I just got back from listening to the straight-shooting Senator, err, Doctor* from Oklahoma speak at the Heritage Foundation. Unlike most speeches in DC, this one made sense and had a clear message:
Dr. Coburn’s diagnosis: The government is inefficient and rife with career politicians; representatives in DC care more about themselves than their country. Dr. Coburn’s medicine: Just say NO to the ultimate “gateway drug” – earmarks. Such cowardly insertions of pork into the appropriations process is the ultimate slap in the face to the American public. A great quote from the good doctor captures the crux of the issue: “All you have to do is read the Constitution; it tells us exactly what to do … that’s the genius of our system.”
In other words, hey Congress, read your handbook. Above all, the best part of Coburn’s speech today was the parallel he drew between the fiscal policy on the Hill (or rather the lack thereof) to the tortured ownership of an expensive SUV. Basically, says Coburn, politicians in DC are trying every which way to squeeze enough money out of the taxpayer so that Uncle Sam can continue to pay for his very expensive SUV and the very expensive gas it guzzles. What we need to do, Coburn says, is chuck that extravagant SUV for a more modest and affordable minivan that our founders intended for us. In other words, hey Congress, spend within your means. Sadly, I didn’t see any of the good Doctor’s colleagues in the crowd taking notes. *Senator Coburn actually prefers to be addressed as Doctor … and who can blaim him?