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Rick Santorum, Fiscal Conservative

No, really:

NTU’s ratings, however, are different. They’re based entirely on the perceived effects of members’ votes on both the immediate and future size of the federal budget. Not surprisingly, Paul’s career GPA from NTU reflects his unsurpassed reputation for fiscal conservatism — it’s a perfect 4.00.

Yet Santorum’s 3.66 GPA from NTU isn’t too far behind, especially considering that NTU’s average GPA for senators who served throughout Santorum’s tenure was just 1.69 — and considering that Paul has had the luxury of representing a congressional district that has been, on average, 38 points to the right of Pennsylvania over the past three presidential elections.

Santorum’s record deserves a lot of scrutiny, and there’s no doubt he was on the wrong side of a number of stand-alone votes, like NCLB.  I don’t even think it’s particularly indefensible to have voted for steel tariffs when you represent Pennsylvania, or a district around Pittsburgh.  After all, you should get outvoted pretty handily by all those reps who come from steel-consuming districts.

It doesn’t even bother me that he’s a social conservative.  But it does bother me that that’s what really fires him up, and that makes it way too easy to get him off track.  The Obamacare contraception mandate debate, for instance, should be about free exercise, not contraception.

Posted in Economics, Politics.

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