Rates Congress

Taxpayer Score

The Taxpayer Score measures the strength of support for reducing spending and opposing higher taxes. In general, a higher score is better because it means a member of Congress voted to spend less money.

The Taxpayer Score can range between zero and 100. We do not expect anyone to score a 100, nor has any legislator ever scored a perfect 100 in the multi-year history of the comprehensive NTU scoring system. A high score does not mean that the member of Congress was opposed to all spending or all programs. High-scoring members have indicated that they would vote for many programs if the amount of spending were lower or if the budget were balanced. A member who wants to increase spending on some programs can achieve a high score if he or she votes for offsetting cuts in other programs. A zero score would indicate that the member of Congress approved every spending proposal and opposed every pro-taxpayer reform.

NTU believes a score qualifying for a grade of "A" indicates the member is one of the strongest supporters of responsible tax and spending policies. We are pleased to give these members of Congress our "Taxpayers' Friend Award."

A score qualifying for a grade of "B" represents a "good" voting record on controlling spending and taxes. A "B" grade indicates that the member voted for taxpayers most of the time, but slightly less than those who attained the grade of "A."

A score qualifying for a grade of "C" represents a minimally acceptable voting record on controlling taxes and spending. To qualify for a grade of "C" a member must have a Taxpayer Score of at least 50 percent. While such a score may be "satisfactory," there is clearly room for improvement.

We also issue pluses and minuses for the grades of "B" and "C" in order to better recognize the differences in the voting records of members with these grades.

A score qualifying for a grade of "D" indicates the member has a "poor" voting record on controlling taxes and spending.

A score significantly below average qualifies for a grade of "F." This failing grade places the member into the "Big Spender" category.