The Corner

Gang Talk

Over at C-SPAN, Sen. Tom Coburn (R., Okla.) discusses his departure from the “Gang of Six.”

Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., on Sunday defended his decision to walk away from the “Gang of Six” deficit-reduction talks, saying the group of three Democratic and three Republican Senators “couldn’t move in a direction I thought we had to move.”

Appearing on C-SPAN’s Newsmakers program, Coburn said the group’s inability to extract massive savings from mandatory spending programs like Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security is what lead to the impasse.

“It doesn’t have any credibility if it doesn’t fix the real problem,” Coburn said, stressing that reducing the deficit cannot be achieved by just cuts to discretionary spending.

He did, however, leave the door open for a tax-reform proposal that raised revenues, acknowledging the need for compromise with Democrats who would like to raise revenues by closing special-interest tax breaks.

Coburn said he will instead spend his time figuring out a plan to cut $9.7 trillion over the next 10 years, the amount that is “needed,” and “way more than anyone’s talking about.”

You can watch the 30-minute interview here.

Robert Costa — Robert Costa is National Review's Washington editor and a CNBC political analyst. He manages NR's Capitol Hill bureau and covers the White House, Congress, and national campaigns. ...

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