Sen. Tom Coburn to unveil plan to slash federal spending by at least $9 trillion

Sen. Tom Coburn's plan would affect nearly all facets of government spending and close tax loopholes.
BY CHRIS CASTEEL ccasteel@opubco.com Published: July 18, 2011
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— Sen. Tom Coburn plans to unveil a $9 trillion deficit-reduction plan Monday that would cut most government programs, reshape entitlements, sell off federal property and close some tax loopholes.

Coburn's 10-year plan would achieve most of its savings from cuts — including to the defense budget — and structural changes to Social Security and Medicare, like raising the eligibility age for both.

The senator also will propose to collect about $1 trillion in new revenue over the next decade through tax changes, including ones to the home mortgage interest deduction and the exemption that workers receive for employer-based health insurance.

Coburn, R-Muskogee, has had his staff working on the plan since he dropped out of the bipartisan Gang of Six talks in May. The group of six senators was working on a proposal to shave $4 trillion off projected deficits over the next decade.

Coburn has said that even $4 trillion ultimately wouldn't be enough to fundamentally alter the nation's fiscal situation since inevitable increases in interest rates will drive up the costs of holding more than $14 trillion in debt.

The Oklahoma senator's proposal eclipses even in the House Republican budget in projected savings — by about $3 trillion over 10 years.

Some of the specifics reflect proposals made in December by President Barack Obama's fiscal commission, although Coburn more than doubles the amount the commission proposed to save over a decade.


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