MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

August 15, 2011

Coburn speaks during Town Hall Meeting


ENID — U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn was preaching to the choir at First Baptist Church in Enid Monday as he addressed about 150 people during a town hall meeting.

“There is no problem in this country we can’t solve. Politicians talk about symptoms and not the cause,” he said.

Coburn, R-Okla., held up a copy of the U.S. Constitution and said politicians are not paying enough attention to the document. He said although the country’s budget problems are solvable it cannot happen quickly.

He asked the audience to look back to past generations and think about what characteristics they possessed that made the United States the greatest country in the world. Those characteristics were self-reliance, personal accountability, integrity and a strong work ethic.

“Combine all those and get the government out of where it shouldn’t be,” he said.

He also cautioned people against believing everything that comes across the Internet. He recommended using factcheck.org to confirm something before forwarding it.

“What we want is the truth,” he said.

He said truth is not coming from politicians, and the only way to make them accountable is to fire them.

“But you can’t fire me, because I’m not running again,” he said. His term ends in 2016.

During Monday’s meeting, Coburn outlined a number of things that need to be done, including the wealthy paying more for the country to have confidence in the economy.

All of the changes are outlined in Coburn’s treatise “Back to Black,” which can be found on his website, www.coburn.senate.gov.

He had a harsh assessment of the deal approved by Congress and President Barack Obama to cut the nation’s deficit.

“The budget deal didn’t cut anything. Discretionary spending will increase $832 billion in 10 years,” Coburn said. “They didn’t eliminate anything, it’s a fraud.”

The nation has unfunded liabilities totaling $93 trillion, including federal retirement and Social Security, Coburn said. There is no money for Medicare Part A because the money has been stolen, he said.

Coburn said the nation must be serious about fixing the budget. The United States finances the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan through borrowing 40 percent of the funds from China, he said, which has a larger military than the U.S.