Tom Coburn: Budget Deal Must Include Tax Increases

In a must-read Washington Post op-ed calling out his fellow Senators for failing to act on a budget deal, Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn crosses a Republican Rubicon:

The public rightly prefers spending cuts over revenue increases, but numerous polls indicate the vast majority of Americans would support the only type of plan that would ever make it out of Congress and be signed into law: one that favors spending cuts over revenue increases but includes both.

Getting there, however, will require the Senate to put forward specific solutions and win public support for serious entitlement reform and tax reform

Coburn is right, of  course, both politically and economically.


FILED UNDER: Congress, Deficit and Debt, US Politics, , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. michael reynolds says:

    He thinks the GOP actually cares about balancing the budget. What a dumbass.

  2. PJ says:

    He’s right. But I would just want to point out that the fact that he isn’t up for reelection until 2016 has a lot to do with him being willing to say this.

  3. ratufa says:

    Strictly speaking, Coburn didn’t use the “t-word”. He said “revenue increases”, which could be realized from actual tax increases, or closing tax loopholes or even, as some people believe, cutting taxes (though, I personally doubt that Coburn meant that).

    My guess is that this is less of an actual call to raise taxes than it is pushback against the Norquist-ian view that any revenue-increasing tax change (such as removing a deduction), must be matched be an equal spending cut.