Interview: Coburn Says Republicans Should Concede To Tax Hikes Since They’re Inevitable Anyway


Yesterday, while guest hosting the Scott Hennen Show, I got the opportunity to interview Senator Tom Coburn about the “fiscal cliff” negotiations. Senator Coburn has drawn the ire of many Republicans and conservatives by suggesting that taxes should go up on the richest Americans. His stance has drawn my ire a bit too, given the mathematical reality that America’s debt and deficit problems are the result of too much spending, not too little taxation.

But Coburn made a compelling case for why Republicans should cave on tax hikes for the rich. He said that if we go over the fiscal cliff a new Congress is just going to re-institute the tax cuts for everyone but the rich anyway, and Republicans will have lost the bargaining chip for tax cuts. He said that if the GOP gives Obama and Democrats what they want now, they can tie it to meaningful spending cuts.

It’s hard to argue with Coburn’s position. Like it or not, Democrats are playing this game from a position of strength, whereas Republicans are in a position of weakness.

Rob Port is the editor of In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters.

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  • whowon

    He is one of the only one who gets it. I listened yesterday.

  • mikemc1970

    He’s never been a party guy. He’ll be missed when he’s gone after his term is up. Especially his waste reports.

    • realitybasedbob

      Really, Mr. 1970?
      The American Conservative Union rates him at 100%, as does Club for Growth and Concerned Women of America and The Eagle Forum and The Family Research Council and Right to Life.

      What party are you referring too?

      • mikemc1970

        The Republican party. Coburn has been in conflict with the Republicans in Congress many many times. Now my other Senator, Inhofe, while he is a party guy, has none the less been a thorn in the side of the envirosocialists for a long time, which kind of makes up for it.

        • realitybasedbob

          Oh OK, that makes sense as everybody knows gop is not conservative like this Coburn fellow is.

          Party first, right Mr. 1970?

          • mikemc1970

            Last time I checked the conservatives were not a political party. The Republicans are a political party and a lot of the Republicans aren’t very conservative. That’s alright though, I don’t expect you understand the differences.

  • HG

    If we can’t get more than the sequestration cuts, less rate increases, and some tax reform, let the new legislature deal with it. After sequestration, will we not have the same leverage we have today? We’ll still have the tax cuts for those under 250k that Obama says he wants. We’ll get some spending cuts (sequestration). I don’t think we’ll get much of anything meaningful out of this President and Sen. Reid. We’ll likely get BS’d into time release concessions while those things dems want will be immediate. Boehner has already gotten screwed in every “negotiation” with this Reid and Obama. What makes anyone think this will be any different?

  • igx

    Some people think that the government has to keep the GDP down with taxes and regulation, because if the economy takes off interest rates will rise and we can’t afford the debt service.

  • spud

    Congrats to us all on opening our property tax bills. I hear newly elected Senator Tom Campbell from Grafton has a bill he is introducing dealing with outdated valuations system we have. Other farmers in the valley have the lovely $2 specials for five years attached to their bill for water drainage. Next good flood those on the red will really see water coming from the west and east as our neighbors from Minnesota have learned how to drain water fast also. Legislature has to deal with prop taxes or next property tax initiative no matter if it is as poorly put together as this last one was could be voted through.

  • Waski_the_Squirrel

    I don’t mind some tax increases. They would be a good compromise if accompanied by meaningful spending cuts. These have to be true cuts, not just smaller-than-planned increases. But, if we can get the conversation turned to spending cuts, that will be worth more in the long run than tax increases on a small group of people.

  • duxjams

    “It’s hard to argue with Coburn’s position.”

    Please….Rob you have shown your willingness to bend over for the Guest. There are many real conservatives writing many excellent articles about why not to raise taxes, not to mention many more conservative talk show hosts who would have taken this loser to school on the air. Politicians say they are conservative then as he did look at how to save their jobs. Everyone knows elevate taxes does not help the economy. It is proven time and time again.

    Either stand for conservative principles or you are just a moderate unable to make a decision. Or a radio/ blog host pretending to be a conservative. Remember…the republican party is not conservative…it just has conservatives in the party!

    • Rob

      I’m week aware of the arguments for not raising taxes. And I’d rather not raise taxes. But Republicans aren’t in a position where they can impose their will on this process.