Monday, September 29, 2008

Senator Tom Coburn, Defender of the Free Market


Coburn has gone public with his intention to vote FOR the Wall Street bail-out.

According to a story on Yahoo!:
"A lot of people have misgivings," said Sen. Tom Coburn , R- Okla. , one of the Senate's leading conservative voices. "I have a lot of misgivings, but I'm still going to vote for it."
Coburn has also issued a statement which is posted on his website. In the statement, Coburn claims:
"This bill does not represent a new and sudden departure from free market principles . . . "
Well, finally, Coburn the champion of fiscal conservatism unmasks himself as an economic know-nothing. If he can say that increased regulation and government intervention represent "free market principles", then Senator Coburn does NOT know what "free market principles" are.

Or any kind of principles, for that matter. Obviously Senator Coburn has given into pragmatism. But then, what politician hasn't, these days? Well, there are the members of the House who voted AGAINST the bail-out and issued principled statements explaining why they did so. Perhaps Mr. Coburn should read some of them.

Unfortunately, I can't say I'm too surprised to see such craven behavior from Coburn. For years, Coburn has postured as a champion of fiscal conservatism by crusading against so-called "pork-barrel" spending and "earmarks". Certainly Congress wastes billions of dollars annually on vanity rojects which have no justification other than making some politician look good to the folks back home.

But Coburn has been curiously silent about the main causes of the ballooning federal budget, such as Social Security and Medicare, which eat up as much as a trillion dollars or more annually. Why? Could it be that it is much safer to make a show of campaigning against popular targets such as "pork" spending instead of taking on the perceived risk of exposing the threat to our economy posed by Social Security?

By doing things like voting for the bail-out and campaigning against politically safe targets like "earmarks" instead of going after Social Security - which is the real culprit when it comes to the runaway federal budget - Tom Coburn proves that he is no defender of Freedom.

Shame on you, Senator Coburn.

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