Sen. Tom Coburn released a $9 trillion "Back in Black" deficit reduction plan Monday that would gore government programs and tax breaks large and small.
The plan would cut $1 trillion in tax breaks that the Oklahoma Republican considers "socialist" spending, although it would be considered a tax increase by anti-tax advocate Grover Norquist. Norquist's group, Americans for Tax Reform, attacked the plan Monday. "It's now clear Senator Coburn's plan all along was a trillion dollar tax hike," the group said in a statement.
Coburn said it doesnít make sense to say itís OK to cut spending when itís part of an appropriations bill, but not when it is tucked into the tax code. ďThatís just ludicrous. Itís idiocy,Ē he said.
He also said that solving the nation's spiraling debt problem must take priority.
"Doing nothing is a tax increase," he said, adding that if he were negotiating with President Barack Obama, he would seek a compromise of new revenue and spending cuts.
He criticized the "Plan B" proposal from Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) that would allow the debt ceiling to be raised without a guarantee of deficit reduction, calling it a "punt."
Coburn also includes $1 trillion in defense spending cuts ó more than even Senate Democrats have proposed ó contending that the threat of China owning U.S. debt is a bigger national security risk than going to war with China.
He also would cut $2.64 trillion from Medicare and Medicaid over the next decade ó far more than has been proposed to date.
Coburn acknowledged that his plan isn't going to be enacted, but said he hoped the ideas in it ó which he said he and his staff pulled from various commission and agency recommendations ó are "a treasure trove of how to solve our problems."
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, speaks with reporters in the Capitol after a speech on the Senate floor that accused the CIA of searching computers set up for Congressional staff for their research of interrogation programs.