Tom Coburn statement on "fiscal cliff" deadlock

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Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn issued this statement Sunday evening, December 30, 2012, regarding negotiations over the renewal of expiring tax cuts approved during the George W. Bush Administration. Emphasis added:

No agreement has been reached because too many politicians in Washington want to raise taxes in order to grow the government rather than decrease the deficit. If politicians want to raise taxes and stop spending cuts without offering alternative cuts, which is precisely where we are now, they should have the courage to be transparent and make that case publicly, not in secret.

We're stuck because many in Congress want to move toward Clinton-era tax rates but not Clinton-era spending. According to numbers provided by the White House, total federal spending is more than twice what it was during Bill Clinton's final year in office. As a percent of GDP, federal spending was 18 percent then compared to 24 percent now. If Congress wants to turn off sequestration we should replace those cuts with smart, targeted cuts. Our government throws away at least $350 billion every year through waste, fraud and duplication. Replacing across-the-board cuts with targeted cuts would not be difficult if Congress had the courage and political will to act.

In the final few hours before the fiscal cliff, Senate Majority Leader Reid should offer the American people an open, transparent and unlimited floor debate in the United States Senate. I have no doubt that if a balanced plan was brought to the floor in this fashion it would pass by an overwhelming margin.

The news release reminds that Coburn issued his own $9 trillion deficit reduction plan, Back to Black, in July 2011.

SOMEWHAT RELATED: Dave Barry's 2012 in review:

Speaking of troubled, in ...


... there is much fiscal-cliff drama in Washington as Congress and the White House -- after months of engaging in cynical posturing and political gamesmanship while putting off hard decisions about a dangerous crisis that everyone knew was coming -- finally get serious about working together to come up with a way to appear to take decisive action without actually solving anything.

MORE: Sen. Coburn appeared on CBS Face the Nation Sunday, December 30, 2012, with Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.)

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Jay Casey Author Profile Page said:

Going to Clinton-era tax rates would be reasonable and better. But when Coburn says he doesn't want to stay at Clinton-era spending levels is he taking into account that the defense budget doubled after 911 and that that one fact explains most of the growth in budget? I'm for a strong defense but we are spending WAY too much on war. More than our nearest 7 allies and competitors combined.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on December 30, 2012 11:30 PM.

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