Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Citizens Against Government Waste - Lists Taxpayer Heros

We at CRAFT are not endorsing any candidate but want to give people as much information as possible so they can make up their own minds.


Fox news published the following story. Citizens Against Government Waste - Lists Taxpayer Heros

Report: McCain a ‘Hero’ to Taxpayers
by Stephen Clark
Wednesday, September 10, 2008

John McCain is a “hero” to U.S. taxpayers for his lifetime record of resisting earmarks, while Barack Obama and Joe Biden are “hostile” and “unfriendly,” a government spending watchdog group has concluded.

In its new report, the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste gave the Republican presidential nominee a 100 percent rating for his votes in the Senate last year, and a lifetime score of 88 percent.

By comparison, the nonpartisan, nonprofit group, which is the lobbying arm of Citizens Against Government Waste, gave the Democratic presidential nominee a 10 percent score last year and a lifetime score of 18 percent. Biden, Obama’s running mate, scored 0 percent last year and an overall score of 22 percent.

Higher scores mean stronger resistance to federal earmarks. Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, the Republican vice presidential candidate, was not included because the ratings only evaluate members of Congress.

“In spite of a growing recognition that earmarks are a problem, Congress still spends more than is necessary,” CCAGW President Tom Schatz said in a written statement. “Taxpayers would be wise to hang onto their wallets and demand that Congress refocus its priorities and cut wasteful spending.”

The Democratic ticket has repeatedly criticized Palin for seeking earmarks for her city and for her state, including her initial support for Alaska’s infamous “Bridge to Nowhere.”

But mayors and governors do not fund these projects - members of Congress do. In 2005, Obama and Biden both voted for the “Bridge to Nowhere,” defeating a bill to spend that money on Hurricane Katrina relief instead.

“It’s a little like, don’t throw stones if you live in a glass house,” Schatz told FOX News.

The group has analyzed roll call votes since 1991 to distinguish members of Congress whom it describes as taxpayer advocates from those it says favor wasteful programs and pork-barrel spending. In the last year, the group rated 100 House votes and 35 Senate votes.

McCain scored 100 percent, but he did not earn the Taxpayer Super Hero Award because he was present for only 11 of the 35 Senate votes.

Members of Congress are considered “superheroes” if they score a 100 percent rating; “heroes” earn between 80 and 99 percent; “friendly” members score between 60 and 79 percent; “lukewarm” lawmakers get between 40 and 59 percent; “unfriendly” members score between 20 and 39 percent, and “hostile” representatives and senators are measured between 0 and 19 percent.

Three GOP congressman — Reps. Jeff Flake of Arizona, Jeb Hensarling of Texas and James Sensenbrenner of Wisconsin — all earned superhero status.

The rankings were based on several tax-related and spending bills. Obama and Biden scored low for voting against banning the use of earmarks for a spending bill on bicycle paths or trails (McCain did not vote); and against extending Bush’s tax cuts while McCain voted in favor of it.

Obama voted against prohibiting Congress from borrowing from the Social Security Trust Fund to finance other government programs (Biden and McCain did not vote). Obama and Biden voted against barring non-defense earmarks in spending bills for ongoing combat operations while McCain voted in favor of it.

Since taking office, Obama has requested $740 million in federal earmarks for Illinois, including $750,000 for a visitors center, $713,000 for soybean disease research, $401,000 for a juvenile delinquent prevention program and $250,000 for obesity prevention.

At the Democratic National Convention last month, Obama promised to take action against wasteful spending.

“I will also go through the federal budget line by line eliminating programs that no longer work,” he told 84,000 people at Invesco Field in Denver.

But this year, Obama voted against cutting $23 billion in federal programs rated ineffective by the Office of Management and Budget. His campaign said there were programs he didn’t want to cut.

“He’s been completely transparent about the earmarks he’s requested and about earmarks he’s received and he didn’t even ask for any earmarks last year because he knows that this system is broken,” Obama campaign spokesman Bill Burton said.

Last year, Biden requested $120 million in earmarks for Delaware, including $2 million for an oyster bed revitalization effort, $656,000 to retrofit apartments with sprinklers, $500,000 for a nutrition program and $246,000 to renovate an opera house.

“Democrats won in part in 2006 saying that earmarks were part of a culture of corruption,” Schatz said, referring to the 2006 elections that gave Democrats a narrow majority in Congress. “But they view it as a currency of re-election or they’d be getting rid of them. So until they say no, they’re just as bad, if not worse than what the Republicans did when they were in charge.”

FOX News’ William LaJeunesse contributed to this report.

Click here to reach the Citizens Against Government Waste website.


LDC said...

We are little individuals spend and cause far more spending due to our insistance on putting up with chronic preventable diseases than any stupid spending congress does. Look at diabetes alone.

Jim and Cathy Peschke said...

First I assume you mean "We as little individuals....."

Second taxes are not a choice we are forced to pay taxes and don't have control over how our tax dollars are spent.

Third it depends on whether you are talking about Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, one is preventable and one is not. Individuals with Type 1 diabetes need to be excluded from your claim unless you are suggesting that for some reason these people are not worthy of medical treatment because it is costly.

Fourth even with Type 2 diabetes it is a a lifestyle choice unless you are suggesting we regulate how people eat. Hey that is happening now isn't it?

Finally the reason the cost of medical treatment is so how is government interference and regulation in both health care and insurance.