Maine’s congressional delegation does not fare well in the Republican Liberty Caucus’ 2013 Liberty Index – a comprehensive measure of elected officials votes on matters relating to economic and personal liberty.
“I was disturbed when I read the scores and learned how out of touch our Maine congressional delegation is with the will of the American people when it comes to free enterprise, smaller government, lower taxes and personal liberty without government intrusions,” said Maine RLC State Chair Vic Berardelli. “And it crossed party lines with disappointing scores whether Republican, Democrat or independent.”
Republican Sen. Susan Collins scored the highest of Maine’s four federal elected officials, with 40 on economic liberty and 50 on personal liberty, for a total Liberty Index score of 45.
Independent Sen. Angus King scored 5 on economic liberty and 11 personal liberty for a total Liberty Index score of 8. King’s score is among the lowest in the senate but is close to the average for Senate Democrats.
Democratic Reps. Chellie Pingree and Michael Michaud scored 38 and 39, respectively, in the Liberty Index. Michaud received a 10 on economic liberty and a 68 on personal liberty. Similarly, Pingree got a zero on economic liberty but a 75 on personal liberty.
For context, RLC offers the following:
For comparison, the average House Democrat scored 11 on economic liberty and 55 on personal liberty for an average Democrat Liberty Index of 33. The average House Republican scored 90 on economic liberty and 50 on personal liberty for an average GOP Liberty Index of 70.
The highest House scorers, all Republicans, were Mark Sanford of South Carolina 100; Mick Mulvaney of South Carolina, Tom McClintock and Dana Rohrabacher, both of California, and Jim Huelskamp of Kansas, all at 95. House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio was not scored because he did not cast enough votes. House Republican Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia had a Liberty Index of 61 based on average a 95 on economic liberty but only 26 on personal liberty.
The lowest House scorers, all Democrats, were Ed Markey of Massachusetts ZERO and five Democrats all at 18. House Democrat Leader Nancy Pelosi of California scored 20.
The Liberty Index is released annually by the RLC and is determined by a panel of libertarian scholars. That panel includes Dr. Clifford F. Thies and Elden R. Lindsey.
“This year, on the economics side, the index reflects votes on “hot issues” such as Health Care Overhaul, the Ryan budget, carbon taxes, the Keystone pipeline, hydraulic fracturing, TANF (welfare) work rules and SNAP (food stamp) eligibility,” Thies said in a press release. “Some curious votes are also included, among these are price supports for Christmas Trees, declaring stones to be agricultural commodities (and, thus, eligible for price supports), and funding the Navy’s grossly-overpriced Z-class destroyer.”