Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Taxpayer Scorecard

Taxpayers for Common Sense does an annual Common Sense Taxpayer Scorecard with good commentary and analyses of voting patterns on key spending/reform legislation. In their analysis of Congressman Portman he voted against the key issues they were tracking in the first sesion of the 108th Session 16 out of 21 times.


I don't agree with their assesment on all key issues, but I really like the format their web site. It definetely helps citizen oversight effort.

Some of the key issues I disagree with them on include:

Congressional Pay Raise: We need to properly compensate and attract individuals to oversee the the federal government. It's penny wise and pound foolish to pay them on the cheap. Otherwise we run the risk of encouraging corruption just so that they can make ends meet.

2003 Require Competitive Bidding: This related to the reconstruction efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan. I agreed with the argument that competitive bidding would slow things down when quick action was needed. Competitive bidding is definetely appropriate once the situation has stabalize. I would of sought a phased in compromise. The 2003 No-bid contracts (H.R. 3289), which Portman, struck such a balance of letting the reconstructions proceed quickly but with Congressional oversight.

2003 Estate Tax Repeal: I firmly believe that citizens should only be taxed when an income producing event has occured (wages, capital gains, bank interest, dividend, etc.) and that death should not be a taxable event. Until we get a true flat tax, our government requires revenues and reasonable taxes on income producing activities is appropriate. I justify this in my mind because the collective government (regualations/laws, common defense) create the environment for the income generation. If we think that some individual have assets that have not been properly taxed, we should have the courage to tax them when they're alive and when they can defend themselves before the courts and fellow citizens.


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