Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) gave the Republican address today. In discussing this week’s speech on the deficit, he says President Obama “failed to put a serious proposal on the table.”
“Our nation is facing a $14.3 trillion national debt that our own military leaders call the greatest threat to our national security. In these challenging times, we need real leadership to bring us together. As Americans, there is not a problem that we can’t solve if we are together. And unfortunately, in his speech this week on the deficit, President Obama took us three steps backwards.
“Instead of describing the threat and bringing both sides together, the president attacked those who have a different vision of the government.
“As leaders we have a moral obligation to tell the country the truth. The truth is, is we could face a serious debt crisis sooner than anyone expects. We face an unsustainable debt and unsustainable entitlement programs like Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. All of which will collapse if they’re not reformed.”
On government waste:
“The president also underestimated how much we could save by going after waste, fraud and abuse. In just six years of oversight in my office alone, we have identified more than $350 billion in annual waste in the federal government. The president says he wants to use a scalpel, but as a physician, let me tell you, when it comes to waste and duplication at the federal government level, we don’t need a scalpel. We need a chain saw.”
On tax reform:
“Finally, on the issue of tax reform, the president walked away from serious bipartisan compromise on tax reform reached by his very own deficit commission on which I served. Our blueprint lowered tax rates for everyone, and reduced the deficit by stimulating real economic growth. The president’s plan undermines our bipartisan agreement by calling for rate increases that will slow the economic growth that he so much wants.”
Finally, on the issue of earmarks, Senator Coburn says Congress is “on pace to have zero earmarks” this year.