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Monday, October 8, 2012

Atlanta congressmen pass the test on first-ever inequality report card

Congressmen Hank Johnson gets an A

Last week, the Institute for Policy Studies released their first ever Inequality Report Card. The progressive think tank's study looked at 40 legislative actions related to inequality over the past couple of years — including legislation on taxes (i.e. the Buffett Rule), proposed budgets, jobs, poverty, and other issues.

So how did Georgia's 13 representatives score? Congressmen Hank Johnson and John Lewis both received A's — having co-sponsored numerous house resolutions examined in the report. If you go a bit beyond the metro Atlanta area, Rep. David Scott also performed well as he earned himself a B. Beyond that, however, Georgia didn't exactly have a sterling record. Nine of the other 10 districts in the state earned a grade that was a C- or worse. Rep. Austin Scott, the U.S. Representative for Georgia's 8th Congressional District, was one of 59 congressmen nationwide to be given an F.

In addition, Georgia Senators Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Isakson also failed — the latter receiving the worst raw score in the entire U.S. Senate.

IPS Global Economy Project Director Sarah Anderson wrote a column about the report for the The Huffington Post last week, commenting that:

The point of this report card is not just to name and shame. We also aim to draw attention to the many creative proposals for restoring fairness that deserve more support. Two of the pending bills on our list would raise revenue for human needs by putting a small tax on Wall Street transactions. Another would increase the minimum wage and then index it to inflation. The Congressional Progressive Caucus budget would protect social programs by reducing military spending and raising taxes on speculative investments. These innovative ideas challenge the oft-asserted notion that austerity is our only viable option.

To see how Georgia compared nationally, check out the report's interactive map breaking down districts nationwide as well as their detailed examination of voting records for these 40 bills.

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