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As Presidential Contenders Cite Fiscal Ratings from Citizen Groups, National Taxpayers Union Offers Clarification on Its Scorecard Results
For Immediate Release February 23, 2012
Douglas Kellogg, (703) 683-5700
Pete Sepp, (703) 683-5700
(Alexandria, VA) – During last night’s debate among Republican Presidential candidates, several citizen groups’ congressional scorecards entered the spotlight including the National Taxpayers Union’s (NTU’s) annual Rating of Congress. In order to provide the most complete picture possible, today NTU offered additional information and clarification on its Rating system and results.
Each year since 1979, NTU has issued a Rating of all Members of Congress based on every roll call vote affecting federal taxes, spending, debt, and regulation (often hundreds of votes in a given year). Votes are weighted according to their fiscal impact, and are tabulated to produce for each lawmaker a Taxpayer Score representing their level of support for limited government and opposition to bigger government. Since 1992, NTU has issued letter grades (often based on a curve) in order to allow citizens to better interpret Taxpayer Scores.
Yesterday evening, candidate Rick Santorum said:
“The Weekly Standard just did a review, looking at the National Taxpayers Union, I think, Citizens Against Government Waste, and they measured me up against the other 50 senators who were serving when I did and they said that I was the most fiscally conservative senator in the Congress in the -- in the 12 years that I was there.”
Clarification: The analysis referred to by Santorum during the debate, was performed by the Weekly Standard based on NTU data. The analysis and conclusions of the Weekly Standard’s article – particularly the “GPA” methodology discussed in that piece – are solely the work of the Standard. Given the recent interest surrounding NTU’s Rating, the following tables provide complete information on Taxpayer Scores for Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul, and Rick Santorum for the years they served in Congress.
*Speakers of the House vote rarely. These provisional scores are based on limited attendance
*Score based on less than 75%, but more than 50%, of weighted total of votes castNTU has comprehensively rated Members of Congress on their voting records since 1979 and a complete online database of all lawmakers’ Taxpayer Scores and grades since 1992 is available online at www.ntu.org. NTU is committed to helping members of the public, the political community, and the media better understand the fiscal voting records of Members of Congress.
The 362,000-member NTU is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization working for lower taxes, smaller government, and economic freedom at all levels.