Our country was built on a heritage of service and sacrifice in which each generation did what was necessary to pass on liberty, freedom and the opportunity for a better life to the next generation. I ran for the Senate was because I was, and am, deeply concerned that the current generation of leaders in Washington may be first generation in American history to leave the next generation worse off.
Today, out of control federal spending and excessive borrowing is threatening the long-term viability of the American economy. Total federal spending, as a percentage of our economy, is at its highest level since World War II. Our national debt is at a record high of $13 trillion (more than $39,000 per person) and Congress is poised to run record annual deficits of at least $1 trillion per year.
Long before we entered our current recession, federal spending was at an unsustainable level. When we come out of our current recession we will be faced a more difficult problem, the impending bankruptcy of Medicare and Social Security.
However, Congress will never deal with these major challenges until we first get serious about eliminating earmarks, the gateway drug to spending addiction in Congress, and eliminating programs that do not work. Each year, Congress wastes more than $300 billion on programs that are wasteful or duplicative.
Finally, we won't revive our economy through more government spending and bailouts. Instead, I believe Congress should support the ideals that built the most prosperous economy in history, freedom, individual liberty, competition and hard work. I'm confident the American people, not more Washington spending, will lead our economy out of this recession.
At the onset of the 111th Congress, Dr. Coburn wrote a letter to his colleagues informing them of the criteria which he will measure all bills brought before the Senate.
Dr. Coburn is a cosponsor of the TARP Sunset Act (S. 2787), a simple one-page bill ending the Department of Treasury's TARP program effective December 31, 2009. Although current statute terminates the Treasury's authority to lend money to financial institutions through the TARP program effective December 31, 2009, the law also allows the Treasury Secretary to extend the program an additional ten months, through October 3, 2010. The TARP Sunset Act would eliminate the optional ten month extension of the program and end TARP at end of the year.
Dr. Coburn has repeatedly urged his Senate colleagues to offset new spending programs rather than add to the national debt.
Dr. Coburn has offered numerous amendments to save American taxpayers billions of dollars.