Oklahoma’s Senator Tom Coburn: We Need More like Him!

Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma has an Op Ed column in the Wall Street Journal from two days ago “The Year Washington Fled Reality”, discussing many of the things that are wrong with our national government.  Granted that all elected officials “play politics” to some extent or another, nevertheless Dr. Coburn, an obstetrician, is amazingly independent of the reigning political culture.  He spent three consecutive terms in the House of Representatives, left Congress for four years, and now is back serving his second term in the Senate.  He has announced that he will not run for re-election in 2016 when his present term ends.
CaptureDr. Coburn is constantly drawing attention to, and attacking, the enormous amount of wasteful and inefficient spending approved by Congress.  The Popular Romance Project, pictured above, is an example. His office has just published its fourth annual report on government waste, “Wastebook 2013”, detailing 100 different “examples of government mismanagement and stupidity. … Collectively these cost nearly $30 billion in a year when Washington would have you believe everything that could be done, has been done to control unnecessary spending.”
Dr. Coburn has prevailed upon the Government Accounting Office to issue annual reports called “Actions Needed to Reduce Fragmentation, Overlap and Duplication and Achieve Other Financial benefits.”  Three of these reports have now been issued. Altogether they list almost 400 individual actions which could be taken to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of 162 different program areas.
In spite of all the good work he is doing, Dr. Coburn would be even more effective if he had more help.  Fiscal conservatives should stop wasting their time on senseless gestures like trying to defund Obamacare.  They need to get down in the trenches with serious deficit hawks like Tom Coburn and whittle away at wasteful programs one by one.

2 thoughts on “Oklahoma’s Senator Tom Coburn: We Need More like Him!

  1. Jack, I’m not impressed with this guy. He voted against repealing tax deductions for companies that outsource jobs and voted against establishing tax credits for companies that insource jobs.

  2. Thanks for pointing this out, Cynthia. I would oppose tax deductions in either case. The larger problem is that our tax code is riddled with tax deductions for everything under the sun. As Jimmy Carter said, “it is a disgrace to the human race.” I think we should move toward a consumption tax, such as a valued-added tax. A VAT is not only a far more efficient tax system but also encourages saving and investment which would help our economy grow faster.

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