Americans for Tax Reform issues its annual taxpayer scorecard; Sen. Burns and Rep. Rehberg named "Heroes of the Taxpayer," while Max Baucus receives "Enemy" label

WASHINGTON – Two Montana Congressmen were last week honored as taxpayer heroes, while Sen. Max Baucus now stands as the state\’s only taxpayer enemy, by Americans for Tax Reform (ATR), the nation\’s leading taxpayer advocacy organization.

ATR issued two "Hero of the Taxpayer" awards last Thursday to Montana Congressman Dennis Rehberg and Senator Conrad Burns, while identifying their colleague, Max Baucus, as Montana\’s only "Enemy of the Taxpayer" for the state. Burns scored 85% and Rehberg a near perfect 95% on ATR\’s scorecard, with Senator Baucus receiving an alarming 15%.

"When low scores stand out and alone in a state like Montana, one has to wonder if the taxpayers are aware of the issues that Baucus supports in Washington," said taxpayer advocate Grover Norquist, who heads ATR in Washington. "Baucus\’ record speaks for itself: his support of tax and spend policies for special interests are reflected in his voting record. He talks one way in Montana and acts another way in D.C."

ATR began issuing "Hero of the Taxpayer" and "Enemy of the Taxpayer" awards in 1995 as a way to notify American voters of the positions made by their elected officials on issues important to taxpayers. Based on 18 congressional votes per senator or representative, members receive five points for each issue on which they sided with taxpayers, and an additional ten points for signing ATR\’s Taxpayer Protection Pledge, a written commitment to their constituents not to raise taxes, making for highest possible score 100.

"Taxes are the single most important domestic policy issue in America today," continued Norquist. "Until President Bush\’s tax relief legislation last year, taxes when compared to the economy were at a post WWII high-yet, tax levels remain well above the historical average even with the tax cut. Voters need to know that, with a horrifying score of 15%, Max Baucus is the only Montana Congressman that supports big government and the high taxes and regulations that come with it. Baucus opposes the president\’s economic stimulus legislation and elimination of the death tax while supporting corporate welfare, bizarre subsidies and internet taxes. Yet, Mr. Burns and Mr. Rehberg tirelessly work to represent the true concerns of their tax paying constituents, and I congratulate them on their awards."