Editorial: Sen. Coburn supports tax hikes to avoid fiscal cliff
BY World's Editorials Writers
Friday, December 07, 2012
12/07/12 at 2:54 AM
U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn is a true fiscal conservative. When he speaks, fellow conservatives listen. And they ought to be listening now.
With the nation heading toward the "fiscal cliff," Coburn said Thursday that he would support higher tax rates on wealthier Americans. Yes, you read that correctly.
In fact, Coburn has supported similar efforts before. He served on the Simpson-Bowles commission, whose recommendations were widely ignored by Congress and the president. He participated in the Gang of Six deficit talks.
Coburn presents a reasonable approach. He believes raising tax rates now will generate the money needed to avoid the fiscal cliff. Once that is accomplished, he would push for negotiating broad reforms in the tax code. He supports eliminating deductions on loopholes. But he is concerned that if Congress makes some reforms now, it might never return to the issue for true reform.
"I know we have to raise revenue," Coburn told MSNBC on Thursday. "I don't really care which way we do it. Actually, I would rather see rates go up than do it the other way, because it gives us a greater chance to reform the tax code and broaden the base in the future."
Fixing the country's fiscal problems will require sacrifice on the part of many Americans. Some tax increases and some reduction in entitlements will be necessary. Continuing to borrow money from China will not solve the long-term problem.
What Coburn is saying will not be embraced by the hard-core in his party, especially those in the House. This is a crisis that must be avoided, and rational leaders will hear what Coburn has to say.
Original Print Headline: Dr. Yes?