See this story and this one, which cover Senator Tom Coburn’s efforts to bring excessive government spending to heel by refusing any and all expenditures unless there are appropriate offsets to those expenditures. I am not a fan of term limits but it is impossible to deny that Coburn’s decision to limit himself to two terms has freed him from the need to engage in horsetrading with his colleagues, thus allowing him to completely and gloriously tick off Harry Reid and bring some sanity to the legislative process in the Senate.
Some Senators appear to be upset that Coburn actually has the temerity to, you know, do his homework by actually taking the time to learn the substance of bills and taking the time to master the rules of the Senate so that he can stand up to pork-barrel artists like Reid. The best refutation of this dubious argument comes from the Times article:
“I think Coburn is one of the hardest working senators and maybe one of the smartest,” said Senator Jeff Sessions, Republican of Alabama. “People who read a bill and have constructive suggestions ought to be respected rather than criticized. What the Democrats want to do is intimidate people to give unanimous consent, and that is not in the tradition of the Senate.”
If there were a hundred Tom Coburns in the Senate, the upper body would be a better place. You may not agree with all of his policy prescriptions. But it is pretty hard to deny the fact that your tax dollars would be better spent if more people like Coburn were around.
And what’s more, you probably wouldn’t have to send as much money to Washington to begin with.