Although I disagree with the junior Senator from Oklahoma on a handful of issues, I have always admired Tom Coburn as one of the few men of principle in Washington. He was a small government conservative before it was cool to be a small government conservative.
In the spendthrift George W. Bush era (an era parsimonious by Obama’s standards), he challenged his own party to take a tougher line on federal spending. Now, he’s come out with a budget proposal of his own. Unlike Republicans, he’s calling for eliminating “tax breaks.” Unlike Democrats, he’s put forward a detailed plan which spells out specific cuts.
Among the tax breaks he seeks to eliminate is the “mortgage interest deduction on second homes”. Apparently, he also wants to limit that deduction “to homes worth $500,000.” That may allow middle class families in Oklahoma to maintain that deduction, but would deprive many such families in cities like Los Angeles (where the cost of the average home is higher) of its benefits.
That said, his plan merits consideration. According to the AP, Coburn told reporters that he had “no doubt that both parties will criticize portions of this plan, and I welcome that debate. . . . But it’s not a legitimate criticism until you have a plan of your own.” (Emphasis added.)
Indeed, how many of his Democratic colleagues (and their allies in the MSM) demagogue his plan as demagogic when they have yet to offer one of their own? Kudos, Senator Coburn, for putting forward a plan to put us on a path to fiscal sanity. Would it that your good friend from the Senate class of 2004 could do the same.
UPDATE: I’m concerned he’s back to backing the Gang of Six Plan — even if the plan’s details remain murky.