Talk about your man bites dog moment. But here it is, as he appeared on MSNBC this morning:
"Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) says he would rather see tax rates go up than raise revenue via loopholes now because that would leave more room for tax reform in the future."
"I know we have to raise revenue," he said Wednesday on MSNBC's Morning Joe. "I don't really care which way we do it. I would rather see the rates go up than do it the other way because it gives us greater chance to reform the tax code and broaden the base in the future."
"Coburn has been vocal about the need to raise tax revenues, but endorsing a rate hike rather than increased revenues by closing tax deductions is an extraordinarily rare position for a Republican to take."
"Though he deems it necessary to bridge the budget deficit, Coburn made clear he doesn't think raising tax revenues will help the economy."
"But to me, I think they're arguing over semantics," he said. "$800 billion is $800 billion. It's still going to be a negative drag on the economy."
Sounds good to me. I could argue here that according to the CBO the rate hikes on the wealthy would cut at most .1% of GDP and that would be only temporary. For more see Evan Soltas:
I also don't necessarily care about "tax reform" if it's the wrong type. Reagan and Tip O'Neil "reformed" the tax code in 1986, however, it was mostly for the worst. Cutting "loopholes" hurt middle class families by taking away your ability to deduct other kinds of interest, etc.
The only good thing was raising the capital gains and dividend taxes and Clinton let the GOP cut them back in 1997 and then Bush cut them even more in 2001.
You wonder what these comments by Coburn means. He's a Senator, so his vote is not what's at issue-it's the House than counts. Still, he is the first Republican to publicly say he'd prefer to hike rates over cutting deductions-Tom Cole did say the GOP should simply raise the rates out of political expediency if nothing else.
No matter how you look at it, another chink in the armor can only be welcome.