Commentary by Pete du Pont

Host intro: The 105th Congress will be sworn in tomorrow. Pete du Pont of the National Center for Policy Analysis has been looking at a scorecard on the last Congress. He says the incoming group has a hard act to follow.

The watchdog group Council for Citizens Against Government Waste monitors Congress for votes that squander your money.

The council says the 104th Congress generally did a pretty good job.

A record number -- 98 in the House and 16 in the Senate -- got the council's "taxpayer hero" award for an 80 percent-or-better rating.

Among key votes where taxpayers were the winners:

making members of Congress subject to the same labor laws it passes for everybody else.

passing a line item veto.

reducing burdensome regulations on small business owners

enacting welfare reform

It wasn't perfect. Some pork preservation acts were passed. Term limits weren't. Serious spending cuts won in the House, lost in the Senate. And the useless Departments of Energy, Education and Commerce remain in business.
Still, the Senate preserved unfunded mandates reform. The House cut $270 billion from Medicare growth.

The balanced budget amendment won in the House and lost in the Senate, but both sides approved the blueprint seven-year balanced budget plan to reduce spending by a trillion dollars over 7 years.

As long as legislators continue to get a conservative message from voters, the 105th Congress should stay on course.

Those are my ideas, and at the NCPA, we know ideas can change the world. I'm Pete du Pont, and I'll see you tomorrow.

Host outro: Tomorrow, there's a gender gap you might not have heard about. Pete du Pont talks about women and taxes.