One of the Senate's staunchest fiscal conservatives put forward his own plan to resolve the debt ceiling crisis and rein in the nation's massive deficit and debt.
Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla, released a 600 page document that would cut the deficit by $9 trillion, and he does it through both spending reduction and revenue increases as well as entitlement reform.
Some of the more controversial aspects of his plan include trimming defense spending by $1 trillion and closing tax loopholes, like the ethanol subsidy and tax deduction for vacation homes, which would raise $1 trillion.
Coburn announced his plan, alone, at a press conference that took place as leaders from both parties struggle to agree on a plan that would cut as little as $2 trillion.
Coburn said even a plan to cut $4 trillion, which is a long shot at this point, would only give the country five years until it would have to come up with a way to trim spending by another $5 trillion.
“Two trillion doesn't even pay our interest over the next ten years,” Coburn said.
Coburn defended the Pentagon cuts, saying the reduction would put the department spending at the same level it was at during the height of the Iraq surge, though he acknowledged the military would not like the cuts.
“Nobody is going to like what we've done because everybody gets a pinch,” Coburn said. “Everybody.”
“This is about what is possible and what should be done if you want to put the country back on the road to health,” Coburn said.
Coburn said he has not discussed his plan with his party's leaders, but he argued that the two sides are caught up in politics and getting re-elected and should instead focus on the need to make drastic changes to ensure the nation's continued economic health.
He said his is a plan “you can pick and choose from,” and that it would “enable the process to go forward,” so that the two parties can strike a deal.
Coburn was once a member of the Senate “Gang of Six” that was working on a debt reduction plan. He said he left the group because it was not seriously tackling entitlement reform.
Coburn is now taking considerable heat from anti-tax groups who oppose closing the tax loopholes, a move they consider to be a tax hike.