(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – Dr. Coburn released the following statement today regarding President Obama’s remarks on sequestration:
President Obama is right that targeted spending cuts are a better way to reduce the deficit than across-the-board cuts. I’m relieved he disagrees with some on his side who say cutting any spending, including wasteful spending, is austerity.
However, I’m disappointed the president today attempted to unilaterally change the terms of the debate on tax reform. Tax reform does not mean closing loopholes to solely pay down the deficit. Tax reform means closing loopholes to primarily lower rates for working families in order to promote economic growth, which has the effect of increasing tax revenues for the federal government. That is the balanced approach embraced by conservatives and liberals on his own Simpson-Bowles debt commission, and that understanding was the basis of President Reagan and Speaker O’Neill’s historic tax reform deal in 1986.
The balanced tax reform proposal in Simpson-Bowles proposed to use the savings from eliminating loopholes and breaks for the wealthy by primarily reducing tax rates for lower income families from 15 percent to as low as 8 percent. The president’s statement today suggests lower income families should keep paying higher rates. Ironically, the very tax earmarks the administration slipped into the fiscal cliff deal for special interests such as Hollywood movie producers, the wind industry and NASCAR, kept rates artificially high for lower income and middle class families. That’s not economic justice, and that’s a terrible way to grow our economy.