Dr. Coburn on Fiscal Cliff negotiations

U.S. Senator Tom Coburn, M.D. (R-OK) released the following statement Sunday, December 30, regarding the fiscal cliff talks.

“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,” Dr. Coburn said.

“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,” Dr. Coburn said.

Dr. Coburn outlined his own $9 trillion deficit reduction plan, Back in Black, in July 2011.