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Spending Proposed by House Delegations in the 112th Congress
Posted By:  - 05/24/12

This is another in a series of posts that looks at data from NTUF's recently released BillTally report for the 1st Session of the 112th Congress.

Today we look at net spending agenda by Congressional delegation and how House delegations compare with one another.  The average delegation in the House had a net spending agenda of $142.2 billion.  The difference in party control (whether there are more Democrats or Republicans in the delegation) does appear to have an impact on the delegation's net spending agenda.  States where there are more Democrats than Republicans in the delegation had a net spending agenda of $350.6 billion, while Republican controlled delegations would cut spending, on average, by $7.1 billion.  Only one delegation (Minnesota) has an even number of Democrats and Republicans and is thus considered a split delegation.

At Large districts (states with only one Representative, the District of Columbia, and the territories) have higher net spending agendas than do states that have more than one Representative. 

The table also highlights the delegations with the largest spending and savings agendas.  If you don't see your delegation, you can download delegation data here (in Excel).

If you're not familiar with BillTally, here's a little background:  Since 1991, NTUF has computed the legislative spending agendas of Members of Congress by analyzing the costs – and savings – of the bills that they sponsor and cosponsor as part of our BillTally research project.  BillTally is the only comprehensive look at the potential cost to taxpayers of what Members want to spend on a Member-by-Member basis. 

If you're curious about what proposals your Members of Congress have made, you can search detailed reports for each Member of Congress here.

Average Net Spending Agendas for House Delegations
112th Congress, First Session

(Dollar figures are in millions)

Delegation Average Increases Average Decreases Average Net # of Increase Bills # of Decrease Bills
 
Overall Average $218,674 ($76,513) $142,161 25 8
 
Democrat-controlled Average $380,132 ($29,549) $350,583 38 3
 
Republican-controlled Average $103,626 ($110,728) ($7,101) 16 11
           
Split Control $186,640 ($61,821) $124,819 24 8
 
Average for At Large Districts $412,072 ($48,056) $364,016 33 5
 
Multi-Member Average $160,204 ($85,116) $75,088 23 8
 
Largest Net Spending Average  
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA  $1,401,539 ($36,490) $1,365,049 108 3
 
Smallest Net Spending Average  
KANSAS  $547 ($242,212) ($241,665) 10 17
 
Largest Democrat-controlled Net Spending Average  
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA  $1,401,539 ($36,490) $1,365,049 108 3
 
Smallest Democrat-controlled Net Spending Average  
IOWA  $24,797 ($53,652) ($28,856) 31 7
 
Largest Republican-controlled Net Spending Average  
ILLINOIS  $365,468 ($56,937) $308,531 29 8
 
Smallest Republican-controlled Net Spending Average  
KANSAS  $547 ($242,212) ($241,665) 10 17

Source: NTUF BillTally , 112th Congress
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Largest Savings and Spending Agendas in the Senate
Posted By:  - 05/23/12

This is another in a series of posts that looks at data from NTUF's recently released BillTally report for the 1st Session of the 112th Congress.

The tables below highllight those Senators who have the ten largest savings and spending agendas.  Each Senator is linked to his BillTally report so that you can examine the cost estimates for each piece of legislation that the Senator sponsored or cosponsored that was included in the study.

Again, if you're not familiar with BillTally, here's a little background:  Since 1991, NTUF has computed the legislative spending agendas of Members of Congress by analyzing the costs – and savings – of the bills that they sponsor and cosponsor as part of our BillTally research project.  BillTally is the only comprehensive look at the potential cost to taxpayers of what Members want to spend on a Member-by-Member basis. 

If you're curious about what proposals your Members of Congress have made, you can search detailed reports for each Member of Congress here.

 

Ten Largest Net Savings Agendas (Senate)
112th Congress, First Session
Senator State
Net Spending Agenda (Millions $)
# of Increase bills
# of Decrease Bills
Paul, Rand KY ($515,716) 1 16
Coburn, Thomas OK ($358,048) 2 31
Hatch, Orrin UT ($327,386) 4 12
DeMint, Jim SC ($318,890) 1 16
Shelby, Richard AL ($305,556) 3 10
Cornyn, John TX ($294,910) 9 16
Johanns, Mike NE ($286,534) 11 21
Risch, James ID ($286,268) 5 17
Johnson, Ron WI ($284,719) 1 11
Lee, Mike UT ($284,687) 2 14

Source: NTUF BillTally, 112th Congress

 

 

Ten Largest Net Spending Agendas (Senate)
112th Congress, First Session
Senator State
Net Spending Agenda (Millions $)
# of Increase bills
# of Decrease Bills
Sanders, Bernard VT $1,037,756 46 5
Lautenberg, Frank NJ $155,884 57 5
Blumenthal, Richard CT $153,801 60 7
Begich, Mark AK $150,609 52 6
Harkin, Thomas IA $148,289 35 3
Reed, Jack RI $140,378 26 3
Reid, Harry NV $54,383 15 1
Durbin, Richard IL $27,083 39 5
Leahy, Patrick VT $26,116 50 5
Menendez, Robert NJ $24,227 53 2

Source: NTUF BillTally, 112th Congress

 

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Largest Savings and Spending Agendas in the House
Posted By:  - 05/22/12

This is another in a series of posts that looks at data from NTUF's recently released BillTally report for the 1st Session of the 112th Congress.

The tables below highllight those Members of the House who have the ten largest savings and spending agendas.  Each Member is linked to his or her BillTally report so that you can examine the cost estimates for each piece of legislation that the Member sponsored or cosponsored that was included in the study.

Again, if you're not familiar with BillTally, here's a little background:  Since 1991, NTUF has computed the legislative spending agendas of Members of Congress by analyzing the costs – and savings – of the bills that they sponsor and cosponsor as part of our BillTally research project.  BillTally is the only comprehensive look at the potential cost to taxpayers of what Members want to spend on a Member-by-Member basis. 

If you're curious about what proposals your Members of Congress have made, you can search detailed reports for each Member of Congress here.

Ten Largest Net Savings Agendas (House)
112th Congress, First Session
Representative State
Net Spending Agenda (Millions $)
# of Increase bills
# of Decrease Bills
Franks, Trent AZ ($428,723) 12 28
Chaffetz, Jason UT ($428,686) 8 37
Duncan, Jeff SC ($414,434) 14 34
Long, Billy MO ($408,047) 10 27
Westmoreland, Lynn GA ($395,370) 13 27
Pompeo, Mike KS ($392,005) 12 19
Guinta, Frank NH ($374,391) 5 14
Gingrey, John GA ($373,153) 9 30
Flake, Jeff AZ ($367,449) 6 19
Graves, Tom GA ($347,840) 4 12

Source: NTUF BillTally, 112th Congress

 

 

Ten Largest Net Spending Agendas (House)
112th Congress, First Session
Representative State
Net Spending Agenda (Millions $)
# of Increase bills
# of Decrease Bills
Conyers, John MI $1,456,922 96 5
Filner, Bob CA $1,426,191 114 3
Lee, Barbara CA $1,406,716 97 3
Jackson, Jesse IL $1,395,562 99 4
Grijalva, Raul AZ $1,390,115 130 4
Woolsey, Lynn CA $1,370,172 79 4
Norton, Eleanor DC $1,365,049 108 3
Stark, Pete CA $1,361,073 95 4
Payne, Donald NJ $1,350,795 72 1
Olver, John MA $1,349,750 46 0

Source: NTUF BillTally, 112th Congress
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Spending Proposed by House Caucuses in the 112th Congress
Posted By:  - 05/21/12

In case you missed it, last week NTUF released its BillTally report for the 1st Session of the 112th Congress. 

If you're not familiar with BillTally, here's a little background:  Since 1991, NTUF has computed the legislative spending agendas of Members of Congress by analyzing the costs – and savings – of the bills that they sponsor and cosponsor as part of our BillTally research project.  BillTally is the only comprehensive look at the potential cost to taxpayers of what Members want to spend on a Member-by-Member basis.  If you're curious about what proposals your Members of Congress have made, you can search detailed reports for each Member of Congress here.

This week, we'll be blogging some excerpts from the report as well as some of the data highlights from our research.  Today, we start with an excerpt from the report that looks at the House caucuses compare with one another. 

Congressional Caucuses

Once elected to Congress, a Representative has the option to join any of several Member caucuses that organize around a particular issue area or political philosophy. In these caucuses, Members can share ideas and coordinate strategies to promote or oppose particular legislation. Such caucuses are more prevalent in the House. Two long-standing caucuses, the Republican Study Committee (RSC) and the Democratic Blue Dog Coalition (BDC), both espouse fiscal discipline for their respective parties. The RSC states that it is dedicated to “a limited and Constitutional role for the federal government.” On its website, the BDC states that its members are “dedicated to the financial stability … of the United States” and have a “commitment to fiscal responsibility.” A related third caucus, the Republican Main Street Partnership (RMSP) was founded to “promote thoughtful leadership in the Republican Party and to develop and advocate for pragmatic common sense solutions to the challenges our country faces.” The Partnership’s mission page states that its Members are “main stream fiscally conservative elected officials.” These groups have been joined by the newer Tea Party Caucus that “stands for the fundamental principles of fiscal responsibility, limited government and strict adherence to the Constitution.”

Table 5. Average Spending Agendas by Caucuses and
Member Organizations in the 112th Congress
($ in Millions)

Caucus

Proposed Increases

Number of Increase Bills

Proposed Cuts

Number of Cut Bills

Net Agenda

Republican Study Committee

$4,290

11

($168,183)

15

($163,894)

Republican Main Street Partnership

$7,790

14

($74,452)

9

($66,662)

Tea Party Caucus

$4,232

12

($178,753)

17

($174,521)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blue Dog Democrats

$67,519

25

($1,954)

2

$65,565

Congressional Progressive Caucus

$966,991

54

($16,485)

2

$950,506

Congressional Black Caucus

$1,062,237

49

($15,325)

2

$1,046,911


Note: Totals may not add due to rounding. There were 56 Republicans with membership in both the RSC and TPC, 17 Members in both the RSC and RMSP, and three overlapping in all three caucuses. RMSP data only includes its Members in the House. Members of the CPC are all Democrats.

 

It is the Members of this newer Tea Party Caucus who are leading the way in the quest to cut spending. The typical TPC Member would reduce outlays by $174.5 billion, surpassing the cuts called for by the Members of the RSC who proposed reductions of $163.9 billion. The relatively “moderate” membership of the RMSP authored a net agenda to cut the budget by $66.7 billion.

These three caucuses would be outspent by the average Blue Dog. A disproportionate share of the Democratic incumbents who lost their seats last November consisted of Members of the BDC. The Coalition had 56 Members in the last Congress, 48 of whom ran for re-election. Of these, 22 were defeated. There are now 24 Blue Dogs in the current Congress. The average Member of the Democratic caucus claiming the mantle of “fiscal discipline” called for net budgetary hikes of $65.6 billion – a level nearly eight times lower than the net agenda of the average Democrat.

The Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC), which claims to be the largest caucus within the general Democratic Caucus, is a group that makes no claim to “fiscal discipline” but instead favors “economic justice.” The average Member of the CPC sponsored 54 bills to increase spending and two bills to cut spending, for a net agenda of $950.5 billion. This caucus was outspent by those in the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), whose average net agenda would lead to budget increases of $1.05 trillion. Thirty Representatives were members of both of these caucuses, but the higher net agenda is attributable to the greater proportion of CBC members who sponsored universal health care than those in the CPC (81.4 percent versus 73.3 percent). This is the first year in recent times that a Republican has joined the Democrats in the CBC; however, not even Florida Representative Allen West’s net agenda to cut outlays by $165.9 billion was sufficient to bring the CBC’s overall total below a trillion dollars.

Last December, an NTUF commentary speculated over whether the loss of so many Democrats in the BDC to candidates pledging to work for even more fiscal restraint would spur the remaining fiscally- conservative Democrats to support additional spending cuts. Thus far the Blue Dogs have not shown signs of doing so, advocating an average of $2.0 billion in cuts from the $3.8 trillion federal budget. In the course of the 111th Congress, the average Member of the BDC had called for $39.2 billion in spending reductions. In this Congress, the Members of the Progressive and Black Caucuses have actually backed more spending cuts, due largely to support for legislation to roll back defense spending to 2008 levels.

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Mitt Romney's Spending Proposals Compared to 2008 Presidential Candidates
Posted By:  - 05/14/12

And then there was one. 

With Ron Paul's decision to not contest any upcoming primaries, the way is now clear for Mitt Romney to become the Republican presidential nominee.  Last month, NTUF released its analysis of the spending proposals offered by the 2012 GOP presidential primary candidates.  Now with Romney the only active GOP candidate in the race, it provides an opportunity look at how Romney's spending platform compares with the leading candidates from the 2008 race at approximately the same point in time.

Comparison of Presidential Spending Platforms

Mitt Romney in 2012 versus Candidates in 2008

Type of Proposal

Mitt Romney

John McCain*

Hillary Clinton*

Barack Obama*

Spending Increase

3

14

108

66

Spending Cut

11

3

1

1

Unknown Cost

28

31

73

86

TOTAL

42

48

182

153

* Data for 2008 candidates is from NTUF’s June 3, 2008 release.

Source:  National Taxpayers Union Foundation

Comparison of Presidential Spending Platforms

Mitt Romney in 2012 versus Candidates in 2008

 (Dollar Amounts are in Billions)

Spending Category

Mitt Romney

John McCain*

Hillary Clinton*

Barack Obama*

Economy, Transportation & Infrastructure

-$4.3

$3.502

$74.493

$111.603

Education, Science & Research

N/A

$1.8

$18.996

$37.088

Energy, Agriculture & Environment

Unknown

$56.481

$64.451

$56.489

Federal Government Reform

-$383.409

N/A

N/A

N/A

Health Care

-$136.098

$1.137

$114.611

$100.848

Homeland Security & Law Enforcement

Unknown

$1.5

$4.557

$10.173

National Security & International Relations

$170.802

$3.917

$1.294

$13.808

Veterans

N/A

$0.60

$8.143

$2.76

Miscellaneous

N/A

N/A

$3.097

$10.817

TOTAL

-$353.005

$68.517

$289.642

$343.586

Note:  Totals may not add due to rounding.

* Data for 2008 candidates is from NTUF’s June 3, 2008 release.

The Federal Government Reform category was not used in 2008.

Source:  National Taxpayers Union Foundation

 

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California Dreamin'
Posted By: Brent Mead - 05/14/12

11, 16, 735

Those numbers aren't some trick to help you fall asleep, those are the numbers that show the stark reality facing California and the fiscal peril posed by Prop 29.

11: As in 11 percent unemployment, far above the national average of 8.2 percent. City Journal eloquently laid out the decades long policy trends that have driven job creators out of the state.

A more familiar statistic signaling California’s problems is its unemployment rate, which is now the nation’s second-highest, right after Nevada’s. Of the eight American metropolitan areas where the joblessness rate exceeds 15 percent, seven are in California, and most of them have substantial minority and working-class populations.

However, unemployment is the system, not the ailment. California’s economic woes are due to punitively high tax rates and an anti-business regulatory system. Tax Foundation ranks the state 48th in its Business Tax Climate Survey. Chief Executive, in their poll of Fortune 500 Company CEOs placed the state dead last. It is impossible to create jobs if the job creators face such disincentives for investment.

16: As in $16 billion. Governor Brown’s office released an update on the projected annual deficit numbers. Monday’s revision almost doubles the previous estimate of $9 billion. GOP legislators are spot on saying last year’s budget was a fraud from the moment it was signed. Governor Brown and his allies were counting on $4 billion in additional revenue through highly optimistic economic forecasts.

Additionally, the state spent $2 billion more than anticipated. Moreover, Governor Brown’s proposed budget would further increase spending. Of course, none of this has deterred the Governor from pitching his multi-billion dollar tax increase on the November ballot.

735: As in $735 million, the potential tax increase if Prop 29 is passed. None of the money will go towards paying down the $16 billion deficit. Instead it will go towards propping up a new unaccountable spending bureaucracy.

California cannot pay its current bills, much less the programs found in Prop 29. None of this touches on the over $2.5 billion in local bonding and tax increases found elsewhere on next month's ballot.

Today’s revenue numbers should be a call to action on spending reform and right-sizing government, not raising taxes.

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Speaking of Taxpayers (AUDIO): Sneak Peek of the Upcoming First Session BillTally Report
Posted By: Dan Barrett - 05/14/12

Pete & Doug sat down with NTUF Senior Policy Analyst Demian Brady, author of a soon-to-be-released report on how much Congress proposed to save and spend in 2011. The results may surprise you!

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Some In Congress Still Trying to Think Outside the Box
Posted By: Nan Swift - 05/01/12

In contrast to the Herd of Thirty, the GOP members who are asking House leadership to reauthorize Ex-Im Bank (Andrew writes about that sad tale here), there are some in Congress who are thinking outside the box and taking initiative when it comes to saving taxpayers’ money and reining in out of control spending.  We need more creative solutions like these:

  • NTU Taxpayers’ Friend Award Winner Rep.  Jeff Landry (R, LA-3) organized other freshmen members of Congress in giving back unused office funds to pay down the national debt.  Together, they returned almost $1.5 million.  Joining the Congressman were Reps. Jeff Duncan (R, SC-3), Tim Huelskamp (R, KS-1), Raul Labrador (R, ID-1), Mick Mulvaney (R, SC-5), Steve Southerland (R, FL 2), Joe Walsh (R, IL-8), and Kevin Yoder (R, KS-3).  While there’s no real incentive for a Congressional office to save money, it would be great if other offices followed suit and took such care with our money. On Fox News' "On the Record," Congressman Landry explains how this demonstrates the fact that Washington can live within its means:

  • Congressman Chuck Fleischmann and Senator Rand Paul have each introduced bills in their respective chambers that do provide incentives for federal employees to identify wasted and unused funds.  Employees who do so “will get to keep as much as $10,000 of the budgetary savings if their suggestions are adopted.”

It’s notable that these fresh ideas are also coming from freshmen – but freshmen who are choosing not to recycle the same failed ideas ad infinitum.  

When compared with trillions of dollars of debt, these changes can seem like a drop in the bucket. But taken together, the savings do add up – and maybe more importantly the plans are a real culture change in Washington that both goes against the status quo flow the House and Senate leadership are pursuing and takes the idea of stewardship, when it comes to our tax dollars, seriously.

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"B-" Congressmen for Ex-Im Subsidies
Posted By: Andrew Moylan - 04/30/12

30 House Republicans have made waves in the ongoing saga of the odious Export-Import Bank by writing a letter to House Leadership urging its reauthorization. The Ex-Im Bank is almost universally opposed by conservatives and true supporters of free trade because it subsidizes exports on the backs of the American taxpayer, but the signers of the letter call themselves conservatives and much of the coverage of it has asserted the same. So, how conservative are the signers of this letter?

Of the 30 signers of the letter, their average score on NTU's 2011 Rating of Congress was a whopping 72.8%. Only two received Taxpayers' Friend Awards, meaning they scored higher than 85% for an A grade: John Campbell (R-CA) and Cynthia Lummis (R-WY). Only five scored higher than 80%, while 13 scored somewhere in the 70s, and 12 scored in the 60s. In short, many of the signers have middling fiscal records.

The letter is full of the same pablum we've been hearing from the Chamber of Commerce and other supporters of subsidies for big business. Perhaps my favorite line is when the Members say, "it seems counterproductive to unilaterally disengage," meaning that it would be unwise for us to wind down our export subsidies while foreign countries like China maintain or expand theirs. This sort of a statement has intuitive appeal for some, but it's simply foolish.

China's export subsidies are an economic distortion that comes at the cost of their taxpayers and citizens and accrues to the BENEFIT of American taxpayers and citizens (and others that import things made in China). If the Chinese government insists on taxing its citizens in order to make the products they sell to us cheaper to purchase, the correct response to that is not to turn around and tax OUR citizens to make the products we sell abroad cheaper. The correct response is to say, "Thank you for the free money" (in the form of cheaper products for us) and shut down our damaging export and tariff programs.

Most conservatives understand that message. Apparently at least 30 of them need convincing.

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(AUDIO) Speaking of Taxpayers: “NTUF Presidential Candidate Budget Reports"
Posted By: Dan Barrett - 04/30/12

Hot off the presses! "Speaking of Taxpayers" is now "almost live" - recorded and released on the same day so you can catch up on the week's taxpayer news and notes (and Outrages!). Let us know what you think of the new equipment, format, and submit questions at studios@ntu.org.

This week NTUF Policy Analyst Dan Barrett joins Pete & Doug to chat about the GOP Presidential candidates fiscal blueprints. Also, a special update from Federal Affairs Manager Nan Swift on the Export-Import Bank.

Subscribe to NTU's podcast "Speaking of Taxpayers" via iTunes.


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