Tax policy expert says that on the whole, Ron Paul’s record is “exemplary,” suggests Santorum’s Mesa debate claim based on fuzzy math
LAKE JACKSON, Texas – 2012 Republican Presidential candidate Ron Paul earns high praise for being a taxpayer watchdog, and works to ensure that federal government revenue is collected in a manner consistent with Washington’s constitutional limits to collect it.
The 12-term Congressman from Texas supports the notion that the federal government’s personal income tax is unconstitutional and equates all taxes with pilfering from one group and using force to redistribute private property to others. Dr. Paul’s voting record on taxes is starkly different from those of his moderate-establishment rivals for the Republican nomination. So much so, that one is hard pressed to successfully claim ignorance of them.
That’s why last Wednesday at the Republican debate in Mesa, Arizona it was quite awkward when Rick Santorum claimed to be a sort of taxpayer’s BFF. (Sigh, we know…) The National Taxpayer’s Union (NTU) recently published a piece on Santorum’s odd claim, arriving at the two-pronged conclusion that the former Pennsylvania Senator sourced a ratings system that used flawed methodology, and that of the three candidates onstage who served in Congress, Dr. Paul scores the best—lifetime.
NTU Rates Congress and Presidential Candidates
By Andrew Moylan
*Important note: NTU has not endorsed and will not be endorsing any Presidential candidate, nor is this post intended to suggest support or opposition for any Presidential candidate.*
There’s been a lot of attention paid to NTU’s annual Rating of Congress recently with regard to the Republican Presidential candidates. Since 1979, NTU has performed an annual Rating of Congress where we look at every vote on tax and fiscal policy, weight it from 1 to 100 based on importance, and calculate a percentage score indicating a Member’s support for limited government (We did ratings before 1979 too but used a “key vote” system that’s not directly comparable to our modern Rating). You can look at the entire record post-1992 (the year we began issuing letter grades) on our website, and our 2011 analysis will be available in a few weeks.
To clarify the record given the recent coverage, we released this statement yesterday where we published the entire Rating history for Rick Santorum, Ron Paul, and Newt Gingrich going back to 1979.
In last night’s debate, Rick Santorum cited NTU in an exchange with Ron Paul…
“Ron, 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.
My — my ratings with the National Taxpayers Union were As or Bs.”
The analysis to which Santorum is referring was performed by Jeffrey Anderson, a writer for the conservative Weekly Standard. Anderson did a couple of interesting things with the data, some of which I think are insightful and some of which I think are misguided…
To read the full NTU post online, please click here.