Congressional Scorecard

Tax Fighter Senator Chuck Grassley 114th Congress

Tax Fighter Senator Chuck Grassley 114th Congress

The National Tax Limitation Committee (NTLC) was organized in 1975 to seek constitutional and other limits on taxes, spending and deficits at the federal, state and local levels of government, in keeping with the principles, policies and objectives of Ronald Reagan.  Each Congress, NTLC analyzes the voting records of US Senators and Representatives, as it has done for the past 30 years.  This report on the Congress covers the period from January 2015 through August 2016.

The November 2010-2012 election results dramatically changed the composition of the US House of Representatives for the benefit of taxpayers.  As a result, the House has since acted firmly and swiftly on budget and other fiscal issues, only to have the liberal Reid-led Senate and the Obama White House stonewall the budget and “legislate” through Executive Orders of the White House and through rules and regulations of the White House-controlled “administrative agencies.”

Representative Jacki Walorski 114th Congress

Representative Jacki Walorski 114th Congress

While federal spending soared, our Nation’s annual economic growth rate has tanked.  Rapid economic growth is the sine qua non of a healthy nation and a prosperous people.  In response to the question, “What is the most powerful force on earth,” Albert Einstein is reported to have said “compound interest.”  At 4% per year growth – instead of the 1% or so of the Obama Administration – the US economy would double every 17 years.  That – not redistribution – is the way to income maximization and opportunity for all Americans.  Our scorecard looks for Members whose voting records reveal that they share those views and values.

While deficits are to be abhorred, increased government spending is worse.  It is the size of government that is the key barometer for NTLC, as our late mentor and founder of NTLC, Milton Friedman, underscored regularly.  At approximately 40% of Gross Domestic Produce (GDP) spending and the cost of regulation at all levels of government is far above the optimal level to assure maximum national economic growth.  On the taxpayer protection front, during the 113th Congress, NTLC fought alongside our allies to build support for killing the death tax.  That remains one of our key objectives in the next Congress, as does major tax reform.

Lew Uhler offering the Tax Fighter Award to Senator Mitch McConnell 2012th Congress

Lew Uhler offering the Tax Fighter Award to Senator Mitch McConnell 112th Congress

Criteria for congressional ratings:  Each score is reflective of the Member’s public position on key votes.  Some 41 House and 43 Senate votes were used in the preparation of the scorecard.  In selecting votes, NTLC placed special emphasis on tax, budget and appropriation measures that would have a major impact on long-term taxing and spending programs of the government.  Also selected were votes that may have relatively small fiscal consequences in a particular year, but, nevertheless, provide a good “litmus test” of the attitude or philosophy of the legislator with respect to government regulation, private property rights, federalism and the size of the federal government.  Every action considered for this rating – floor votes on bills or amendments, votes on procedural motions, etc. – has been weighted and tallied to present an accurate “fiscal responsibility score” for each Member.  The votes used in this scorecard are listed on the back cover.

Voting scores for Members of Congress in percentage and letter grades: Scores for Members of the House and Senate are expressed in percentage of all votes cast on those selected by NTLC.  The Member may or may not have been present and voting on each and every roll call, the percentage reflects actual votes only.  A Member was not penalized for missing up the three votes.  A perfect score, one most favorable to the taxpayer in our view, is 100%.  The worst score is 0%.  To convert percentage to letter grades, use the following schedule:  80-100% = A; 60-79% = B; 40-59% = C; 20-39% = D; under 19% = F.  (Members in several states and districts died, resigned or otherwise left office during the 112th Congress; only the scores of their successors are set forth here.)

How to read the scorecard:  Following the state name, the two US Senators are listed first (in bold print), then the Representatives opposite their district numbers.  Democrats are in italics.  The right-hand column lists the percentage scores.

114th CONGRESS SCORECARD (2015-2016)

113th CONGRESS SCORECARD (2013-2014)

112th CONGRESS SCORECARD (2011 – 2012)

111th CONGRESS SCORECARD (2010 – 2011)

110th CONGRESS SCORECARD (2008 – 2009)

109th CONGRESS SCORECARD (2006 – 2007)