Tuesday, December 28, 2010
Senator Tom Coburn: Control Government Spending or Face 'Apocalyptic Pain'
Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) has a message and it's one we had best heed...we're spending ourselves into poverty and decline.
In an important interview on "Fox News Sunday", Coburn, who recently finished a report on government spending and waste warned that we have only a few years left to get things under control.
"The history of republics is they average 200 years of life. And they all fail in the history over fiscal matters. They rot from within before they collapse or are attacked." Coburn said.
"The problem that faces our country today, the last 30 years we have lived off the future, and the bill is coming due," he added.
"I think you'll see a 15 to 18 percent unemployment rate. I think you will see an 8 to 9 percent decline in GDP. I think you'll see the middle class just destroyed if we don't do this. And the people that it will harm the most will be the poorest of the poor, because we'll print money to try to debase our currency and get out of it and what you will see is hyperinflation," Coburn said.
"If we didn't take some pain now, we're going to experience apocalyptic pain, and it's going to be out of our control. The idea should be that we control it," he added.
According to Coburn, he can name $350 billion off the top of his head in inefficiency, waste and duplication that could be eliminated fairly easily without major impact. Among that is over $100 billion in Medicare and Medicaid fraud that was not addressed or considered in ObamaCare.
He also cited defense spending, noting that the Pentagon does little in the way of auditing and has only a foggy idea of where its huge budget is being spent.
Things Senator Coburn didn't mention that would help might involve a degree of privatization in Social Security, (which is bankrupt now anyway), eliminating several huge Federal institutions like the Department of Education, repealing ObamaCare and instituting items like tort reform, assigned risk and inter-state shopping for insurance instead, and dealing with America's illegal alien problem decisively. And that's just the tip of the iceberg.
Speaking of eliminating waste, Senator Coburn was a major force in getting a duplicative health bill for 9/11 responders ( almost all of whom are covered by city, county or state heath insurance) reduced from $7.2 billion to $4.3 billion and making sure it was paid for through additional fees and spending reductions.
"I took all the heat, but we solved the problem and spent $7.2 billion less than we would have, and there is not going to be any difference in impact for the people we're trying to help," he said.
"I don't care if you're rich or poor, liberal or conservative. If we don't fix the problems in front of us, everybody is going to pay a significant price."
He's right about that.
(Hat tip, Joshua's Army member Louie Louie and the Baron over at Gates of Vienna)