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. Samantha

    Well what ever happens we can thank the Republican party. President Obama has not been in office 90-days this mess was created by the GOP idiots, and now they want to be concerned. They wasn't concerned when they spent 8 years stealing everything they can get their hands on from the American people. Gregg you and you boys help create this message so who cares what you think. You should have been concerned 4 years ago. The Republican party such hypocrites...

    March 22, 2009 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  2. stevador39

    The bail out started pouring money into Wall Street under George Bush. Obama is continuing the Bush policy. It is socialism for the rich that will ruin this nation. STOP THE BAIL OUT.

    March 22, 2009 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  3. I Am The Great And Powerful Rush Of Oz

    In ten years "one of the keenest minds" (Don't stick your nose up his . . . too far, CNN) will have been proven wrong, like all the other right wing "experts".

    March 22, 2009 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  4. ike

    Gregg, you are a small mind and unthoughtful. If you know the country will go bankrupt and you were offered a position to help stop the bankruptcy why did you decline. Greg you lack the capacity to complain because you are not a competent person by any standard. You are very disappointing to those who elected you.

    March 22, 2009 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  5. Ernestine

    What is wrong with the Kool-Aid drinkers? I find it refreshing from the last 8 years

    March 22, 2009 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  6. Rebecca S.

    If only Ron Paul was in office, we would have real solutions right now.

    March 22, 2009 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  7. Janet

    Teeny tiny question: What was Obama doing while he was in the Senate? Oh, that's right - running for president and taking thousands of campaign contributions from AIG and Fanny & Freddie!

    March 22, 2009 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  8. Lisa, Austin,Texas

    Mr. King,

    Where are the tough probing questions? If the format of your show is to push the right's agenda, then you are success. Last week Dick Cheaney, and now Mr. Doom and Gloom. Is it your intention to fill the void left by that looney Glenn Beck? At least Hannity, and Olbermann are not pretending to be hard hitting journalist on a fair and balanced credible news program. You owe veiwers much more than you are delivering,

    March 22, 2009 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  9. David F. McBride

    Where was Judd Gregg when Bush was bankrupting the country? Where was his outrage when Bush started the 'socialist' intervention with banks? He's saavy enough that he would never be re-elected in blue New Hampshire.

    March 22, 2009 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  10. Brad

    Who in their right mind ever took Cheney seriously?

    March 22, 2009 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  11. Marc

    CNN, you need to back up and take a hard look at the one-sided reporting you're now doing. My guess is that since Obama's team is working 15+ hours a day trying to clean up the old mess, only the do-nothing Republicans are available for interviews... now THAT's fair and impartial!

    Gregg lost his right to complain or comment when he buckled to the "lets make Obama fail" Republican party heads and decided not to help. If he truly believes what he says and truly wanted to help the country, he should have rolled up his sleaves, resisted Limbaugh's pressure, and jumped in to help... he didn't... he wimped out... so go crawl back to your hole, Gregg.

    March 22, 2009 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  12. jirwin

    This country is already bankrupt, of ideas. Stupid democrats are so angry at Bush that they let it blind them of the obvious. We are simply repeating the same mistakes the Japanese made during their lost decade, but we're too arrogant and stupid to avoid it.

    To all you Bush haters out there, we agree, Bush's "ownership society" was a completely failed liberal policy. But to suggest he alone is to blame this mess on is just so ridiculously simple minded. Give me a break.

    Dem's have been in charge of this bail-out mess since day 1. They wrote TARP, and they have failed in providing proper over-sight, just as they failed in over-seeing FNMA and Freddie. These bail-outs have been a complete failure in all respects, but instead of debating if there is any merit to Gregg's argument stupid dem's simply condemn anyone for challenging the word of the chosen one.

    BTW, there was an alternative to this bail-out mania, and its called bankruptcy, which is not the same as insolvency. Oh, but had we had done that Gold Sach's wouldn't have gotten 10's of billions of side money via AIG money laundering, and their stock wouldn't be near $100. And where exactly did Geitner/Paulson come from anyway? Oh, but I forgot, this is all Bush's fault. Again, give me a break.

    March 22, 2009 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  13. Minesh

    WAKE UP!
    Before posting a comment regarding Republicans or Democrats, ask this simple question –
    Is going deeper into debt a good thing when we don't know how to pay for the debt? Obviously NOT.
    So we all must oppose the Government before they spend any more money. For those people who think that the government's main job is to spend our hard-earned money – STOP.
    You should spend your money and not the politicians who want to pay their lobbyists

    March 22, 2009 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  14. Texas Teacher

    Clearly we have a lot of Limbaugh devotees here at the end! Babble your Limbaugh trash as long as you want, but don't forget that he was the very one who said that no one had a right to tell big business what to do with their money..... THEIR MONEY.... NOT our TAX DOLLARS!

    Rush Limbaugh is so obviously in the pocket of big business that he can hardly walk... much less anything else! The man is a pawn of the lobbists.... nothing more!

    Amazing how different these bozos on the Right measure Obama's 2 months to Bush's 8 years! Hypocrits! Bush, of course, has become a Saint... responsible for nothing!!

    March 22, 2009 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  15. Cashman

    Where was this genius for the last 8 years and when McCain was saying the fundimentals of the economy are strong? The country drove toward bankruptcy by the government going to war on borrowed money, by giving tax breaks to the wealthiest rather than paying off their debt while many average Americans, ate too much, bought too much useless junk, did too many drugs and didn't pay their bills either.

    March 22, 2009 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  16. jimatmadison

    "anon" and others point out one reason why the GOP is in such trouble. Bill Clinton and other pro-business Dems approved part of the deregulation debacle that helped get us into this mess. It wasn't Republicans that created this financial disaster, it was the entire gamut of Republican principles.

    Everything the GOP stood for was proven wrong, wrong, wrong.

    And now they're standing on the sidelines shouting, pointing, and calling names.

    It's all they're good for anyway. It's what they do best.

    March 22, 2009 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  17. Brian

    hey Judd...I think a more appropriate analogy would be to consider the nation's economy in cardiac arrest & the stimulus plan synonomous to the paddles on a difibrulator. If some attempt to shock it back to life isn't made, we are in deep trouble. Thank God Mr. Obama has the intelligence & courage to make that attempt & the Republicans aren't still in the White House to excercise their standard remedy: tax reduction for those who don't need it, harder times for those whose daily lives are affected by the ups & downs of the economy.

    Thanks for not taking that cabinet position, Mr. Gregg

    March 22, 2009 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  18. the_wiggle

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

    don't forget barterable valuables & WEAPONS. can't keep or barter what you can't defend.

    and do that stockpiling on defensable land. . . .

    March 22, 2009 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  19. hecules

    Why is is it that people are always critizing the current administration; but offer NO NEW IDEAS OR HELP?
    When are people going to learn?
    – LEAD
    – FOLLOW OR
    – GET OUT OF THE WAY

    March 22, 2009 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  20. canadian soccer mom

    Yes, I know, another with the warnings of crashing and bankruptcy. O.K. so what would he do if he was a member of the Obama administration? This I have not heard from any naysayer. They will predict the obvious but offer no solutions.

    March 22, 2009 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  21. MovieBuff

    Duh! Now he's seeing it.

    March 22, 2009 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  22. Schlocktight

    it will make me happy to see gregg, the fox team of idiots, cheny, bush and all the conservatives thieves and investment crooks standing in a bread-line hoping to get a meal.

    March 22, 2009 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  23. Okay

    I did not hear these comments when Bush was actually bankrupting the country. Now that we have a President trying to fix the mess – Shut up!

    March 22, 2009 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  24. Brian Schoenwandt

    Gregg gave up the right to open his fat trap and cry about anything when he cheerleaded Bush policies that added at least 8 trillion to our cumulative account deficit, our cumulative trade deficit, and at least 3 trillion in Social Security surpluses that were stolen that should have been put in the "lockbox" to guarantee the solvency of the system for another 40 + years. Ridiculous to cry now when spending is the only remedy we have left. Him and Boner, I mean Boehner, should go have a good cry somewhere.

    March 22, 2009 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  25. AlRam

    Another Republican eonomic guru is speaking and making predictions. Sen. Judd where were you when the Bush administration was wrecking havoc in our economy. I guess you were supporting them coz I did not hear anything from you. Or maybe you are in coma, ENOUGH!!!!!

    March 22, 2009 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
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