 2009 record.
Representative Jeff Flake continued his record streak as "Taxpayers' Best Friend" in the House (scoring 97 percent), holding on to that distinction for an eighth consecutive year. Not to be out-done, Senators John McCain and Sam Brownback posted the highest score NTU has ever recorded coming in at 99.5 percent.
On the other end of the scale, five lawmakers had scores that rounded to a rock-bottom 2 percent: Representatives Jim Clyburn (D-SC), Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA), and Gary Ackerman (D-NY) in the House; and Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Carl Levin (D-MI) in the Senate.
NTU President Duane Parde said, "Given the three-trillion-dollar-plus surge in the national debt since 2009, taxpayers are now hoping for a different kind of surge – one that will take scores on NTU's next Rating of Congress to new and fitting heights."
NTU is a nonpartisan, nonprofit citizen group founded in 1969 to work for lower taxes and smaller government.. Note: The 2010 Rating and a searchable Rating database dating back to 1992 is available at www.ntu.org.
SOURCE National Taxpayers Union