Based on their votes, an Econ-E Score was derived for each member of the House and the Senate. Their Econ-E Score could range between 0 and 100. For example, a score of 40 indicates that the member supported efficiency-enhancing legislation 40 percent of the time. A score of 100 would indicate the member of Congress always voted to enhance economic efficiency. Zero indicates that he never voted to enhance economic efficiency. Professor Kennedy's index shows that no member received a perfect score; however, two members received a zero score.
The economic efficiency scores don't paint a pretty picture about our elected representatives. The highest score held by a Democratic House member (48) was jointly held by Barney Frank of Massachusetts, Earl Blumenauer of Oregon, Ron Kind of Wisconsin, and Ralph Hall and Charlie Stenholm of Texas, who all voted for efficiency-enhancing legislation 48 percent of the time. The highest score for a Republican House member (87) was jointly held by John Shadegg of Arizona, John Sununu of New Hampshire, and Tom Petri and James Sensenbrenner, both of Wisconsin. In the Senate, the highest score (64) held by a Democrat was held by Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas, and for a Republican, it was Richard Lugar of Indiana (91). The average Econ-E Score was 20 for Democratic House members and was 54 for Republicans. The average for Senate Democrats was 40, and for Senate Republicans, it was 69.
Congressional Econ-E Scores tend to confirm what I suggested earlier that doing what's best for America is nowhere near as important to congressmen as doing what's best for special interests within their constituencies. Doing what's best for the nation is a losing proposition and can cost them an election. But I don't blame politicians for their efficiency-diminishing votes. After all, isn't it unreasonable to ask a politician to commit political suicide by upholding his oath of office and doing what's best for all Americans?
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