In an exclusive video interview with The Daily Caller, Oklahoma Republican Sen. Tom Coburn said the Occupy Wall Street movement is “proposing the end of our country” by advocating for the “mass redistribution of wealth.”
Coburn said the American people are “tired” of the protest movement primarily because of the “vile” behavior of participants, which he said was more outlandish than Vietnam War demonstrations.
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“America is already tired of Occupy Wall Street,” said Coburn. “They’ve seen the vast majority are great people but they have attracted a fringe group that are both law breakers, inconsistent with their message, they haven’t controlled it and the fact is, you’ve never seen violence like this, law breaking like this and some of the vile stuff that’s occurred in any other political group in this country in my lifetime.”
Coburn told TheDC that “even the Vietnam War demonstrations, you didn’t see some of this kind of stuff.”
“There is a problem with the shrinking middle class in this country but the way to do that isn’t to tear apart the successful people in this country,” he said. “The way to do that is to create better and greater opportunity for everybody else to be one of those people. Theirs is an antithesis to capital formation and growth and hard work.”
According to Coburn, “they want mass redistribution of wealth, saying, ‘I don’t have to earn it, you’ve got to give it to me.’ And when you have that, republics fail and what they’re proposing is the end of our country.” (RELATED: Daily Caller reporters assaulted by NYPD during Occupy protests)
Coburn recently authored a report called “Subsiding of the Rich and Famous” in which he identified $30 billion in tax “giveaways” and federal grants given to millionaires.
Some media outlets described Coburn’s report as similar in intent to the Occupy Wall Street movement, but the senator himself sees no similarities.
“The top one percent pay 38 percent of federal taxes. The top 20 percent pay 80 percent of federal taxes,” he said, dismissing the notion. “The real problem is we’ve got a federal government that’s totally outgrown it’s bounds, totally outside of the Constitution, that’s highly inefficient, that’s wasting 5-7 trillion dollars a year — pure waste,” said Coburn.
“I’m not with Occupy Wall Street at all. I don’t agree with their under premise but I do want to do the things that are smart that will get our budget under balance,” he said. “Before we tax people that are paying the vast majority of the taxes in this country, more, what we ought to do is take away the subsides we’re giving them and make it plain that we can’t afford to continue to give them a subsidy and really take care of those that are needed in the country so the premise is totally opposite of that.”
When asked if the “Occupy” movement has any similarities to the tea party movement, Coburn said the two have a “completely different philosophy.”
“One is pro-Constitution, limited government, more liberty, and the other is life isn’t fair, I’m getting cheated. You owe me something,” he said.