Editorial: Coburn, Lankford look for waste

For years, former U.S. Senator Tom Coburn, R-Oklahoma, issued an annual waste-in-government report.

After Coburn retired early due to health concerns, Sen. James Lankford, R-Oklahoma, has continued that tradition.

Coburn, labeled “Dr. No” for his fiscal conservatism in the Senate, became famous for exposing the “bridge to nowhere” in Alaska. It was a graphic example of the extreme waste in federal spending as a multi-million-dollar bridge was financed to an island with only a handful of inhabitants who didn’t even want a bridge.

After Coburn exposed this boondoggle, ethics charges were filed against him because he occasionally would practice medicine when he came home from Washington to Muskogee.

The message was clear – don’t point out government waste.

Now Lankford, who is running for re-election in 2016, has shown similar courage in exposing rampant waste.

Thanks to the policies of Barack Obama, America is approaching a national debt of $19,000,000,000,000.00 (that’s 19 trillion dollars). Part of that is due to the rapid rise of entitlements and a big chunk is waste.

Almost all congressmen don’t want to point out this problem because it might mean losing pork barrel projects in their own district or state. Coburn always included examples from Oklahoma. Sen. Rand Paul, Sen. John McCain, Sen. Jeff Flake and Sen. Steve Russell have joined Lankford in the report.

Lankford pointed out that the federal government spent $375,000 to study the “dating habits of senior citizens.”

Those senior citizens would rather have a tax break than a study with an obvious or unneeded conclusion.

The legacy of Tom Coburn lives thanks to Lankford.