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. Steve - Atlanta

    Instead of being a part of the solution, this guy decided to stand on the side lines and point fingers like all of the other hypocritical Republicans. So why should anyone listen to his doom and gloom...the American people have had enough and if the country does go bankrupt, it will not be due to the current administration who is trying to fix the problems of the last 8 yesrs.

    March 22, 2009 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  2. JC

    All this stimulus money is not invested in America. Most of it went overseas.

    New World Order, We can't openly give money to the EU and UN, but we can give it to our buddies who gave us big campaign contributions (OBAMA, DODD, FRANK and others) and they can do it for us.

    Frank and Dodd should be brought up on criminal charges. Oh yeah, the other guy who writes out tax code but can't follow it should be brought up on charges too, Rangel

    March 22, 2009 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  3. Anthony

    IT amazes me to see how stupidly people are following no common sense... ignoring what our founding fathers warned against...we are doing all the wrong things at every level.

    My parents always advised me to pay my bills on time and avoid excessive debt... now we have a debt and are doing more and more harm to ourselves as a nation... we will collapse economically and could become a third world nation... God owes us nothing to prevent it..

    folks... listen well ...

    PAY EVERYTHING OFF OVER THOSE TEN YEARS AND BUY NOTHING BUT ESSENTIALS... stockpile food in the form of dried goods and canned goods...

    There, common sense. I dare say, we're too busy drinking the Obammian kool aide to listen... all it well and will be okay... keep drinking.

    I don't drink it. Thankfully I am a political diabetic... I don't believe in sweet talk from politicians.

    March 22, 2009 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  4. Nancy

    It's so easy to be an armchair quarterback , Mr Gregg. What I'd like to know is what is your plan? What rescue plan do you (and/or the republican party for that matter) propose to pull this country out of the finiancial mess that we are in??? Is the plan still to give every tax payer $800.00 and ask them to shop at Walmart?? Or is it, once again, to cut taxes on big business and the wealthy so they will "invest in America" and put the millions of unemployed back to work? (Yeh, we've definitely seen how altruistic big business has proven to be over the past eight years.)

    So, what is it?? Give us the plan– Time is ticking.. were waiting.

    March 22, 2009 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  5. joe

    It is funning listening to you Obama Kool-Aid drinkers. Everytime someone makes a negative comment about Obama they must be a disgruntled Bush supporter. Grow up you morons. Take a look at Obama's budget which is 4 times more debt ridden then Bush's. Any Bush's budget included fighting two wars. We are becoming a socialist country very quickly. Be carefull what you ask for

    March 22, 2009 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  6. Meka

    The Country went Bankrupt . . . when we INVADED IRAQ (10 billion a month)

    When Katrinia Hit--what did our Politians do?

    CONGRESS TERM LIMITS . . . 12 YEARS, NO RETIREMENT!

    March 22, 2009 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  7. neil

    Bush pent billions, Obama to spend trillions, this is going to result in 70% tax rate to pay back.

    March 22, 2009 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  8. BAR

    Judd Gregg is another fine example of why the Republican Party is sitting on the sidelines wishing they could get in the game. When they had a chance to set the country on a sound financial course, they chose to give G.W.B. a blank check book and a rubber stamp. Now that they are realizing the error of their ways they are blaming anyone who mentions fixing this economic fiasco. If this country goes bankrupt it will not be the fault of President Obama and the Democrats, it will be the direct result of "trickle down" economics and deregulation of the financial institutions. In other words, this is the house the Republicans built and now it is tumbling down.

    March 22, 2009 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  9. john stenson

    The speed (dare I say haste) of activities seems absurd. I voted for President Obama hoping he was an intellect and not an idealogue. I have been disappointed to see him march in lockstep with the Pelosi-Reid cabal. While he is still a good public speaker (especially in front of adoring crowds) I now question his intellect because I have seen him stumble and bumble (special olympics ???) when he is off script. I think we have troubles ahead and we have the wrong leader at the helm.

    March 22, 2009 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  10. Ally

    Another Republican spouting off. Now that they are is in the minority, they are obsessd with fiscal responsibility. Morons.

    March 22, 2009 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  11. MOJerry

    Mr. Judd:
    Where is your plan? What would you do differently? 8 years under Republician leadership has brought us to this precipice. Failure government, failure policies, corruption and greed. Reagan and Bush administrations have created these problems. I would like to know how you would fix them. We want solutions, not blame games.

    March 22, 2009 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  12. larry l

    This is an example of why Presidents are loath to reach across the isle. The entire Republican Party would sacrifice the good of the nation to discredit the President. Exactly why would we listen to any Republican in regards to the economy? For that matter why listen regarding health care, the environment, the War, climate change, corruption, or immigartion reform? However, if we need expertise consultation on homophobia, corporate pandering, torture techniques, or covert operation of gulags – the GOP is the way to go!

    March 22, 2009 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  13. 90

    It's always Bush's fault. A nation that has no economy cannot wage war against it's enemies. This is the "change" the useful idiots voted for.

    March 22, 2009 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  14. bk

    Obama was in the senate for the last two years and he said absoulutley nothing about any of this , and need I remind you it was a democratic congress for the last two years. It amazes me how people can say oh he knows about the economy. People he has never ran anything not a business, nothing. He has no experience, except reading a teleprompter.. You made Obama up in your minds to what you want him to be, without any facts to back it up. I blame the media for not properly informing the people.

    March 22, 2009 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  15. Dace Tucson AZ

    Yeah he slams Obama but voted for all the bush budgets etc that actually created the destruction of the country. Is there one of the white hood lying party that will ever tell the truth and stop re-writing the history of their total failure? What total cowards!

    March 22, 2009 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  16. Common Sense

    The Dems seemed to have never learned the first rule of holes.... When you are in one..Stop Digging!!!

    March 22, 2009 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  17. Marcia, Marcia, Marcia in CA

    It's hustler politicians like this guy that is killing this country. This guy steered taxpayer money to his developer brother.

    Who is he kidding.

    March 22, 2009 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  18. truthsayer

    Ask gregg how he would fix the mess and he will say......tax cuts for the rich.

    March 22, 2009 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  19. truthsayer

    John King is a Republican right wing enabler

    March 22, 2009 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  20. Zane

    Notice how the Republicans seems to be seeping out of the woodwork with criticism? It's about all they know how to do really well.

    March 22, 2009 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  21. Realistic In Ohio

    I enjoy reading these comments. We have a person who think Ron Paul makes you a 'Domestic Terriorts" Well, that's because we had to have some group to replace those of us who defied The Bush Adminstration war for money and self serving plans and were called "unpatriotic", and the you see ophter comments calling our commander in chief a socialist or commorade. Intersting because the day WE allowed Paulson to bail out his buddies on Wall Street we became questionably akin to socialism by allowing government to own share in our prviate sector at the tax payers expense. And by the way, Obama wasn't President when that happened. So let's be not so selective when we call a spade a spade. You see it doesn't matter which "brand " it is.; it always not about the people.

    Looks our our budget as a country WE ARE BANKRUPT. What's the squablle? This wasn't news it's just another person making headlines who doesn't like not being at the top of the heap. It worked too !

    March 22, 2009 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  22. Larry Schlueter

    It would so great to know the background of some of the responders. Based on their comments, I'm sure I can tell if someone is Conversative or Liberal. I think it is also very easy to tell if the person is paying their real share of income tax. For those paying taxes, there is a much higher degree of intelligence and knowledge of what is now happening. What most of th responders do not understand is the small percentage of taxpayers in this country. So, again we will be having a small (not a majority) paying for the large majority of the rest of the country. No longer is it possible to expect people to accept responsibility for their actions.

    March 22, 2009 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  23. Lexie

    He never noticed anything wrong the past eight years, now he's waking up? Dumb idiot.

    March 22, 2009 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  24. Linda

    Republicans need to stop blaming and come up with something better if they can but I think not. They just want to keep confusion in this country.

    March 22, 2009 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  25. Ed

    This is the same type of thing that happened in 2002-04 when conservatives in Congress were SCREAMING about the dangers posed to the economy by current credit lending practices and the business practices (fraud) at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The liberals screamed back that "there is no problem" and that the housing and credit industries were "just fine." And why wouldn't they...they were getting generous "campaign contributions" from those industries.

    Conservatives were right then and they're right now. We're heading for a disaster...but those rascally liberals, they just can't stop yelling how everything is going to be "just fine." As long as we keep spending and printing money we don't have everything will be just fine. We're going to be like Zimbabwe soon...1 euro will equal 1 billion dollars.

    March 22, 2009 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
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