“Thomas Allen Coburn (March 14, 1948 – March 28, 2020) was an American politician and physician. A Republican, he was a United States Representative and later a United States Senator from Oklahoma.
Coburn was elected to the United States House of Representatives in 1994 as part of the Republican Revolution. He upheld his campaign pledge to serve no more than three consecutive terms and did not run for re-election in 2000. In 2004, he returned to political life with a successful run for the United States Senate. Coburn was re-elected to a second term in 2010 and kept his pledge not to seek a third term in 2016. In January 2014, Coburn announced he would resign before the expiration of his final term. He submitted a letter of resignation to Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin, effective at the end of the 113th Congress.
Coburn was a fiscal and social conservative, known for his opposition to deficit spending and pork barrel projects, and for his opposition to abortion. Described as “the godfather of the modern conservative, austerity movement”, he supported term limits, gun rights and the death penalty and opposed same-sex marriage and embryonic stem cell research. Democrats have referred to him as “Dr. No” for his use of technicalities to block federal spending bills.
After leaving Congress, Coburn worked with the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research on its efforts to reform the Food and Drug Administration, becoming a senior fellow of the institute in December 2016. Coburn also served as a senior advisor to Citizens for Self-Governance, where he was active in calling for a convention to propose amendments to the United States Constitution.”
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This might sound strange, but I’m old enough to remember when fiscal Conservatives were not seen as aliens or outsiders in the Republican Party. When the Tom Coburn’s, Ron Paul’s in Congress were the leading Republicans in Congress when it came to fiscal and economic policy.
I’m also old enough to remember when Representative Paul’s son Senator Rand Paul, actually cared about the deficit and national debt. But that’s before he saw his own political situation in Kentucky and decided to get in bed with President Donald Trump and the Nationalist-Right in the Republican Party. But that’s a different story for a different piece.
Partisan Republicans and right-wingers might try to play what-about and talk about all of those so-called big spending Democrats and say they don’t care about the deficit and debt. And say they’re the real big spenders and fiscal irresponsibility people in Washington.
A couple problems with that: Democrats other than maybe Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton and their followers never claimed to be fiscally responsible and believers in deficit and debt reduction and in favor of balanced budgets.
The other issue is that America has only had 5 balanced Federal budgets in the last 55 years and they all came under Democratic President’s: Lyndon Johnson and Bill Clinton. The LBJ balanced budget came with a Democratic Congress.
And if you want to call President Barack Obama a big spender all you want, but he inherited a budget deficit of over a trillion-dollars in 2009 from President George W. Bush and the deficit was cut in half by the time he left office in 2017.
Up until really Ronald Reagan became President and even to a certain extent into the Reagan presidency with Congressional Republicans, fiscal conservatism and responsibility was a major part of the Republican economic and fiscal policy. Along with free trade, economic development, economic opportunity, lower taxes and regulations.
It’s really not until George W. Bush (not to pick on him) became President that Republicans screwed off fiscal conservatism and responsibility and now just praise lower taxes and regulations and now have their own big spending programs and policies, except they don’t believe their programs need to be paid for and claim they either pay for themselves or claim some made up national emergency and that they don’t need to pay for their programs.
Fiscal conservatism and responsibility made a brief comeback in the Republican Party during the Obama Administration, but come on: that’s because there was now a Progressive Democratic President with a huge national debt and deficit that President Obama inherited. If Barack Obama was a Republican with the same economy and fiscal situation, they wouldn’t care about the deficit and debt (just like with President Donald Trump) especially if the Tom Coburn’s of the world are no longer in Congress.
I don’t like Tom Coburn’s social polices as a Liberal. Senator Coburn was a Christian-Conservative his whole time in Congress, both in the House and Senate, but have a lot of respect for his honesty and candor and knowledge about how the U.S. Government spends money and how Congress appropriates it, and their lack of interest in the national debt and deficit. (Two issues that I care about) And represents the Republican Party (pre-Donald Trump) when they really were the GOP, (Grand Ole Party) a party that believed in fiscal and economic conservatism and economic and quality opportunity for all.