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Nation’s Largest Taxpayers Group Honors Rep. Barrett with “Taxpayers’ Friend Award”

May 31, 2008

Nation’s Largest Taxpayers Group Honors Rep. Barrett with “Taxpayers’ Friend Award”

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, The National Taxpayers Union (NTU) announced that Congressman Gresham Barrett was one of only a few dozen lawmakers in the House and Senate to win the 2007 “Taxpayers’ Friend Award.” The 362,000-member, nonpartisan citizen group recognized Congressman Barrett for his pro-taxpayer voting record last year.

“Congressman Barrett’s Taxpayer Score of 91 percent has earned him high marks in National Taxpayers Union’s annual Rating for the fifth year in a row,” NTU President Duane Parde said. “His score places him among the top 10 Representatives who voted to reduce or control federal taxes, spending, regulations, and debt — something our 362,000 members nationwide and more than 4,100 members in South Carolina greatly appreciate. Congressman Barrett has a solid record of fiscal responsibility, and we’re proud to call him a ‘Taxpayer Friend.'”

The award is presented to those Members who achieve an “A” grade in NTU’s annual Rating of Congress. The Rating, which is based on every roll call vote affecting fiscal policy, assigns a “Taxpayer Score” to each Member of Congress that indicates his or her support for reducing or controlling federal spending, taxes, debt, and regulation. For 2007, a total of 427 House and 182 Senate votes were selected.

“While many Members of Congress talked about reducing the size of government last year, Congressman Barrett backed up those words with votes. This award proves that he is a staunch ally we can count on in our battle to restore fiscal responsibility to Washington,” Parde said.

From 2006 to 2007, the average “Taxpayer Score” in the House fell four points to 35 percent. In the Senate, the average pro-taxpayer score fell 11 points to 37 percent. However, true “high performers” in Congress are always rare. In 2007, 52 lawmakers earned scores sufficient to win the Taxpayers’ Friend Award (at least 85 percent in the House and 80 percent in the Senate). Meanwhile, more than 260 Members captured the title of “Big Spender” for scoring 16 percent or less in the House and 14 percent or less in the Senate.

Unlike those of other organizations, NTU’s annual Rating does not simplistically focus on only a handful of equally weighted “key votes.” For this reason, it has received praise from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle, including the late Senator (and “Golden Fleece Award” creator) William Proxmire (D-WI).

NTU is a nonpartisan, nonprofit citizen group founded in 1969 to work for lower taxes, smaller government, and economic freedom at all levels. Note: The 2007 Rating and a searchable Rating database from 1992 to 2006 is available at For questions about the Rating, its history, or methodology, please contact NTU Vice President for Policy and Communications Pete Sepp or NTU Communications Manager Natasha Altamirano at (703) 683-5700.


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