GOP Sen. Coburn Fails to Kill Tax Pledge

Friday, 17 Jun 2011 02:29 PM

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Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., has abandoned the tea party line and tried to take his colleagues with him by aligning with President Barack Obama in his push for higher taxes, writes Grover Norquist at HumanEvents.com. Coburn sat on an Obama commission that urged $2 trillion in tax increases over the next 10 years.

coburn taxes tea party“Why will I take on those that are against tax increases for Republicans? Because it’s the right thing to do to save our country,” HumanEvents quotes him as saying during a C-SPAN interview in May.

The tea party movement sprouted as a reaction to skyrocketing government spending, which increased from $2.9 trillion in 2008 to $3.8 trillion in 2011, writes Norquist. He points out that 40 of the current 47 Republican senators and 235 of the 240 House Republicans signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge, which says they will not approve any tax increases.

Coburn, he claims, has been creative in trying to circumvent this promise, but failed to bring Republicans over to his side.

Coburn proposed an amendment to effectively increase taxes by killing ethanol subsidies. One of the main problems with his plan, according to Norquist, is that it would have forced the production and consumption of billions of gallons of ethanol. It also failed to make necessary tax cuts in other areas.

“His amendment was not about ending the government preference for ethanol, but rather about tricking Republicans into voting for a very small tax increase in preparation for larger ones,” writes Norquist.

Coburn’s amendment was roundly rejected by other Republicans.


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