Coburn's Call to Arms for Tackling the Deficit
Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) had some pretty inspiring words on the floor of the Senate the other night. He spoke about that the challenges in front of us as a result of our rising debt, and made an urgent plea for lawmakers to quite digging the U.S. into a larger debt hole. Here are a few of the best quotes from his short speech, and a video of his speech is below.
"I often hear my colleagues assert the power of the purse when it comes to earmarking, but I never hear the same thing when we talk about trying to cut spending. The bias is to spend, not to cut spending. We are either going to do it or outside financial forces are going to force us. "
But on the upside to our fiscal challenges, Sen. Coburn noted that:
"The fact is, we already have a debt commission. It is called the U.S. Congress."
"...The only way we get out of the hole we are in is if we make shared sacrifices. That means political sacrifices. That means position sacrifices. That means monetary sacrifices. That means sacrifices against our wish list. It means we all have to sacrifice...What does a shared sacrifice mean? It means that if you live in this country and make a decent income, you need to be more responsible with your health care and retirement than you are today. If you have gamed the system to get disability benefits or workmen's compensation, sorry, your free ride is over. If you are receiving a special tax break because you have a good lobbyist, you are going to have to give that up. If you are a defense contractor, you might only get a bonus for doing exceptional work, not standard work, not for just showing up to work. And if you are a politician, it might mean you have to lose an election to do what is best for this country."
"...Courage is having the fortitude to do the right thing for the right moral reason at the right time regardless of the consequences to you. And we lack that in our body politic today."
"...Here is what one of our Founders thought. Almost 234 years ago, on December 19, 1776, Thomas Paine was contemplating the great and uncertain struggle that lay ahead in our battle for independence and freedom. He said: 'If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace...I think we ought to have it in our day. Let it be our day. Let it be today. Let it be started with this debate we will have on the tax bill that will come before us. Let's make the effort to come to a consensus that we have to have a plan. It doesn't have to be my plan or the plan of Senator Bennet, but we have to have a plan. We have to signal to the rest of the world that we are willing to start making some of the appropriate sacrifices and generate the austerity that will allow us to continue this wonderful experiment. We are now facing the most predictable crisis in our history. We are doing nothing to avert the catastrophe, nothing, zero. In fact, we are still digging. It is time we stopped digging"