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This book is so great Okay, so it does lag a bit at timeswith all those numbers, lists, plans and the like But Coburn very clearly describes the issues our country is facing and comes up with solutions He s merciless in his critiques.but I learned so much and all of it detailed and supported.If you re interested in the future of our country and the issues financial and political we face then read this book I walked away shocked at the level of political corruption yet somehow not surprised. Gold standard for fiscal responsibility.I admire his willingness to work with anyone who will reduce federal government spending.Every once in a while this book falls into I need to show my conservative credentials rather than advancing the goal of eliminating federal debt.Wish that he had addressed the argument that U.S Savings Bonds are needed in the market. In this powerful book Sen Coburn does than point out our nation s enormous debt, deficit, entitlement and tax problems, but concludes by offering suggestions to solve these worrisome challenges in ways that should suit the poor and help everyone else.A shocking quote at the start of Chapter One is from Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff under President Obama, June 24, 2010 Our national debtis our biggest national security threat Incidentally, on PBS s Charlie Rose I saw Secretary James Baker say, We re broke June, 2012 In his book, Sen Coburn writes that America is already bankrupt These statements may be and are unsettling, but the light at the end of the tunnel is the chance we have to elect Governor Romney and a host of Republicans at all levels.But first, the bad news, which is that we are in a spending and entitlement crisis our government debt and entitlement obligations are already slowing our economy by twenty five to thirty three percent In my opinion, the Obama administration s trillion dollar plus deficits over the last three and a half years have suppressed the economy rather than stimulated it Perhaps if our country had been at a low or moderate debt level, his policies might have worked This spending binge must stop I realize that both Republicans and Democrats have lacked spending discipline.To get the latest figures on our government obligations, do a Google search for the U S Debt Clock Right now the U S National Debt is 15,801,265.5 , and increasing as Gross Domestic Product GDP is 15,217,191, Unfunded liabilities Social Security, prescription drugs and Medicare total 119 trillion I invite you to review that website from time to time to attempt to grasp the magnitude of our very precarious position.Almost a third of our debt is held by foreigners In April 2011 Standard and Poor s SP , one of the larger rating agencies, downgraded the United States long term credit outlook from stable to negative, and in August they reduced our rating from AAA to AA.The continuing crisis in Europe shows in real time the effects of high government debt and obligations That can and will happen to us unless we take decisive actions, such as the author suggests.The world will have a liquidity crisis soon sometime in 2013 when the planet s liquid assets 9 trillion won t be enough to fund sovereign debt requirements around 13 trillion , a situation that will push interest rates up The government may try to inflate its way out by printing money as it has done already, but if such a course of action is tried, much of our life savings will be wiped out In the final stage, the bottom would fall out of the middle class Unemployment would soar, while the cost of living would increase Around the world Senator Coburn and I see the fall of the International Welfare State, including Greece, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Ireland and Japan all in serious risk of default There is a very real possibility of a worldwide depression.My calculation from the U S Debt Clock of our national debt 15.8 trillion to our Gross Domestic Product 15.2 trillion is just over 100 percent The book described a debt to GDP ratio of 90 percent as dangerous Careerism on the part of our elected officials is cited as the root cause of our present state Republicans and Democrats have lavished the government s money in ways that they figured would allow them to stay in office, practically at any cost Why do they want to stay They are surrounded and courted by staff, lobbyists, party leaders, and special interest groups And there are all kinds of perks.The Constitution has been largely ignored over the last few decades, as career politicians concentrated on the next election with unsustainable debt as the result Earmarks such as the expensive the bridge to nowhere in Alaska demonstrate sadly the careerism and parochialism obtaining federal spending for one s own district or state, usually referred to as pork barrel spending.To quell the myth that there is a continuing stalemate in Washington, Sen Coburn writes, Our economy is on the brink of collapse not because politicians can t agree, but because they have agreed for decades Getting our country in fiscal shape will require that politicians learn to say no President Reagan in his first inaugural address, 1981, said, In this present crisis government is not the solution to our problem government is our problem I firmly believe that Governor Romney could step forward and lead a host of Republicans in 2013 in a manner like President Reagan On the other hand, President Obama is part of the problems.Our government itself is in dire need of kind, but firm and extensive innovation The stimulus simply didn t work Part of the money, 535 million, went to Solyndra, a solar power company that went bankrupt One of the administration s key donors had a financial stake in the company Senator Coburn made two key statements We are on the edge of an abyss not because we had too little faith in government but because we had too much faith, and A government that works is a government that is limited Part Two The SolutionThe Tea Party Republicans may be part of the solution Over and over President Obama was given the chance to lead One instance was evident at the time of the report by the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility, known as Simpson Bowles, on how to reduce the deficit, which was closer to President Reagan s 1986 tax reform than President Obama s tax increase proposals President Obama didn t embrace the recommendations According to Senator Coburn, His President Obama decision, I believe, will be remembered as one of the greatest failures of presidential leadership in American history We must not take a chance of future failures If we are to wait until after the 2012 elections, Republicans must win the White House, maintain a solid majority in the House, and win about sixty five seats in the Senate to control the national agenda There are answers What is needed is courage to do what is right Senator Coburn and his staff identified 9 trillion in savings over ten years in a 624 page report which he called Back in Black.We should watch and learn from the events unfolding in European countries, such as Spain, which has high and unsustainable yields on government debt, as well as unemployment at 25 percent.Duplication in government spending is an obvious starting point, and Governor Romney is ideal to direct such an endeavor, supported by a Republican Congress We should shrink government, but with thought and planning to assist those who will lose their jobs I believe optional occupational interest tests, ability tests and privately administered outplacement services could allow workers to assume fruitful private sector jobs or self employment.The General Accounting Office said, Reducing or eliminating duplication, overlap, or fragmentation could potentially save billions of taxpayer dollars annually and help agencies provide efficient and effective services Senator Coburn estimates we can save 3 trillion over ten years by ending duplication U S Senator Joe Lieberman said, We can t save Medicare as we know it We can only save Medicare if we change it Unsustainable demographics and benefits confront maintaining entitlements in their current state Medicare is already broke and running on empty So, what is the Medicare solution Senator Coburn gives two answers 1 adjust the eligibility and generosity of the Medicare benefit by relating benefits to income i.e forcing wealthier Americans to pay while raising the retirement age to reflect changing life spans, and 2 transitioning Medicare from a defined benefit to a defined contribution Social Security is now cash flow negative and, Between 2012 and 2013, the program s cash deficits are projected to total 630 billion Senator Coburn tells it like it is It is not that hard to fix these problems The truth is, we have a surplus of solutions, but a deficit of courage President Obama has graphically demonstrated a lack of courage and competence I believe Governor Romney and a host of Republicans at all levels can and will provide solutions.When writing about Obamacare Senator Coburn quotes P J O Rourke, If you think healthcare is expensive now, wait until you see what it costs when it s free He points out that too many doctors are torn between serving their patients and protecting their practices from predatory trial attorneys trying to make a quick buck He estimates that defense medicine costs patients between 650 and 850 billion a year We must repeal Obamacare and put in place systems in which the doctor and patient work through a free market with competition, transparency and choice.As to reforming taxes, the rich simply don t have enough money to pay all the bills As Margaret Thatcher said, The problem with socialism is that you always run out of other people s money We must make our tax system simple, understandable and affordable As Representative Paul Ryan said, Every dollar that businesses spend lobbying for a better tax deal, is a dollar they re not spending on making a better product There are twenty seven countries in the world that now have simple, flat taxes and nations are considering them.A key point is, Tax simplicity would redirect money in and out of the government away from tax compliance toward useful pursuits, increasing our nation s productivity The risk takers, entrepreneurs and job creators would benefit rather than politicians, lobbyists, and such.In 1986 President Reagan passed tax reform that closed many loopholes, lowered tax rates, simplified the tax code and started a twenty five year period of solid growth Federal tax revenues soared Tax reform was accomplished then with spectacular results President Obama lacks the expertise, attitude and constituency to emulate President Reagan s success I believe Governor Romney and a host of Republicans could and would recognize and innovate in our tax system.As to defense, the practice of spreading defense spending all over the country is very wasteful Waste in defense is being funded by our deficits, so such costs must get the kind of scrutiny that we pay to all fiscal areas.Robert Kennedy is quoted in the Conclusion Few men are willing to brave the disapproval of their fellows, the censure of their colleagues the wrath of society Moral courage is a rarer commodity than bravery in battle or great intelligence Yet, it is the one essential and vital quality for those who seek to change a world which yields most painfully to change Washington needs Governor Romney and a host of Republicans to try to live up to Senator Kennedy s incisive words We are in crisis It s not like 9 11 or Pearl Harbor, so easily viewed, but if there weren t such crises in Europe right now, the truth would be upon us.The media should be ashamed of themselves for not covering hard news such as these enormous fiscal problems Too many cover the horse race in policies without any depth in these critical issues.Governor Romney and President Reagan were superb professionals in the finest sense I see in Governor Romney the deep intelligence and motivation that President Reagan possessed In President Obama, however, I see a masterful politician who is drastically lacking in leadership and competence for the innovation that has been and is needed.In Governor Romney I see a moral leader who will make his decisions, based on what s right for the country and its future He has a long track record of accomplishment.Our country has many challenges and Governor Romney points out one illegitimate birth it was seven percent in the 1960s, but has skyrocketed to forty percent now The Great Society destroyed many families by taking away their self reliance.Ann Romney volunteered at a school for at risk girls When she asked the class how many wanted to go to college almost every girl raised her hand Then she asked the class, How many of you want to have a baby before you graduate from high school Again, almost all raised their hands, indicating they had not made the vital disconnect between those goals.Governor Romney points out that the American people are, in general, quite hard working with hours than the Germans and French Americans are also risk takers He told the story of a young person he tried to hire But the gentleman had an idea for a business and turned Mr Romney down Years later Governor Romney saw the gentleman, who was by then worth 25 billion, having earned his fortune through Microsoft He had taken a chance.The role of the electorate is to seek honest, capable, wise, visionary leaders I believe that Governor Romney fits the bill He s honest and frank, and courageous it takes a lot of courage to write about illegitimate births I also see the wisdom of President Reagan in Governor Romney He s a moral, genuine person who can solve, with the help of other Republicans, the immense problems ahead.We are in a frontier in terms of our nation s financial, educational and family status President Obama had his chance and he has not accomplished very much of substance And his fiscal and financial actions have been dismal I believe that Ronald Reagan was a decent gentleman with vision, and the same is true of Mitt Romney.The elections in the United States will be scrutinized around the world, much, much, than the elections in Greece I hope and pray that the American people will see what I see. This book will scare you in the fact that we think our nation is secure and strong, but the reality is that we are drowning in debt The author a former senator from Oklahoma talks about how we got into this mess He also talks about how we can get out of it as well.Here are a list of the main reasons we continue to accumulate debt Careerism, politicians that won t do the right thing because they want votes and are afraid to stand up to the public because they won t be voted back into office Entitlement programs, aren t closely monitored as well as they should be Medicare and Social Security could cost this nation greatly Overspending, Earmarks Pork improper spending by congress on things that the nation really doesn t need Government growth, Duplicitiy and government programs that we don t need.Its going to take massive adjustments to the USA to tip the scales towards lowering the National debt Hopefully we can come together as nation to figure these things out. I actually got fooled into reading this book seeing the 4 and over ratings on Goodreads without realizing that there were only 80 of them But strangely I do not completely regret reading this book as much as I thought I would, especially, because it is written by an active politician I only picked up the book in the first place just to know the extent of debt that US actually owes and to some extent, this book did give me a better picture of that topic Anyways, Tom Coburn mainly targets Career Politicians in this book and also describes various issues like Inflation, Healthcare, Tax Reformation that are driving US to bankrupting itself according to him Most of his plans sounded sensible to me and they convey the long held belief of lot of Republicans of limited government He gives quite a few examples of wasteful spending and of government programs that do the same thing that an earlier proposed program does I found the entire chapter on Affordable Care Act and his proposed alternatives silly especially with the recent developments in Obamacare Although, I personally believe it is a slippery slope at the moment, I do not really know the complete market and the economics to comment on this further Overall, Dr Tom Coburn yes he is a doctor and a cancer survivor came across as a politician with good intentions and with some of the views that I have started liking about what Government stands for Libertarian He came across as someone who walks the talk Having said that, I would like to point out to other readers that good intentions doesn t necessarily mean right policies and in his own views, every politician enters politics with noble intentions So tread carefully and make up your own mind if at all you are thinking of reading this one. If I could rate The Debt Bomb 2.5 stars, I would It was better than o.k., and I did like much of what Dr Senator Coburn had to say but not enough to give it 3 stars I liked a lot of Coburn s ideas about how to solve our national debt problem Although he doesn t delve too deeply into the subtle details of any of his plans for doing so here, he frequently references the other works he s produced in recent years that do present the details and are probably suitable reads for policy wonks and citizens who have time on their hands to try to influence the workings of Congress than I currently have Of course, referencing his other works could be considered a self serving sales pitch, but since I obtain most of my books audiobooks through my local public library, I was able to disregard them as merely a minor annoyance One thing that surprised me about the book was the amount of time Coburn devotes to talking about how to change Congress and the way it works, which is pretty much the cornerstone of his argument on how to fix the debt problem if we want to change how Congress spends money, we have to fundamentally change Congress.There are 2 main reasons I wasn t able to rate The Debt Bomb 3 stars 1 Despite initial efforts to present his argument as objective and noninflammatory, Coburn can t wholly refrain from coming close to demonizing Congressional Liberals Progressives and their favored policies, although I give him credit for trying to hold back and for heaping some of the blame on his fellow Conservatives and Republicans 2 The overall tone of the book ultimately becomes too shrill Coburn doesn t really come that close to matching the volume and irrationality of popular talk radio conservatives, but toward the end he starts to turn it up, and if the book had been 50 pages longer, it may ve become too unbearable for reasonable readers to finish or to give his arguments much credence. Aside from a few of the graphs in this book being indecipherable to me, it was really a surprisingly readable work The American people need sentinels in the Congress like Tom Coburn in order to effect budgetary change.Chapter after chapter, Coburn shows how the government has overstepped its original bounds and how our current crop of career politicians on both sides of the aisle has no interest in reining in spending because it can hurt their changes of re election There s a huge culture of tit for tat approval of earmarks while politicians openly complain about others wasteful spending There is plenty of unnecessary duplication of programs, needless bureaucracy, waste and abuse, and no one is keeping track of anything, and in fact, even pre Obamacare, the government is so immense that no one can tell where the money is going.Coburn doesn t pull any punches in saying that our entitlement programs in this country MUST be reformed by raising the age of eligibility, means testing, requiring individual contribution, and cracking down on waste, fraud, and abuse His assertions are backed up with both economic data and anecdotal instances ie, BHO saying that I can t guarantee checks will go out on Aug 3 2011 if we don t raise the debt ceiling.He also offers alternatives to the Affordable Care Act, which will require everyone to buy coverage but won t increase access to actual care, and astutely he s been a physician for 30 years points out how this program will make Medicaid and Medicare worse than they already are He pinpoints many areas where the Department of Defense can reasonably be scaled back, especially with regard to civilian contracting, streamlining production, and modifying programs like Tricare for Retirees. *Download Book ↟ The Debt Bomb ☞ In A Nation Whose Debt Has Outgrown The Size Of Its Entire Economy, The Greatest Threat Comes Not From Any Foreign Force But From Washington Politicians Who Refuse To Relinquish The Intoxicating Power To Borrow And Spend Senator Tom Coburn Reveals The Fascinating, Maddening Story Of How We Got To This Point Of Fiscal Crisis And How We Can EscapeLong Before America S Recent Economic Downturn, Beltway Politicians Knew The US Was Going Bankrupt Yet Even After Several So Called Change Elections, The Government Has Continued Its Wasteful Ways In The Face Of Imminent Danger With Passion And Clarity, Coburn Explains Why Washington Resists Change So Fiercely And Offers Controversial Yet Commonsense Solutions To Secure The Nation S FutureAt A Time When Millions Of Americans Are Speculating About What Is Broken In Washington, The Debt Bomb Is A Candid, Thoughtful, Non Partisan Expos Of The Real Problems Inside Our Government Coburn Challenges The Conventional Wisdom That Blames Lobbyists, Gridlock, And Obstructionism, And Places The Responsibility Squarely Where It Belongs On Members Of Congress In Both Parties Who Won T Let Go Of The Perks Of Power To Serve The True Interests Of The Nation Unless Enough Citizens Take Bold Steps To Demand Action Democracy Never Lasts Long It Soon Wastes, Exhausts, And Murders Itself There Was Never A Democracy Yet That Did Not Commit Suicide John AdamsThroughout A Distinguished Career As A Business Owner, Physician, And US Senator, Tom Coburn Has Watched His Beloved Republic Careen Down A Suicidal Path Today, The Nation Stands On The Precipice Of Financial Ruin, A Disaster Far Dangerous To Our Safety Than Any Terrorist Threats We Face Yet Coburn Believes There Is Still Hope If Enough Americans Are Willing To Shake The Corridors Of Washington And Demand ActionWith An Insider S Keen Eye And A Caregiver S Deft Touch, Coburn Diagnoses The Mess That Career Politicians Have Made Of Things While Misusing Their Sacred Charge To GovernCoburn S Incisive Analysis Reveals The Root Causes Of America S Escalating Financial Crisis Exposes Washington S Destructive Appetite For Wasteful Spending, Power Grabs, Backroom Deals, And Quick Non Fixes Rises Above Partisanship To Implicate Elected Officials Of All Stripes In Steering The Nation Off Course Lays Out A Commonsense Guide To Restoring Order Concludes With A Clarion Call And Sound Advice For Americans Who Would Dedicate Themselves To Defusing The Debt Bomb Above All, Coburn Believes The United States Can Continue As A Beacon Of Opportunity For Future Generations But How We Act Today Will Determine Whether We Deliver The Nation To Our Children And Grandchildren Fully Alive, On Life Support, Or Without A Pulse Senator Coburn takes it to both Republicans and Democrats in describing the economic mess that has been created by careerists in Washington whose votes are based on winning the next election rather than defusing The Debt Bomb Coburn clearly defines the dysfunction in Washington today and identifies both problem and potential solution to the same economic calamity awaiting the U.S that has destroyed other powerful nations That being, excessive debt.It is not a stretch to understand that a great many of our elected legislators have little or no experience in business, economics, budgets, or solving problems Examples laid out in the book certainly support the label of laziness that appears to have been earned by Senators and Representatives alike Courage to present the change required is hard to find in an environment dominated by this is how we ve always done it Republicans, Democrats, and Independents would all do well to read this book Limiting government is not about creating the Wild West, but about returning the responsibility and power to the people Do we dare take responsibility for ourselves and our country At least Coburn provides solid, specific ideas rather than passing the buck like most elected officials We deserve and should demand the same from ALL our representatives. Dr Tom Coburn as far as I know is the only senator that is also a physician Ran and Ron Paul are Congressmen and his views in The Debt Bomb are worthy of attention He is an admirable guy who has delivered over 2000 babies, and also gave back his extra cash per diem that he did not spend on his first trip as a Senator buy writing a check back to the Federal Reserve It may be a fair assesment that Republicans have no plan for the 2012 election except The economy is bad, Obama didn t fix it, we can do better.Coburn is bold enough to offer a plan and take the political fallout1 The Problem Careerism Most politicians go into politics with noble plans, but soon do what they have to do to get elected.2 He uncovered the Bridge to Nowhere in Alaska..and accepts no pork barrel projects for his own state of Oklahoma.3 He intends to serve one term and then out..to not fall trap to Careerism4 Check out his ideas back in Black a road to stop Washington from Bankrupting America..he ll cut defense spending, raise the age for SS, and cut entitlements, and cut NASA.I give this book 5 stars..he is analytical and is rightly concerned with the out of control spending that started with the Bush Administration and continues with the Obama Administration.