Pork-Barrel Spending Still Crucial Issue to Voters

By Jim Burns | July 7, 2008 | 8:26 PM EDT

(CNSNews.com) - Even in these prosperous times, voters place a high priority on efforts to cut the amount of government pork. An opinion survey released Thursday by Taxpayers for Common Sense Action finds that 87 percent of registered voters consider the issue of cutting government waste "important" in deciding whether or not to re-elect their member of Congress.

"Standing up for taxpayers over special interests is not only fiscally responsible, but also good politics," according to Ralph DeGennaro, President of TCS Action.

"Congress needs to know that reducing government waste and promoting fiscal responsibility are important and taxpayers need to know which Members of Congress are really looking after their money," DeGennaro said.

TCS Action also released its "Common Sense Taxpayer Scorecard" for 1999. The scorecard kept track of votes aimed at "promoting sound fiscal policy and cutting wasteful government spending and subsidies." The votes, according to TCS Action, cover a broad variety of categories like agriculture, budget, corporate welfare, emergency spending, international affairs, military, public lands, public works and science and social programs.

The top scoring Senate and House members are the TCS Action "Taxpayer Heroes." Taxpayer Heroes titles are awarded to those members in the Senate and the House who "had to buck party pressure and political heat to vote with the taxpayers' interest."

In the Senate, the top five "Taxpayers Heroes" are: Senators Russell Feingold (D-WI), Bob Graham (D-FL), John McCain (R-AZ), Herb Kohl (D-WI) and George Voinovich (R-OH).

In the House, the top five "Taxpayers Heroes" are: Representatives Bill Luther (D-MN), Lloyd Doggett (D-TX), Ron Paul (R-TX), Thomas Barrett (D-WI) and Martin Meehan (D-MA).

Among state congressional delegations, TCS Action found Wisconsin's delegations, both in the House and Senate, to be the most committed to fiscal discipline. Wisconsin Democratic Senator Russell Feingold was the group's top scoring "Taxpayer Hero" in the Senate for the third year in a row.

TCS Action is a lobbying affiliate of the Taxpayers for Common Sense, a non-partisan "advocate" for taxpayers.

The national poll was conducted July 12-16.