Coburn offers $9 trillion plan

July 18, 2011 at 5:44 PM
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WASHINGTON, July 18 (UPI) -- Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., Monday put forth the mother of all federal deficit reduction proposals -- $9 trillion over the next 10 years.

Coburn, whose package is more than double other plans out there, would achieve the target figure through $1 trillion in cuts in defense spending, another nearly $1 trillion in general spending reductions and jacking up tax revenues by about the same amount through the closure of a variety of tax breaks, The Hill reported.

The biggest hit would be to Medicare and Medicaid -- $2.64 trillion, the Washington publication said.

He would nick Social Security by raising the retirement age by a month every two years starting in 2022 until it reaches 69 in 2077, and reduce cost-of-living adjustments.

Coburn pre-empted criticism from his colleagues by saying it's not acceptable to keep putting off a serious plan to deal with the deficit problem.

He said eliminating the tax breaks will fix what has become an unfair tax system.

"We're starting down the path of tax reform," Coburn said. "We think you ought to eliminate these and lower the rates."

Coburn's menu of budget cuts over the next 10 years also would include $4.3 billion from Congress, $346.4 billion from the Agriculture Department, $409 billion from education, $101.8 billion from the Energy Department and $106.7 billion from Health and Human Services.

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