The Debt Bomb with Sen. Tom CoburnJune 4, 2012
Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK), in his new book The Debt Bomb: A Bold Plan to Stop Washington from Bankrupting America, accuses both parties of hypocrisy and failed leadership in dealing with the country’s mounting debt problems. $15.8 trillion in debt and we are, for a third time, talking about printing more money. Not only is it a huge problem but it is a reflection of a systemic, cultural problem that Senator Coburn indicts in the book.
“The Federal Reserve, it would seem, is going to start with another QE3, which means that if you feel good about your retirement, your 401(k), you won’t soon,” Coburn said on the show. ”Everybody loses: the poor lose the most, the middle class goes away, and the economy stumbles, even though on dollar terms it doesn’t look like it.”
Why don’t we address the real disease instead of the symptoms of the disease? The disease is we continue to add things to the federal government with no way to fund them. We added nearly $12 trillion in debt for Medicare Part D, but we didn’t generate a revenue stream to fund it.
“If you use practical accounting guidelines, generally accepted mechanisms, our unfunded liabilities are $131 trillion dollars, and we have $16 trillion worth of debt. Knowing the interest on that, you can’t get out of that hole,” Coburn continued. ”I think we have to do four things: reestablish confidence in our economy and our future by broadening our tax base. Second thing is markedly save, make changes to Medicare and Social Security and make them viable; earnings test, disability program reform, and good oversight of this is the third. The final thing is to utilize our resources in a responsible way.”
Sending $300 billion a year overseas for energy right now, we are on a path that is unsustainable. Imagine that money coming back into our economy, plugging that energy money into innovation and growth that is right now funding our reliance on energy that is not being developed in the United States.
How do we reestablish confidence in our economy and our political infrastructure?
“There’s no leadership. Leadership, in America, is when people come around a central point and idea that will help out kids. There is a lack of leadership across both parties,” Coburn explained. ”Congress is the real problem. Congress is more concerned with being reelected, not building our economy again.”
What we’ve done is placed our hope in government, and what we need to do is place our hope in us. Senator Tom Coburn believes we are a “can do” country, and right now we are not doing a lot of anything to help ourselves as we spiral down this unsustainable path.
For the full interview watch below:
Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) is author of The Debt Bomb: A Bold Plan to Stop Washington from Bankrupting America.