Sen. Tom Coburn’s New Book Warns of Economic Crisis
(WASHINGTON) -- The leading Republican budget hawk in the Senate, Sen. Tom Coburn, R-OK., is coming out Tuesday with a new book that provides a harsh critique of Congress and a dire warning for the future economic situation of the nation.
The picture Coburn paints in his new book, The Debt Bomb: A Bold Plan to Stop Washington from Bankrupting America, is not a rosy one of the state of the U.S. Congress. He lambasts the upper chamber as a body that is “heavily sedated” and calls for 90 percent of unproductive members to be fired.
“Congress today is a stagnant pond that needs to be drained and refilled with a steady stream of new public servants,” he writes, according to excerpts provided to ABC News in advance of release. “I’m a fan of the Jack Welch principle in reverse for Congress … fire 90 percent of members every election and only keep the 10 percent who were productive.”
Coburn says that the “root of almost all that ails Washington,” is careerism.
“Careerism is the dark matter of the political universe. It is the unseen force that bends decisions, and character, in ways that defy common sense and obvious explanations,” he writes. "If members of Congress knew their current term would be their last, I have no doubt we could defuse the debt bomb within a matter of days … Bridging the gap between conservatives and liberals is easy compared to bridging the gap between courage and cowardice. ”
Coburn has himself spent 13 years in Congress. He was first elected to the House in 1995 as a 48-year-old doctor, and served three two-year terms before declining to run for a fourth. He was elected to the Senate a few years later in 2004.
Coburn says that the federal debt is now so out of control that doing nothing “is a recipe for mutually assured destruction,” for both parties, which will represent “real betrayal and the heresy” to their constituents.
He says the fiscal threat is greater to the nation, in no uncertain terms, than any foreign army or terrorist network.
The senator refers to the situation facing the nation as, the namesake of his book, a “debt bomb” that is in dire need of being diffused.
As a former doctor, Coburn provides a harsh prognosis. He says that if America were his patient, “I would tell her she had a 100 percent chance of experiencing a major cardiac event -- a potentially fatal heart attack or stroke -- if she failed to take immediate steps to get healthy.”
Getting “healthy” for the nation means getting control of the nation’s debts, he writes. Coburn warns that the nation will face a debt crisis within two years if a long-term deficit reduction plan is not enacted.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio