March 28th, 2009
12:34 PM ET
9 years ago

Sen. Gregg slams Obama’s budget

Sen. Judd Gregg says Obama's budget is excessive.

Sen. Judd Gregg says Obama's budget is excessive.

(CNN) – Sen. Judd Gregg said the proposals in President Obama’s budget “represent an extraordinary move of our government to the left.”

“It is our opinion that this plan spends too much, taxes too much and borrows too much,” said Gregg, R-New Hampshire, in the weekly Republican address.

“The president to his credit is not trying to hide this; in fact he is very forthright in stating that he believes that by greatly expanding the spending, the taxing and the borrowing of our government, this will lead us to prosperity,” he said.

Gregg said he believes the way to run a sound government is by “working on limiting the growth of government” in a manner that is sustainable.

Gregg said he appreciates the president’s efforts but was concerned about where they would take the country.

“Our nation has an exceptional history of one generation passing on to the next generation a more prosperous and stronger country, but that tradition is being put at risk,” he said.

Obama chose Gregg as his pick for commerce secretary, after New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson withdrew his nomination. Gregg later withdrew his name, citing "irresolvable conflicts" over the administration's stimulus bill and the upcoming 2010 census.

Full text of Republican address after the jump

Full transcript of Senator Gregg’s address:

“Hello, I’m Judd Gregg, Senator from New Hampshire. We all know these are difficult times. People are worried about keeping their jobs, paying their bills, the value of their homes and the cost of sending their kids to college. It’s hard.

“Thus I appreciate, as do all Americans, the efforts being made by our President and his seriousness about addressing these issues.

“But what concerns many of us are his proposals in the budget he recently sent to the Congress that dramatically grow the size and cost of government and move it to the left.

“It is our opinion that this plan spends too much, taxes too much and borrows too much.

“You may have heard this before that the budget of the President spends too much, taxes too much and borrows too much.

“What do we mean? Well, let me give you a few examples.

“In the next five years, President Obama’s budget will double the national debt; in the next ten years it will triple the national debt.

“To say this another way, if you take all the debt of our country run up by all of our presidents from George Washington through George W. Bush, the total debt over all those 200-plus years since we started as a nation, it is President Obama’s plan to double that debt in just the first five years that he is in office.

“He is also planning to spend more on the government as a percentage of our economy than at any time since World War II.

“His budget assumes the deficit will average $1 trillion dollars every year for the next 10 years and will add well over $9 trillion dollars in new debts to our children’s backs.

“He also is proposing the largest tax increase in history, much of it aimed at taxing small business people who have been, over the years, the best job creators in our economy. And further, he is proposing a massive new national sales tax on your electric bill. So that every time you turn on a light switch, in your house, you will be hit with a new tax - and it averages over $3,000 per household.

“These are staggering numbers and represent an extraordinary move of our government to the left.

“The President to his credit is not trying to hide this; in fact he is very forthright in stating that he believes that by greatly expanding the spending, the taxing and the borrowing of our government, this will lead us to prosperity.

“Here of course is where we differ. We believe you create prosperity by having an affordable government that pursues its responsibilities without excessive costs, taxes or debt. That it is the individual American who creates prosperity and good jobs, not the government.

“We believe that you create energy independence not by sticking Americans with a brand new national sales tax on everyone’s electric bill, but by expanding the production of American energy, such as environmentally sound off-shore drilling, nuclear power, wind, solar while also conserving more.

“We also believe you improve everyone’s health care not by nationalizing the health care system and putting the government between you and your doctor, but by assuring that every American has access to quality health insurance and choices in health care.

“We believe that you run a sound and affordable government not by running up the national debt to historic levels and unsustainable levels while over-taxing working Americans and spending as if there is no tomorrow, but rather by working on limiting the growth of government in a manner that is affordable not only today but for the next generation through limiting spending and addressing core issues like the cost of entitlements.

“Our nation has an exceptional history of one generation passing on to the next generation a more prosperous and stronger country, but that tradition is being put at risk. The dramatic move to the left and the massive increase in the size and cost of the government, proposed by the budget of President Obama, will lead to an immense national debt that not only threatens the value of the dollar and puts at risk our ability to borrow money to run the government. But it will also place our children at a huge disadvantage as they inherit this debt which will make their chances of success less than those given to us by our parents. It is not right for one generation to do that to another generation.

“Rather, we believe that if you properly steward the responsibilities of the government, if you do not spend too much, if you do not tax too much, if you do not borrow too much, we can leave our children a better nation where they will have even greater opportunity for prosperity, peace and freedom.

Thank you for taking the time to listen, and have a great weekend.”

Filed under: Judd Gregg
soundoff (175 Responses)
  1. mypitts2

    I agree with Nolan. Didn't hear a peep from this guy when Bush II was doing his thing. That severely undermines his credibility.

    March 28, 2009 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  2. Steve (the real one)

    The non-partisan OMB says this budget will drastically increase the debt. Obama is not listening! The European Socialists are even scolding him! Imagine that! Socialists are proclaiming we are becoming to socialist! The Chinese are complaining the debt is getting out of hand! Now Geithner wants control over what is NOT government concern! Yet the bots still proclaim Obama can do no wrong! A week or two ago the government printed one trillion dollars! The bots state he inherited this mess, yet they fail to recognize he sat in the Senate for the last 2 year voting on budgets!

    March 28, 2009 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  3. BKrause

    Perhaps Judd Gregg could be a bit more transparent about what policies he has endorsed over the term of his Congressional tenure that brought us to this precipitous point in the first place. Like the rest of those who express concerns as he does, put before us a more helpful scenario – with numbers, please, this time.

    March 28, 2009 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  4. Paul

    And this is news how? Gregg long since capitulated to partisanship and became a full-time critic. Thank goodness this weak-minded man never got into a position of authority.

    March 28, 2009 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  5. Agan

    Dear Senator, Where were you and your thoughts during the last 8 years when the Republicans were in power and there were no limits on spending? Even with legislations and ideology, our country ended up with a 1.3 trillion dollar deficit and an erosion of social security for seniors but everything was justified with the war in Iraq.

    March 28, 2009 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  6. Alfred E. Nueman

    One of the reasons the budget is so large is because Obama is including the cost of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, unlike George Bush who kept the cost of both of these wars out of his budget.

    March 28, 2009 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  7. brendan

    gregg is concerned about where this country is going??? what about being concerned for where we are and how we got here... by the very same ideas he and other republicans are still pushing. obviously that way is wrong. i hope we do go an entirely new direction and that is why the country elected obama.

    March 28, 2009 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  8. stitcher

    Again stating a problem, but offering no solution.

    March 28, 2009 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  9. mona

    hmmm sounds to me like you weren't as concerned about this country when you couldn't "reconcile" your differences with the Obama administration. if you are not part of the soluton then you are definitely part of the problem

    March 28, 2009 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  10. Tomas E

    As opposed to spending too much over the past 8 years on killing people? Wow, were headed in such a bad direction aren't we?

    March 28, 2009 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  11. Kevin

    Gregg should follow the advice of his former leader and stay silent. Like his entire party's leadership, he has nothing to offer but criticism. Thank God he decided not to accept the cabinet position.

    March 28, 2009 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  12. John G

    Did any of you posters realize that while the public was complaining about 165M the fed printed 1T more greenbacks. The value of the dollar has dropped since. Also, it took a while for geithner to reply to his gaf about having a new currency for global trade standard. Again the value of the dollar dropped again. Today I just read a CNN artical about Obama telling banks not to pay back the TARP money this year even though they want to, because he wants to control their balance sheets. Boy I thought courts through anti trust could break companies up but this administration should not have to wait for that legal process. You guys thought Bush grabbed executive power ,and he did, but this is getting rediculous. Pretty soon, the supreme court will be prosecuting shop lifters and the legislative branch will be running government owned plantations. The executive branch will own all the industry and the military, where does that leave freedom of choice.

    March 28, 2009 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  13. Mac

    He's up for re-election in 2010. The Democrats will paint a nice big target on his back. Does he know that he's already history?

    March 28, 2009 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  14. barbara miller

    Don't seem to recollect hearing much from Gregg when the last Republican President was in office. You remember, when things were paid for an never budgeted for? That is precisely why Gregg went out of his way to say "to his credit, Obama blah blah". What an opportunist this man is. It's very difficult to buy into what you're all saying now when you fell so silent for 8 years. Pure obstruction and nothing more.

    March 28, 2009 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  15. steve

    JC, actually, that is not how it works. They don't just print more money. They borrow the money, from the Chinese and others who have large quantities of US Dollars.

    March 28, 2009 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  16. Aaron in Buffalo,NY

    We just avoided a huge rate increase by the greed of the power companies here in NY and now our democratic NYS governor wants to impose a 2% state surcharge on every utility! Add in the proposed federal tax on electricity and it will be Earth Hour every hour in my house because I wont be able to afford to turn on the lights! Lets remember that one man (Bush) didnt bring this country down all by himself he had plenty of help-including a democratic congress. If there was such opposition to war where were all these voices back in 2001 when everyone was going to rallies, waving flags, and wanting to blow Afganistan and Iraq off the map? Please lets not apply to government the old say "It takes money to make money"! You think we have to bad now wait intil our children have to come up with a way to pay off Obama's multi-trillion dollar deficit. But hey like was already said fire up the presses and just keep printing money!
    If we want to federalize everything lets take a look at the gas prices in this country as they have risen over 25 cents per gallon in the last month. We are just being set up and eased into paying $4 a gallon again. Let the feds take control off the insane profits being make by the oil companies as they take total advantage of the American public and no one says a word

    March 28, 2009 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  17. Paul from VT

    Why are you blaming Sen. Gregg for the inherited economic problems? Obama was in the senate during Bush's reign as well. And I would bet Sen. Gregg had the same criticism of Bush as he does now for Obama. Republicans have generally stood for small government. Bush strayed from that. Let today's Republicans define who they are, not a failed presidency. Sen. Gregg is right, how can we get out of debt by spending more? Where does that money come from? Everyone wants to criticism him for being negative. But he has to be negative regarding a bad idea. And he IS offering solution. Reduce government and it's burden on tax payers. Why don't you liberals want to hear that?

    March 28, 2009 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  18. abe

    Take a look at yourself and GOP where you took us for the last 8 years before you judge others. The financial ruins, misery and the wars that you have caused and have you ever imagined that American will live in a tent city and live like a third world. You had an oppotunity to work with the President Obama and he selected you as a Commerce secratary, but chose to follow Rush advice not to take it. Now sit down and be quiet so that Mr Obama will take us out mess that GOP created.

    March 28, 2009 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  19. Sharon

    A republican critical of the Democratic President. What a novel idea!

    Of course we can all be thankful to the GOP for their "Alternative Budget", that does not exist.....we feel secure with republicans in control of our finances...the same bunch of fools who drove the "ship" onto the rocks is now going to convince us they are smart enough and deserve our trust, so let them show us how to get back in the water?

    If you believe this newest member of the republican laughing stock, then there is an acre of swampland in Florida I would like to sell you. Oh wait, real estate in Florida is sooooooooooooo cheap thanks to republicans deregulation of financial markets, maybe you won't even have to pay for the swampland!!!!!

    March 28, 2009 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  20. Jim Hall

    Another village idiot speaks out. He needs to join the "I hope it fails club" like several other village idiots have done. They have made their millions under the past village idiots dictatorship so what have they to loose? I sincerely hope that their constitutants don't vote them back into office. Jim Hall Kansas City Missouri

    March 28, 2009 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  21. Willy Brown

    Funny how you lib’s loved Gregg when #44 wanted him but since Gregg saw the real #44 and turned down being on the titanic all of a sudden he’s no good. LOL…

    March 28, 2009 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  22. Jeremy

    a) the annual deficit under Bush rose after 9/11 and then began declining 2004-2007.
    b) Democrats took control of the House and Senate in 2006, just months before deficits started rising again (Note: Obama was a Senator at this time)
    c) Bush's largest deficit was last year at about $460 billion.
    d) Obamas _FIRST_ deficite will be between $1.2 and $1.8 TRILLION (3-4 times Bush's largest)

    Blame Bush for the war if you want. He did that one all by himself. But on the economy Democrats and Obama are at least as much to blame as Bush. Obama went from the Senate to the White House, so _who_ did he inherit this from?

    March 28, 2009 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  23. Arden

    This guy is for one thing and one thing only the Republicans. The Republicans are for money that means what ever is right for the rich. Had he kept his job with the Obama cabinet he would have the right to make judgement calls and changes. Now he is nothing but another Republican Senator with a big mouth and nothing coming out but lies and munipulation.

    March 28, 2009 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  24. Harold F

    For all you Obama supporters that are calling this man names, I have a question for you. If he is so bad and terrible, how is it possible that Obama asked him to be on his cabinet? Did Obama acutally make a mistake? Is this possible?

    March 28, 2009 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  25. No Hillary = No Obama

    Tax and spend, tax and spend, tax and spend. You see Obama is clever. This stimulus package will cascade through state programs while he is in office, doing little to nothing, but giving speeches in front of audiences, while the money does the work for him. This guy is a political engineer – maybe this is a new leadership model or maybe it's just exploitation.

    March 28, 2009 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
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