Sen. Tom Coburn, the kind of funding watchdog Congressman everyone says members of Congress should be unless he is attacking their funding (in which case they want their state to have a Barbara Boxer instead, because she is kooky and thinks every state can bring in more money than they send to Washington, D.C.) has proposed a $9 trillion solution to the federal deficit.

Will it work?  No, there is a lot of porkbarrel on both sides of the aisle, so that is untouchable, and conceding $1 trillion in higher taxes will alienate fellow Republicans and still not move Democrats at all.

How would he do it?   He would push full Social Security benefits back to age 70, cut farm subsidies, Medicare, student aid, housing subsidies for the poor and make veterans pay more for medical care and prescription drugs.   Basically, clobber everyone fairly.   Which is why it can never work.

Sen. Coburn is well-known recently in science media circles for daring to go after the funding Sacred Cow and noting that the billions in waste he noted would actually mean more science funding if it simply were fixed.    Sadly, he was dismissed because he is a Republican and therefore considered anti-science by the militant blogging crowd.

His plan is bold and therefore doomed to fail.   But someone is at least talking common sense.