Coburn’s $9 trillion debt plan

posted at 8:48 am on July 18, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

Late last week, it looked like Tom Coburn might rejoin the Gang of Six in the Senate, which restarted their efforts to find a compromise on the budget as the debt-ceiling limit debate rages.  Today, however, Coburn will become a Gang of One by releasing his own plan to reduce the deficit by twice the amount of the Paul Ryan plan.  Unlike Ryan, Coburn plans on increasing federal revenues, but through reform of the tax code:

Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) said Sunday the federal government can save $1 trillion though tax reform, a proposal that will put him at odds with some GOP colleagues.

Coburn plans to unveil a $9 trillion deficit-reduction package Monday that would give lawmakers a menu of policy options to reduce the deficit.

Coburn has suggested $1 trillion in savings could come from eliminating special tax breaks, such as the tax subsidy for ethanol, which he has fought to end.

“We can increase revenues by adjusting the tax code and lowering it,” Coburn said on CBS’s “Face the Nation” Sunday morning. “We can save over $1 trillion doing that.”

Coburn’s plan also relies on cutting one trillion dollars from the Pentagon’s budget over the next ten years.  That would be greater than a 10% reduction in spending at the Pentagon, a component that won’t make his fellow Republicans very happy, even if it does provide a “skin in the game” argument to conduct seven trillion dollars of cuts elsewhere, in discretionary and entitlement spending.

Coburn calls it “common sense” that the Pentagon’s budget can be reduced by this amount, but it’s only “common sense” if the cuts come as part of a redefinition of the use and extent of American military power around the globe.  We can’t fight three wars and expect to literally decimate defense spending over the next decade, and we probably can’t afford our heavy investment in Europe, either.  If those cuts come as part of a rethinking of America’s political and military approach, then it’s certainly possible, but it will mean a serious rethinking of our role in global security.

That’s exactly the approach that Coburn does take with federal revenues.  Instead of just hiking taxes or only “closing loopholes,” Coburn wants to lower overall rates while flattening and simplifying the system.  That takes some of the sting out of revenue increases and gives both parties something to win.  Republicans get their tax reform and simplification, and Democrats get to take credit for more “fairness” through the elimination of arcane tax deductions, especially in the corporate tax code.  That kind of compromise has been easily achievable — and almost entirely ignored by the White House.

When Coburn unveils his plan later today, he will have trumped his former Gang of Six colleagues and could perhaps vault to the front of the debate over the debt and deficits.  The Gang is still mulling over its options, and the Senate has now gone 809 days without passing a budget plan at all.  The White House still won’t offer specifics for a resolution to the impasse.  So far, it seems all of the ideas have come from the Republicans, while Democrats dither and delay.

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Good for him – we need all the good, honest, proposals we can get.

This is better than Moody’s suggestion to eliminate the debt ceiling all together – OH BOY!

gophergirl on July 18, 2011 at 8:51 AM

Why do I think of the Spruce Goose when I read this?

NickDeringer on July 18, 2011 at 8:51 AM

I believe Clubber Lang has my prediction of the react to this, as well as the future of things…

PAIN!

Steve Eggleston on July 18, 2011 at 8:54 AM

Republican plan: Different versions of slashing anywhere between 1.5 and 9 trillion in federal spending without raising taxes, all while preserving current Medicare and SS for current recipients and reforming it so that future recipients can actually get what they paid in.

Democrat plan: Pass no budget, pass no reforms and yell, “REPUBLICANS ARE TEH SUXOR!”

Good Lt on July 18, 2011 at 8:57 AM

My guess the reason the White House doesn’t want to lower the overall tax rate in exchange for eliminating “loopholes” is because a significant number of those loopholes were introduced by way of Democratic legislators for their pet-peeve, or home-state industries; preferring instead to touch only poll-tested, poll-approved businesses.

BKeyser on July 18, 2011 at 8:57 AM

A trillion dollars would be nice, but the real reform isn’t going to make an appearance until at least 2013. Until then let’s all just enjoy this deficit limbo.

RDE2010 on July 18, 2011 at 8:58 AM

I am second to none in my conservatism and general hawkishness, but I wonder how much downside there truly is to letting our “allies” shoulder more of their own defense burden. Perhaps the time has come.

Extrafishy on July 18, 2011 at 8:59 AM

Not to worry. Obama will demonize Coburn’s plan and re-state his standard talking points. Like a parrot… Squawk! Higher Taxes Squawk! Millionaires-n-Billionaires Squawk! Corporate Jet Owners Squawk!

Key West Reader on July 18, 2011 at 9:00 AM

But…but…the bestest and brightest the Chicago Machine has to offer promises us that if we change the depreciable life of an oil well, we can close a $1.6 trillion deficit.

Is Cobern saying that it’s going to take a little more than that?

MNHawk on July 18, 2011 at 9:02 AM

I think we should have EBay partner with the Pentagon and other agencies and have them inventory and sell stuff sitting around and gathering dust in government warehouses. My husband saw some books back when he was in the Reserves that were stored in a warehouse in Arkansas that would have been very valuable to a collector. One was a book written by then Lt. Walter Reed on medical care during either WWI or the Spanish American War(I can’t recall which). They were going to throw it in the trash.

txmomof6 on July 18, 2011 at 9:02 AM

It’s not a good plan unless it tackles entitlement spending

taney71 on July 18, 2011 at 9:03 AM

I’m sorry…..I’m a fan of THE PAPPY PLAN Senator Coburn.
Embrace it!!

1. Seal the border.(Saving entitlements like Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Welfare, AFDC, Unemployment, you name it, as well as STATE Budgets).

2. 10% Across the board Federal Spending cuts.(Good place to start, this year it would be appx $350 billion, next year it would be $300 billion, etc.)

It’s simple, common sense and it’s “shared sacrifice”.

That is IF D.C. isn’t interested in a Controlled collapse of the U.S. Financial system paving the way for some new Ruling Class run Global financial system with a few thousand rulers and 6 billion serfs.

PappyD61 on July 18, 2011 at 9:06 AM

Does the Coburn plan close the loophole of the Earned Income Tax Credit, so that everyone who isn’t paying Federal income tax has some skin in the game?

onlineanalyst on July 18, 2011 at 9:07 AM

Expanding the tax base by eliminating handouts (are you listening GE?) and lowering the marginal rates is the clear formula for success in tax reform. It is an indispensable part of any effort to make government work.

Cutting the DoD is fine, but only as part of a larger move to eliminate those parts of the Federal government that have no Constitutional authority to exist. We have half a departments that should not exist (DOI, Education, Agriculture, DEA, &c). End them all!

MJBrutus on July 18, 2011 at 9:10 AM

Good for Coburn, we need more plans and less of Obama blah blah blahing.
However, I am starting to think that no plan is going anywhere. I think the Dems just want the debt ceiling raised and the crazy spending to continue.

ORconservative on July 18, 2011 at 9:11 AM

Good put the onus on the Democrats, let them show how little they care about improving the lives of every day Americans.

Speakup on July 18, 2011 at 9:13 AM

And how does this get rid of free lunches,schools as propaganda agents,Obamacare,nanny state light bulbs and eco-worship regulations, union/government complex, those broken homes and broken “victims” communities spawned by the very immoral culture of lies and deceit, so desired by liberals? The list is too long to enumerate. But until we deal with the entire enchilada -we will be back where we started in a flash. The economy is but a symptom of a rotted culture -contrary to those fiscal conservative fantasies. You can’t dump God without dumping all goodness and responsibility from our society.

Don L on July 18, 2011 at 9:14 AM

Don L on July 18, 2011 at 9:14 AM

you know how you eat an elephant?? one bite at a time.

this is a good start, to expect someone to come up w/ a plan to comprehensively solve everything is un-realistic. and most “comprehensive” solutions have caused more problems than they solve. we didnt get where we are overnight, the situation we are in wasnt the result of a master plan. it was many small plans that have cascaded into a morass of bureaucracy and regulation and it will take a lot of small plans to dig out. we just need to keep making steps in the right direction. to not support something because it doesnt do enough would be wrongheaded and counterproductive.

chasdal on July 18, 2011 at 9:21 AM

Any thoughts on this video interview from the WSJ?
http://online.wsj.com/video/opinion-journal-the-new-debt-limit-deal/E6863D59-187D-450D-AD7B-F01F5591A2D6.html

onlineanalyst on July 18, 2011 at 9:21 AM

It’s clear that, in spite of the GOP punditry’s claims that Obama has the upper hand, the GOP is about to out manuever the progressives.

csdeven on July 18, 2011 at 9:23 AM

So it’s $1T from defense, and $1T from “eliminating special tax breaks” and tax refrom.

And $7T from other areas?

I think I could probably go in for that.

Not like this plan will have a chance anyway…

Abby Adams on July 18, 2011 at 9:23 AM

Entitlement reduction needs to be on the table.

darwin on July 18, 2011 at 9:24 AM

I am second to none in my conservatism and general hawkishness, but I wonder how much downside there truly is to letting our “allies” shoulder more of their own defense burden. Perhaps the time has come.

Extrafishy on July 18, 2011 at 8:59 AM

Yep.

KickandSwimMom on July 18, 2011 at 9:24 AM

The White House and the Donks don’t want a deal, of any kind. They want to be able to point to the rubble and the elephant while yelling into the microphone to the crowd “Sic-em Boys!”.

Limerick on July 18, 2011 at 9:24 AM

Any thoughts on forcing ObaMao’s hand in getting cuts to the high-speed rail, green energy, O-care idebtedness on the table? He says that they are off the table. Why should our national defenses face a cut when national security is a constitutional obligation?

onlineanalyst on July 18, 2011 at 9:26 AM

So far, it seems all of the ideas have come from the Republicans, while Democrats dither and delay.

and yet, the lsm says dear leader is the adult in the room and the gop just won’t budge on anything, they just won’t compromise…

the only questions they seem to ask the dems is why won’t the gop play ball with you…they won’t ask them where their plan is or where their budget is….

INFURIATING!!!!!

cmsinaz on July 18, 2011 at 9:26 AM

1. Seal the border.(Saving entitlements like Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Welfare, AFDC, Unemployment, you name it, as well as STATE Budgets).

2. 10% Across the board Federal Spending cuts.(Good place to start, this year it would be appx $350 billion, next year it would be $300 billion, etc.)

It’s simple, common sense and it’s “shared sacrifice”.

That is IF D.C. isn’t interested in a Controlled collapse of the U.S. Financial system paving the way for some new Ruling Class run Global financial system with a few thousand rulers and 6 billion serfs.

PappyD61 on July 18, 2011 at 9:06 AM

I like this, too. Especially the part about sealing the border!

KickandSwimMom on July 18, 2011 at 9:26 AM

BKeyser on July 18, 2011 at 8:57 AM

very good point

cmsinaz on July 18, 2011 at 9:26 AM

will coburns cuts take effect now and not 10 years from now which means never?

cmsinaz on July 18, 2011 at 9:27 AM

2. 10% Across the board Federal Spending cuts.(Good place to start, this year it would be appx $350 billion, next year it would be $300 billion, etc.)

PappyD61 on July 18, 2011 at 9:06 AM

 
Plus an immediate 10% taxation for any/everyone who didn’t have a tax liability in any of the last five years, paid directly or taken out of WIC, SS, or any other program payments if necessary, and any increase on one bracket will immediately prompt an equally-proportional increase on all the other brackets.
 
Skin in the game.

rogerb on July 18, 2011 at 9:28 AM

Is he lowering individual and corporate rates rates as much or more than the House Republican budget?

youngTXcon on July 18, 2011 at 9:28 AM

Not like this plan will have a chance anyway…

Abby Adams on July 18, 2011 at 9:23 AM

Perhaps Mr. Coburn is simply taking a page from the Dems playbook. When given a choice before of Ryans plan, or SAME-OL Dem PLAN…it looks difficult.

BUT, given the choice NOW of Ryans Cuts, vs Coburns whopping $9Trillion in cuts….Ryans plan looks pretty GOOD now doesn’t it ?

orbitalair on July 18, 2011 at 9:29 AM

orbitalair on July 18, 2011 at 9:29 AM

I have always been a fan of the ol’ “Good Cop/Bad Cop” routine.

Abby Adams on July 18, 2011 at 9:34 AM

Wouldn’t reducing our footprint in Europe help those countries? If they had to stand their own bigger and better prepared armies it would help their unemployment problem.

Cindy Munford on July 18, 2011 at 9:42 AM

Good put the onus on the Democrats, let them show how little they care about improving the lives of every day Americans.

Speakup on July 18, 2011 at 9:13 AM

.
That’s it, exactly! Democrats lie about “Republicans have no new ideas or any feasible input, at all!” Here we have the third plan in as many weeks from Republicans and none of them have a “deemed passed” slimeball option attached to them. Democrats? Nada. Zilch. Nothing to add but “Ah will not yield on this even if it brings down mah Present-Duncy!”
.
Democrats are, and always have been, obstructionists to individual responsibility. They prefer easily swayed, dependable “victims” who sell out for pennies on the dollar.

ExpressoBold on July 18, 2011 at 9:42 AM

we didnt get where we are overnight, the situation we are in wasnt the result of a master plan. it was many small plans that have cascaded into a morass of bureaucracy and regulation and it will take a lot of small plans to dig out.

I have some disagreement with this. First of all, “shared sacrifice” should mean EVERYONE has some skin in the game. Next, nibbling at entitlements bite by bite only gives Congress more time to throw in more entitlements for special interests. ObamaCare should be the first thing out the door. Duplication should follow right behind (including wanton use of czars – which seems to have become a Presidential entitlement) – these items will cut government. While we can’t cut all entitlement programs, we sure need to take a hatchet to many.

katablog.com on July 18, 2011 at 9:49 AM

I can get behind this plan if we truly do begin to re-think America’s military role in the world. If we try to continue with all of the military committments we currently have and reduce military spending that much, that is a crime against our service men and women.

Monkeytoe on July 18, 2011 at 9:50 AM

Skin in the game.

rogerb on July 18, 2011 at 9:28 AM

You can’t do that to Eric Holder’s “people”. That’d be racist.

Key West Reader on July 18, 2011 at 9:57 AM

Does anyone really think that the republicans will not raise taxes? The establishment GOP are liberal-lite and they will fold like a cheap suit when the deadline nears.

volsense on July 18, 2011 at 10:02 AM

The Debt Limit is not a good thing or a bad thing. It’s the sort of thing you do when you hide the car keys from a drunk or the credit cards from a spendaholic. It’s just Congress recognizing that they can’t be trusted to contain themselves.

A ten-percent cut at Defense is defensible–every department of the Federal government is bloated (and few things make us as vulnerable as debt). But I’d feel much better with ten percent across-the-board PLUS cutting or privatizing ten percent of all agencies annually for a while. That’s because, while we have right at 150-million jobs right now, almost 30-million people have their salaries, bennies and tax deductions paid for out of tax revenue. When it takes the taxes of almost three workers in the private sector to pay for one public-sector worker, a 4-to-1 ratio is a formula for continuing disastrous debt. Fifty years ago, the ratio was 19 to 1, and that’s the level we need to get back close to again.

Chaz on July 18, 2011 at 10:04 AM

Get Europe off our teat!

John the Libertarian on July 18, 2011 at 10:10 AM

I smell another threat to the home mortgage deduction. I would have opposed that deduction when it was first proposed, if I were alive, but after all these years and after every piece of residential real estate in the country has been price with that deduction in mind, it cannot be touched. It. Cannot. Be. Touched.

tommylotto on July 18, 2011 at 10:12 AM

I thought that Ryan included lower tax rates while eliminating loopholes as well. Did I dream that?

I discussed this with some friends last week and thought that was in Ryan’s plan.

Vince on July 18, 2011 at 10:18 AM

I thought that Ryan included lower tax rates while eliminating loopholes as well. Did I dream that?

I discussed this with some friends last week and thought that was in Ryan’s plan.

Vince on July 18, 2011 at 10:18 AM

He/the Budget Committee did indeed include that. 25% rate for individuals and corporations while eliminating loopholes.

youngTXcon on July 18, 2011 at 10:22 AM

Does the Coburn plan close the loophole of the Earned Income Tax Credit, so that everyone who isn’t paying Federal income tax has some skin in the game?

onlineanalyst on July 18, 2011 at 9:07 AM

Sorry… too many Democrat voters (legal or not)…

Racist…
/

Khun Joe on July 18, 2011 at 10:25 AM

onlineanalyst on July 18, 2011 at 9:07 AM

It should at least be reduced. Everyone suffers a bit and the howling will be so entertaining.

Cindy Munford on July 18, 2011 at 10:29 AM

I am second to none in my conservatism and general hawkishness, but I wonder how much downside there truly is to letting our “allies” shoulder more of their own defense burden. Perhaps the time has come.

Extrafishy on July 18, 2011 at 8:59 AM

Yep. I don’t claim to know the numbers, but at only $100 billion a year I have to believe that Japan, South Korea, Germany, UK, Denmark, Sweden, New Zealand, etc. can pony up a little bit of their socialist budgets and pay to defend themselves and let us reduce our costs by that amount.

Jaibones on July 18, 2011 at 10:32 AM

I am second to none in my conservatism and general hawkishness, but I wonder how much downside there truly is to letting our “allies” shoulder more of their own defense burden. Perhaps the time has come.

Extrafishy on July 18, 2011 at 8:59 AM

Time is, in fact, long passed. Time for lour allies to suck it up, and start picking up the check.

JohnGalt23 on July 18, 2011 at 10:32 AM

He says that they are off the table. Why should our national defenses face a cut when national security is a constitutional obligation?

onlineanalyst on July 18, 2011 at 9:26 AM

So is the Post Office.

Should we be spending $700 billion/year delivering the mail?

JohnGalt23 on July 18, 2011 at 10:39 AM

Obama…..Reid lead by example…..pay 100% of your income in taxes.

After all we must share the sacrifice!

How they LIE TO US!!!!

PappyD61 on July 18, 2011 at 10:40 AM

So is the Post Office.

Should we be spending $700 billion/year delivering the mail?

JohnGalt23 on July 18, 2011 at 10:39 AM

Slight difference – there are private entities able to handle the postal duties; the same cannot be said for defense.

Steve Eggleston on July 18, 2011 at 10:55 AM

I am second to none in my conservatism and general hawkishness, but I wonder how much downside there truly is to letting our “allies” shoulder more of their own defense burden. Perhaps the time has come.

Extrafishy on July 18, 2011 at 8:59 AM

I strongly suspect that a great many nations have gone light on their defense budgets for years, expecting that the U.S. will pick up the slack. I am perfectly fine with downsizing our international contingent. If the affected nations are concerned by this, let them contribute.

John Deaux on July 18, 2011 at 11:07 AM

Are we watching the Cloward-Piven strategy being used now on our Congressional branch?

Would the President and Progressives really want the US to collapse into a new framework?

Would you want to be in charge of rebuilding the USA?

Scary stuff.

PappyD61 on July 18, 2011 at 11:08 AM

Slight difference – there are private entities able to handle the postal duties; the same cannot be said for defense.

Steve Eggleston on July 18, 2011 at 10:55 AM

First of all, of course private entities handle the duties of defense, up to and including the manufacture of just about every piece of equipment they use.

Second, the constitutional nature of the military is identical to that of the Post Office; they are both explicitly Art I Sec 8 creations placed under the authority of Congress. As such, Congress decides what their budget is. Just because something is a “constitutional obligation” doesn’t mean it is a sacred cow.

Especially when it is costing us $700 billion a year.

JohnGalt23 on July 18, 2011 at 11:24 AM

I am open to some tax reforms that will increase federal revenue. Let’s end the deductibility of greedy union dues. These were an insignificant amount at one time, but as greedy unions transformed themselves into political donation bundling machines, the amounts sheltered have grown outrageously. This saves $25B over ten years.

Let’s also end the federal deductibility of state income taxes. The present deductibility means that residents of well-run low tax states are subsidizing the corrupt and financially incompetent high-tax states.

slickwillie2001 on July 18, 2011 at 11:31 AM

Let’s defund the UN, ACORN, Planned Parenthood, Most Foreign Aid (hey, we’re broke!), Energy Dept, EPA, Education Dept (leave it to the States), HHS (including Obamacare), and every Czar that Obama has appointed. Oh and the huge White House staff coddling the first lady.

Christian Conservative on July 18, 2011 at 11:42 AM

2. 10% Across the board Federal Spending cuts.(Good place to start, this year it would be appx $350 billion, next year it would be $300 billion, etc.)

It’s simple, common sense and it’s “shared sacrifice”.

That is IF D.C. isn’t interested in a Controlled collapse of the U.S. Financial system paving the way for some new Ruling Class run Global financial system with a few thousand rulers and 6 billion serfs.

PappyD61 on July 18, 2011 at 9:06 AM

Good, if it’s matched with a 10% decrease in employee headcount as well. It takes far fewer workers and hours today to manufacture a car, produce a bushel of wheat, to do someone’s taxes, to publish a book, etc. Why have government departments grown in size, year after year, decade after decade? Why shouldn’t we expect increases in government efficiency?

This should except the military of course, since every president since Ronald Reagan has already cut the military.

slickwillie2001 on July 18, 2011 at 11:48 AM

slickwillie2001 on July 18, 2011 at 11:48 AM

No budget is useful, unless they carry through with your idea…you need to reduce govt. employees by x%, say 3% every year for the next 10 years.
Any new “bill” or program, has to take employees from some other existing program…
Zero growth, no additional taxes, no additional govt. workers.

right2bright on July 18, 2011 at 12:12 PM

Coburn calls it “common sense” that the Pentagon’s budget can be reduced by this amount, but it’s only “common sense” if the cuts come as part of a redefinition of the use and extent of American military power around the globe.

I disagree. This gives us an opportunity to eliminate waste across the Pentagon and down into the various services — which absolutely needs to happen — without getting stymied by the entrenched military bureaucracy.

The best time to gauge what military resources are required is right now, when the military is actively engaged in doing what it exists to do. In peacetime it’s very difficult to cut bureaucratic overhead, in part because they’re the people deciding what needs to be cut. In wartime, by contrast, it’s very difficult to argue deep cuts in core military functions, for obvious reasons.

Besides, we all know that more money doesn’t automatically deliver better results, right? We all see this demonstrated every day with public schools, public employee unions, and with any given government agency. It’s silly to assume that the military is any different.

GalosGann on July 18, 2011 at 12:22 PM

e can’t fight three wars and expect to literally decimate defense spending over the next decade, and we probably can’t afford our heavy investment in Europe, either.

are you suggesting we fire/layoff Military personell? Thats the only way getting rid of those bases saves money really.

Europe and other countries we have bases in, Pay the United states for them!. South Korea for examples pays us $700 Million per year to run the base there. “Bringing those troops home” would mean the US Government finding an extra $700 million per year to house these troops within our borders, stupidly not accounting for the reality of the world as it exist at the same time.

jp on July 18, 2011 at 12:23 PM

And if you just got rid of the entire Dept. of Agriculture you would be well on your way to that $1 trillion/year deal AND get rid of the subsidies and tax breaks for ethanol, to boot. Throw in EPA, Ed, Energy, Labor, FCC, and a few others and you start pushing that envelope past $1 trillion well on your way to $2 trillion….

Then you could look to make Fannie, Freddie, Ginnie, Sallie, and the other barnacles into real corporations, and give each and every US citizen one share of it. My guess is each of them go to junk bond status upon issuance and get liquidated, but at least the pipeline from the Treasury would be sealed off on these wounds to the government.

Put in a common carrier contract system for the postal service so that each carrier must honor other carriers service. Make it a uniform service contract that anyone with delivery and pick-up capability can meet is eligible for a contract that is paid totally by whatever they can get on postage… let competition set the cost and let the ads proliferate or let people pay more not to get them.

The government needs a RESET button. Ben Franklin used to administer a multi-carrier postal system and we should be able to do similar today… without having to hire all the carriers or go through a third party to do so. Let corporations know they are liable for lawsuits on labor practices, pollution and the like at the State level.

Whatever you do, get rid of the bureaucracy and the regulations at the federal level, as that is not its job. And it is failing at the things we require it to do, like defend the borders. That won’t keep you a country for long and might get you a war or two, to boot.

ajacksonian on July 18, 2011 at 12:30 PM

I think we should have EBay partner with the Pentagon and other agencies and have them inventory and sell stuff sitting around and gathering dust in government warehouses.

txmomof6

Actually, that’s not a bad idea. When I was in the USAF a plug for aircraft called a “cannon plug” was easily damaged and frequently thrown away.

One weekend I noticed some G.I. were going thru dumpsters pulling the plugs out of the trash.

It turns out that each plug had 5-6 grams of almost pure gold in the plug’s pins!

E9RET on July 18, 2011 at 1:02 PM

I won’t claim to know anything about the military leadership, beyond what can be seen from an outsider’s view. But this I think I know: the real money in the military budget is split between huge-money tech projects (jets, missiles) and salaries. And I have a strong sense that there are lots of generals in Washington making serious money who will have gold-plated pensions, and who serve no particular purpose other than to perpetuate defense spending and their own careers.

Limerick, hawkddriver: Do I have that wrong?

Jaibones on July 18, 2011 at 2:02 PM

“We can increase revenues by adjusting the tax code and lowering it,” Coburn said on CBS’s “Face the Nation” Sunday morning. “We can save over $1 trillion doing that.”

Wait a second, how does increasing tax revenues “save” anything? It may be a good idea to close loopholes and lower rates to simplify the tax system but if the government is taking MORE money out of the private sector doing it, I don’t see where that “saves” anything.

In the words of Inigo Montoya, “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”

jnelchef on July 18, 2011 at 2:44 PM

Back in April 2010 Tom Coburn criticized those against Nancy Pelosi and said Pelosi is a “Nice Person.”

Any bets on when Pelosi returns the favor for Tom when the Democrats unleash their attacks on Tom and his $9 Trillion debt plan?

RJL on July 18, 2011 at 3:20 PM

Coburn’s plan also relies on cutting one trillion dollars from the Pentagon’s budget over the next ten years.

Easy. End the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya. There’s your trillion dollars over 10 years, with virtually no pain to the military. Having said that, let’s not pretend military spending is the issue here. It isn’t. And I don’t know about you folks, but I like being the most powerful nation on the planet.

So is the Post Office.

Should we be spending $700 billion/year delivering the mail?

JohnGalt23

Yeah, cuz, like, delivering the mail is the same as national security. Should we be spending $700 billion delivering the mail? No, that would be stupid. Should we be spending $700 billion on national security? Yes.

xblade on July 18, 2011 at 4:33 PM

Just to get it on the record – it would take a cut greater than $6 trillion dollars in 2012 alone to balance the budget with cuts. $2 trillion, $4 trillion, and $9 trillion OVER 10 YEARS amount to meaningless cuts.

{^_^}

herself on July 19, 2011 at 4:01 PM