Tom Coburn Blasts Tax Benefits for the Wealthy

Tom Coburn, the Oklahoma senator, is expected to make a full recovery after undergoing surgery for prostate cancer in Tulsa.

Republican Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma released a 37-page report Monday detailing subsidies and loopholes that lead to what he calls “welfare for the well-off.” As reported by the Los Angeles Times, Coburn chose to compile the report in order to identify and explain provisions in the U.S. government that benefit those “least in need of a government safety net.”

“We should never demonize those who are successful,” Coburn writes in the report. “Nor should we pamper them with unnecessary welfare to create an appearance everyone is benefiting from federal programs.”

The senator drew on some of the more outrageous examples of misused government funds, citing $20.8 million given out in unemployment insurance to millionaires in 2009, $16.4 million in subsidized student loans for millionaire college students from 2007 to 2010 and $2.27 billion in mortgage interest deductions for millionaires.

In total, Coburn believes that $9.5 billion of the government’s money has gone to millionaires since 2003.

“From tax write-offs for gambling losses, vacation homes and luxury yachts to subsidies for their ranches and estates, the government is subsidizing the lifestyles of the rich and famous,” the senator wrote.

Coburn wants his report considered by the debt supercommittee, which is currently charged with finding $1.5 trillion to trim from the deficit over the next ten years. The senator himself famously served on President Barack Obama’s bipartisan fiscal commission as well as the so-called Gang of Six.

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