This a quite a conversation between Hugh Hewitt and Senator Tom Coburn. Hewitt wants Republicans to stand up, speak out and refuse to take the Democrat assaults sitting down. He climbs all over Coburn for not walking out of a meeting with the Gang of Six, when Senator Kent Conrad reportedly said something like “Ryan’s budget is dead on arrival.” Listen for a suggestion from Hewitt that Coburn liked, and then a proposal from Coburn that Hewitt liked, or…if you do not have time for the entire video, here’s a portion:
About Kent Conrad’s refusal to work with Ryan’s budget:
[Hewittt] Then walk away from the table and denounce Kent Conrad as a nice man who is disingenuous, and the Democrats are laying again, and the budget deal was a big lie. And you’re not going to allow yourself to be a part of it
[Coburn] Why would I walk away from the table? It doesn’t change the problems that are in front of our country. You heard a partisan statement. If I walked away from the table every time I heard a partisan statement, it doesn’t mean anything. We’re going to have a debt crisis. We’re either going to face it and do something about it, or we’re going to have a debt crisis and have other people do something about it for us…
HH: Okay, let’s get to brass tacks. I have told you before that I would much rather see a sales tax than anything else in order to get everyone into this game. Is a sales tax on the table in the Gang of Six negotiations.
TC: No, I’m the co-sponsor of the Fair Tax. I’ve been a co-sponsor every year I’ve been in the Senate. It’s not on the table. Tax reform is on the table. And what we can do is we can reform and lower the rates, and then we can buy back, like you’re interested in home mortgages, we can buy them back up.
HH: Now I will never go…we have had that conversation as well, but I’m asking, if you want to expand the tax base, and you want to get everyone into the game, get everyone into the game.
TC: Look, send me some Senators who have some gonads.
HH: But that just means that you are going to be hostage to the least squishy Republicans’ view of what ought to be done, and that’s Dick Darmin. This is the ghost of Dick Darmin back from 1990 to take us over the cliff again.
TC: Well, maybe so. But the point, your answer is, is since we don’t have 60 fiscal conservatives in the Senate, just don’t negotiate.
HH: No, my answer is wait until September, and then back up, all of you go over the House steps as opposed to having the House freshmen come over to your steps, and stand there next to John Boehner, and say Mr. Speaker, do not let them do this again.
TC: What happens in September?
HH: They’ve got to reform Social Security, bloc grant Medicaid, cut Medicare’s approach, I like Paul Ryan’s approach to that…
TC: I agree with you. I like it all, too. Now how are you going to get that done?
HH: You’re just going to stand there, because the American people will stand…not pass a thing. It’s going to come to shutdown, except for defense. You’ve got to pass the Defense appropriation.
TC: Yeah. So how do you pass Defense and not pass anything else?
HH: First thing that the House has got to do, I argued this yesterday with David Dreier, is pass the House Appropriations bill, send it over the Senate, and then every day, Tom Coburn and his buddies ought to go out there and say the United States military ought to be above politics, and you beat them over the head with the media.
TC: I like that plan. I have no problem trying to do that. In the meantime, when QE2 ends, and interest rates start rising, what do we do in the short term?
HH: Honest to goodness, I don’t know, Senator, because you’re right. It’s $300 billion dollars, and nobody understands we’re just going to print it. And that’s going to mean, I don’t know, 10% inflation? Do you think that much?
TC: So let me ask you this. If I could get a true down payment of around $800 billion dollars this year, with a mandate that we get another $3.3 billion dollars, and 85% of it come from cuts, 15% comes from dynamic effects of rate lowering, what would you say to that?
HH: I’d say amen.
TC: Okay, that’s what we’re trying to work on. But if I don’t get something that good, I won’t be going for it.
Read the entire transcript here or watch the video below.
Tom Coburn Interview with Hugh Hewitt on Working with Democrats (video)