March 22nd, 2009
03:41 PM ET
3 years ago

Gregg: 'This country will go bankrupt'

GOP Sen. Judd Gregg warned Sunday that the country might be headed for a fiscal crash if spending isn't controlled.
GOP Sen. Judd Gregg warned Sunday that the country might be headed for a fiscal crash if spending isn't controlled.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Even though he was almost a member of the new Obama administration, New Hampshire Republican Judd Gregg Sunday slammed President Obama’s approach to handling the country’s fiscal outlook.

Watch: Gregg warns of fiscal 'crash'

“The practical implications of this is bankruptcy for the United States,” Gregg said of the Obama’s administration’s recently released budget blueprint. “There’s no other way around it. If we maintain the proposals that are in this budget over the ten-year period that this budget covers, this country will go bankrupt. People will not buy our debt, our dollar will become devalued. It is a very severe situation.”

Gregg, known as one of the keenest fiscal minds on Capitol Hill, also told CNN Chief National Correspondent John King that he thought it was “almost unconscionable” for the White House to continue with its planned course on fiscal matters with unprecedented actual and projected budget deficits in the coming years.

“It is as if you were flying an airplane and the gas light came on and it said ‘you 15 minutes of gas left’ and the pilot said ‘we’re not going to worry about that, we’re going to fly for another two hours.’ Well, the plane crashes and our country will crash and we’ll pass on to our kids a country that’s not affordable.”


Despite his criticism of Obama’s approach to the long-term finances of the country, Gregg praised how Obama’s top economic lieutenants are trying to get the sick banking system back to health.

“They’re doing the right things,” Gregg said about embattled Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and White House economic adviser Larry Summers. “They haven’t done it as definitely as they should have . . . but they are moving in the right direction and the Fed is moving in the right direction,” Gregg said on CNN’s State of the Union.

Gregg broke ranks with some of his fellow Republicans and said he did not think Geithner should step down from his Cabinet post.

On the recent scandal of more than $150 million in bonuses paid to the AIG employees whose work pushed the financial giant to the brink of collapse, Gregg criticized the plan afoot on Capitol Hill to tax those bonuses at very high rates. But, Gregg pointed out that the Obama administration and, to some extent, the Bush administration before it failed to “discipline” the bonuses paid out by AIG, which is now 80 percent owned by the federal government.

The Republican senator was appointed to be Obama’s Commerce Secretary but then bowed out unexpectedly, citing policy differences with the Democratic administration.

soundoff (494 Responses)
  1. Anonymous

    Mr.Gregg this country is already bankrupt, maybe you had better wake up.Thanks to Mr.Bush.

    March 22, 2009 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  2. Connie from Indiana

    Mr.Gregg this country is already bankrupt, maybe you had better wake up.Thanks to Mr.Bush.

    March 22, 2009 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  3. Ren from Baltimore

    If it weren't for people just like Gregg, using the system to line their pockets (as he continues to do with the former Portsmouth, NH military base turned into commercial property he and his brother largely control now), we would be able to face our children about their future.

    That was along sentence, which is what Gregg and his type should be serving. Leave our country alone, leave our future alone, give back what you have jiggered out of the system, and hide yourselves.

    March 22, 2009 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  4. carlo

    Gregg is a wussie, and someone who put the interests of his party above serving his country. He voted for every idiotic law Bush put before him, so I think he is the last person that should comment on anything.

    March 22, 2009 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  5. Bonnie in Colorado

    Again, Obama is showing that everything is his way. He knows nothing about budgets and is running amok. The garden at the White House is a publicity stunt. We are not stupid out here in the trenches.

    March 22, 2009 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  6. Jerry

    If Judd Gregg cares so much about America's economic troubles, he should've risen about partisan games and joined the Obama administration. THAT is how you make a difference, now he's just sitting around and joining in with all the other unAmerican naysayers. Screw Judd Gregg, he cares more about his party than he does about America. That goes for about 99% of the GOP. Screw 'em and their opinions.

    March 22, 2009 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  7. Tyran

    WHAT IS THE ALTERNATIVE!!! Do we just stimulate nothing and watch the country fall apart? Do we NOT invest in education? I'd ratther live in a broke country with EDUCATED people than a moderately broke country that has NO education system. And his anology is WRONG!!! It's like were are running out of fuel and their over the Mountians. There is no where to land, so our only hope is to try to find a way to keep flying. The other side has no soultion to this nations problems, bu they sure as heck was the cause!

    March 22, 2009 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  8. Rob Stumpf

    Obama's liberal supporters will answer complaints that Obama is bankrupting us the same way they always do when responding to criticism of him:

    1) He's just started.

    2) People that don't like him are racist.

    3) Bush, Bush, Bush.

    4) Isn't Barry cool?

    And meanwhile, our country IS going bankrupt. For Barry's supporters, the lights are on, but obviously no one is home.

    March 22, 2009 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  9. Jeff Spangler, Arlington, VA

    Christina Romer this morning on Fox News was a distinctly underwhelming advocate for her boss, almost as mediocre a communicator as the clenched-teeth Geithner and testy Summers. Not that we expect economists to be entertaining, but they don't seem to be able to explain complex concepts in a clear dumbed-down way for an old lawyer like me, much less most other citizens.

    March 22, 2009 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  10. kent

    The USA is bankrupt – morally, spiritually and now financially.

    March 22, 2009 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  11. Joanna

    Do not put this crap on Obama. You people are responsible for this! We will not forget it. At least Obama is trying to get our country back where it belongs. You should have stopped bush!

    March 22, 2009 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  12. Marsha

    Be a part of the solution not a part of the problem....will all the Repub talking heads please shut up!!!!!

    March 22, 2009 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  13. Sam

    Sen. Judd Gregg you have made a bold statement but I have one question that should be asked of everyone that criticizes Pres. Obama's plans.

    Where is your "detailed" alternative plan to fix the economy, banks, autos and stop the recession?

    Also please do not say "Tax cuts/credits" alone will solve everything including cancer.

    March 22, 2009 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  14. Luis

    Give me a Mr. Gregg is out there for the politics. Please...

    March 22, 2009 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  15. dan

    i thought that was the red and blue plan it just gives the last of our money to different people who dont care about the country or its people.

    March 22, 2009 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  16. Luis

    Give me a break!!!!!Mr. Gregg is only out there for the politics and the media attention...He is the male version of Sarah Palin..

    March 22, 2009 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  17. jusval

    This country will be bankrupt......... Ya think?
    Could have figured that out 8 years ago, idiot.

    March 22, 2009 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  18. Pete

    So, the country will be too expensive to live in, eh? Is that why the Republicans' only solution is to cut taxes only for the very wealthy, eliminate unions (thus causing ALL median wages to drop), further encourage insurance companies to drop coverage of people with pre-existing conditions, withdraw all funding for the arts, withdraw all funding for education, withdraw all funding for the environment, oh and invade Iran.

    March 22, 2009 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  19. Will

    This is just the reason that Gregg abandoned his acceptance of the Cabinet post: so he can engage in partisan criticism while standing back and doing absolutely nothing to fix this situation.

    In one to two years when the stimulus and other programs initiated by the Obama administration begin to bear positive fruit, the Republicans will realize that they had their chance to work with our President to make a positive change and instead they squandered it by engaging in the same old partisan bickering and obstructionism.

    March 22, 2009 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  20. JonDie

    From 2001 to 2009, Judd Gregg literally rubber-stamped every failed Bush policy...and now Gregg is warning of a fiscal crisis? What an idiot! I don't know Obama could have considered this creep for a position in the cabinet.

    March 22, 2009 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  21. Him Again?

    Can we truly trust your opinion Mr. Gregg? You were offered a top position to help with rebuilding and regulating our economy, but you put personal ambition and party over choosing the best course for America. Now you spout a doomsday message mixed with some bleak optimism?

    An below average IQ person can make the same conclusions you have. Again where is the meat and sustainable alternatives to your criticisms? Or is this just another attempt to manipulate the American psyche into fear and degradation?

    March 22, 2009 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  22. Molly Weasley

    "Known as one of the fiscal keenest minds on Capitol Hill"? His mind wasn't too keen when he was flailing around, first begging the Obama Administration for the Commerce job, then changing his mind for unclear reasons.

    And he wasn't as worried about national debt when he was supported Bush's tax cuts and the $10 billion a month we spent in Iraq.

    I think Gregg needs to get his GOP talking points right. No doubt he'll be apologizing to Rush Limbaugh for something next.

    March 22, 2009 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  23. Dan

    Newsflash buddy – we are ALREADY Bankrupt...
    we are borrowing money from the chinese.
    Just turn on the TV from time to time, you'll find these things out.

    March 22, 2009 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  24. Al

    Where the hell was Gregg during the last 8 years?

    March 22, 2009 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  25. Charell Williams

    This is very interesting that Gregg slammed the Presidents budget, but then says they are doing almost everything right, however not as definitive as he thinks it should be. I understand Mr Gregg to be one of the keenest minds on the hill. So in this time of uncertainty, not individually, but as a country, he had the position he is now criticizing, and bowed out cause of policy differences with the Democratic party, not differences with the President. I think he should have cast aside those differences and help get this country back to where it needs to be with his expertise instead of giving interviews slamming budgets. Just as President Obama said, "just say no is something you would say to children to help keep them off drugs." "If you have a different approach, share the ideas, but don't just say no and not have an idea or different plan to help with this crisis."

    Charell WIliams.

    March 22, 2009 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
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