Revealed: The Coburn Plan

Senator Tom Coburn has released the PDF of his plan to cut $9 trillion-with-a-T in federal spending over the next ten years.

I haven’t had a chance to read the whole thing, but here’s the thinking behind it:


Every department and virtually every major government program was evaluated to determine if one or more of the following criteria was applicable:

• Not Needed — Serves no vital or essential federal role or has outlived its intended purpose.
• Does Not Meet Any Need — Little or no evidence to demonstrate results or effectiveness achieving stated goals.
• Wasteful — Significant amounts of silly or unjustifiable expenditures.
• Duplicative — Duplicates or overlaps existing government agencies or initiatives.
• Not a Priority at this Time — Mission cannot be justified within today’s budgetary constraints.
• Not Cost Efficient — Benefits do not exceed the costs.
• Parochial — Serves a local or special interest with no overriding federal role and exceeds the limited powers granted to Congress enumerated in Article 1, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution.
• Mismanaged — Significant amounts of erroneous, fraudulent and improper expenditures, excessive overhead and administrative costs, or otherwise poorly administered or implemented.

The revenue savings proposed in Back in Black relied upon an evaluation of certain components within the tax code by the Office of Senator Tom Coburn as well as research and estimates conducted by the Joint Committee on Taxation, Taxpayer Policy Center, Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, GAO, CRS, CBO, and the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration. The tax expenditures, loopholes, or tax subsidies were evaluated to determine whether one or more of the following criteria applied:

• Spending — Provision is spending provided through the tax code.
• Questionable Policy — Tax provision incentivizes behaviors with consequences that are
not national priorities.
• High Rate of Waste or Fraud — Significant amount of improper payments or fraud.
• Duplicative — Provision duplicates other benefits provided by the federal government.
• Special Interest Earmark — Provision benefits only a narrow group or industry.

Proposals to eliminate, consolidate, reform, or end a provision within the tax code were reached based upon the results of this evaluation.


Cue the Democratic howls of outrage in five, four, three, two…


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