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Coburn Links Occupy Wall Street, Tea Party to Lack of Washington Leadership Coburn Links Occupy Wall Street, Tea Party to Lack of Washington Leade...

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Congress / CONGRESS

Coburn Links Occupy Wall Street, Tea Party to Lack of Washington Leadership

Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla.: A longtime deficit hawk, Coburn recently told The Oklahoman that politics could stall the negotiations. “The question has to be: Do you want to solve the problems of the country or do you want to look good politically?” he said. “If the answer is we want to look good politically, we’re toast as a nation.”(Chet Susslin)

photo of Sophie Quinton
October 19, 2011

Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., said on Wednesday that he sees a “big difference” between the Tea Party movement and the Occupy Wall Street protests, but that both groups share a common anxiety: lack of leadership in Washington. 

"The fact is, everybody in America’s anxious because there’s no leadership," Coburn said on MSNBC's "Morning Joe." "Everybody's looking for some certainty and some clarification about the future, but there's no leadership from either party. Nobody will put out a vision that says: we can come together in this country and we can solve our problems."

In comparing Occupy Wall Street and the Tea Party, Coburn said that "one is kind of an organized group of people that are highly frustrated," and "the other has been a groundswell that has been building for a long time." He then clarified: the group that represents a "groundswell" is the Tea Party.

 

Politicians on the left and right have failed to honestly explain the problems the country faces, Coburn said. He emphasized that entitlement programs, for example, will have to be changed in order to remain solvent, but politicians have been unwilling to bring that message to seniors—"the most powerful voting bloc in our country." Coburn said that politicians need to "quit lying to seniors."

In addition to reforming entitlements, Coburn said that Congress must reform the tax code. He suggested that Congress should eliminate the current code altogether, and give itself four months to come up with a plan that’s “simulative to the economy, still slightly progressive” and “fair.”

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