Talk about damning with faint praise! Citizens Against Government Waste discusses its analysis of the presidential candidates in terms of their career records in fighting wasteful spending, and it’s not even close. John McCain has am 88% rating from CAGW, while Barack Obama limps to a paltry 18%. However, Obama has a consolation prize in that he didn’t finish dead last. His running mate ensured that:
Greg Jarrett, Fox: You focused on two things really as I understand it, earmarks, and we will get to it in a moment, but wasteful spending talk to us about how the candidates break down on this.
Tom Schatz, CAGW: There is a long track record in both cases, some of which goes to Senator Obama in the Illinois Legislature. We do not analyze the states. But just on the votes in 2007, Senator Obama voted correctly only 10% of the time, and Senator McCain voted 11 out of the 35 times. He did vote correctly every time. His lifetime rating 88% is the sixth-highest in the Senate. Senator Obama’s lifetime rating is 18% in the years that he has been a Senator. So there is a vast difference on the question of spending and taxes and those results are consistent with other analyses and organizations that track all of these various votes.
Jarrett: Is Obama at the bottom?
Schatz: He is not quite at that the bottom. Actually, Senator Biden is at the bottom. He has a zero rating in 2007. But Senator Obama is pretty close at 10%.
Jarrett: So Biden would be the most wasteful in your judgment, and again you are a non-partisan group, would be the most wasteful Senator?
Schatz: He wasn’t the only one. There were 13 Senators with a zero rating, but he was one of those that failed to vote a single time to cut waste or cut taxes are even preserve tax cuts.
Jarrett: And again, we are out of time, but John McCain, zero earmarks. Right?
Schatz: That is it. Zero.
Jarrett: Big goose egg. I mean that is amazing in Congress.
Schatz: It is difficult to say no, but he is one of the few who has.
It’s also difficult to run as a reformer while doing little to block wasteful government spending, but let’s give credit where it’s due. Obama did manage to vote against government waste about once in every six opportunities. Joe Biden didn’t manage to do it at all. Biden has been in the Senate since the Nixon administration, and he has never seen government spending he didn’t like.
And Barack Obama chose Biden as his partner in reform.