Taxpayer Watchdog Group Names Sen. Tom Coburn a "Taxpayer Hero"
Scores 95 Percent on CCAGW`s Congressional Ratings WASHINGTON--(Business Wire)-- The Council for Citizens Against Government Waste (CCAGW) today honored Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) as a Taxpayer Hero for scoring 95 percent on its 2008 Congressional Ratings. The average for the entire House was 35 percent, and the average for the Senate was 38 percent; this makes Sen. Coburn`s achievement that much more impressive. Since 1989, CCAGW has tracked roll call votes to separate the taxpayer advocates in Congress from those who favor wasteful programs and pork-barrel spending. The 2008 Congressional Ratings cover the voting year 2008, the second session of the 110th Congress. CCAGW rated 48 key votes in the House and 42 in the Senate. "Sen. Coburn put the interests of taxpayers ahead of politics by consistently voting to cut wasteful spending, reduce the tax burden, and make government more accountable to taxpayers," said CCAGW President Tom Schatz. "The 2008 Congressional Ratings show that many elected officials continue to demonstrate little regard for the harmful effect a large and cumbersome federal government has on taxpayers` wallets. Out-of-control spending reigned over Capitol Hill, leading to a record $1.6 trillion deficit in fiscal year 2009, and an $11.8 trillion national debt. Sen. Coburn`s votes give taxpayers hope for the future." House Democrats scored an average of 6 percent; House Republicans scored an average of 70 percent. In the Senate, the average for Democrats was 4 percent, and Republicans averaged 72 percent. CCAGW`s website, www.ccagw.org, features the complete 2008 Congressional Ratings, including vote descriptions, scorecards for the House and Senate, and averages by chamber, party, and state delegation. In the House, Rep. Paul Broun (R-Ga.) was the sole "Taxpayer Super Hero" with a grade of 100 percent. In 2007, there were three House members with a perfect score. In 2008, there were 59 "Taxpayer Heroes" with a grade of 80 percent or above, the same as in 2007. The big difference was in the number of members with a perfectly abysmal score of zero. In 2006, there were nine House members with a zero rating, and in 2007 there were only two. In 2008, however, the number of members with a score of zero skyrocketed to 34; a 1,600 percent increase and an indication of growing partisanship as all of them are Democrats. In 2006 and 2007, there were no "Taxpayer Super Heroes" (scoring 100 percent) in the Senate, and, unfortunately, that did not change for 2008. There were, however, a total of 14 "Taxpayer Heroes," one fewer than the 15 in 2007. The two highest scores were achieved by Senators Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) and Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) at 98 percent. There were 17 senators with a score of zero, compared to 13 in 2007. Five senators scored zero for the second year in a row, including current Vice President Joe Biden (D-Del.), Sen. Daniel Akaka (D-Hawaii), then-Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.), Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad (D-N.D.), and Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee Chairman Chris Dodd (D-Conn.). The Council for Citizens Against Government Waste is the lobbying arm of Citizens Against Government Waste, the nation`s largest nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement in government. CCAGW Leslie K. Paige, 202-467-5334 Copyright Business Wire 2009