Later today, Tom Coburn intends to release his debt plan that includes “increased revenues” through tax reforms. It is a plan that on the surface seems to make a lot of sense. Here are some elements of his plan:

  • $9 trillion deficit-reduction package
  • $1 trillion cut by eliminating special tax breaks, such as the tax subsidy for ethanol
  • $1 trillion cut from the Defense Department budget over the next decade
  • $500 billion cut from other government agencies.
  • $1 trillion saved in federal interest payments over the next nine years by curbing the projected growth of Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. (This likely relates to the social security calculation, as we’ve talked about before.)

Additionally, from Ed Morrissey at Hot Air:

Instead of just hiking taxes or only “closing loopholes,” Coburn wants to lower overall rates while flattening and simplifying the system. That takes some of the sting out of revenue increases and gives both parties something to win. Republicans get their tax reform and simplification, and Democrats get to take credit for more “fairness” through the elimination of arcane tax deductions, especially in the corporate tax code. That kind of compromise has been easily achievable — and almost entirely ignored by the White House.

Simplifying the tax system and removing some of the government’s centralized planning, also known as the game of picking and winners and losers, also known as subsidies, are both things I would like to see. In the case of Coburn’s plan, as far as what we know prior to its release later today, I can absolutely accept these “revenue increases” as part of what the President would call a “balanced plan“, though these are not the revenue increases he is looking for.

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