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

Gregg: 'This country will go bankrupt'

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="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. 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 |
  2. 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 |
  3. 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 |
  4. yeahrighttttt

    Helen of NYC you need a mini mental test like all who say that the recession is Obama's fault need one. Memory loss is a sign of Dementia. And you all blaming the current president for a failed economy that he inherit from the Bush administration. for being in the office under a 100 days need one. HE DID NOT CAUSE THE ECONOMIC DOWN FALL THE REPUBLICAN ADMINISTRATION DID.

    March 22, 2009 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  5. Mo

    He is an idiot just like the rest of the GOP. Cannot tell his mouth from you know what.

    March 22, 2009 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  6. Richard Parrick

    What an ignorant statement to say outsourcing is even an issue as far as this economy goes. This recession, soon to be depression is a direct and only result of bad debt, from poor lending practices, encouraged by the federal government, in order to attempt to get more people into home ownership, of which many of those people were not financially ready to own a home, or at least the home they tried to purchase. More spending by the Obama administration is just an increase in more bad debt, directly owed by the citizens of this country. He is placing bad debt on us and future generations that we cannot afford. This budget will bury the United States and the only way to not have a total financial colapse will be to have government control of every aspect of buisness, This will result in having the United States turn from capitalism to complete socialism. Socialism is the only thing that will come from Obama's budget. Hurray for all you who voted for Obama, The death of America as we knew it, as it was intended, is over. Welcome to the United Stated of Socialist America.

    March 22, 2009 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  7. today

    AIG NEEDS TO GIVE OUR MONEY BACK, no more bailouts for them, and no more bailouts for these over priced car companies, LET THEM BANKRUPT AND START OVER.

    March 22, 2009 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  8. slp


    Wow! You hit the nail on the head! I couldn't agree more. Texas Teacher, just because most of the comments on this news site line up with your way of thinking doesn't mean that the majority of the country thinks like you. This is a liberal leaning news site. You don't speak for me.

    March 22, 2009 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  9. Jim

    You avoid bankruptcy by paying your bills on time to avoid interest. What a concept! That will mean raising taxes, like it or not. You don't waste money. You buy what you need at a fair price thru competitive bidding. You hold people accountable. You get rid of burocratic inefficiencies. You restore competition in the marketplace with anti trust laws. And you break up Omnibus Spending Bills so people can actually read them.

    March 22, 2009 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  10. Greg

    "Gregg, known as one of the keenest fiscal minds on Capitol Hill"!! Then I must have one of the keenest fiscal minds in the country. I teach a personal financial management course to new Navy recruits, I've been telling them and others for the last 5 years that our country was on its way to bankruptcy. We pay over $400B a year in interest (and growing) on the debt. It doesn't take an economic whiz kid to figure out, sooner or later the majority of the tax revenue will go to pay this interest. Being the geniuses they are, our politicians will just borrow more money to pay the cost of running the country.

    But I can't place the blame on just the politicians. We are the government, and as long as we the people keep placing the same corrupt, no common-sensed idiots in office, the water will continue to swirl in the toilet bowl of whats left of the US. Wake up America!!! It's way past the time to get most of these clowns out of office, impose term limits, ban political parties and start using the sense God gave you to elect politicians based on their merit and not on the "D" or "R".

    March 22, 2009 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  11. Michael

    Bush’s IQ is lower than a 5th grader. The Terrorists don’t attack us from other countries. They come here, infiltrate into our country and attack us. We need a better homeland security to prevent infiltration. Bush and Cheney did nothing for better homeland security. Going after terrorists in other countries is making us bankrupt and puts our troops on harms way.

    March 22, 2009 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  12. MaryanneAZ

    Too late. We're already there, Senator Gregg. The challenge now is how to reorganize. President Obama was elected for that job, not you. Let's let the President do the job we elected him to do.

    March 22, 2009 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  13. Angie

    gregg is just like all the other repugs. they still don't get it. bush bankrupted this country. so lets get it straight. the repugs can only cricitize, but have no solutions. it is so typical of them. losers!!!!!!

    March 22, 2009 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  14. Anthony

    Bush and Cheney in Jail... you Brown Shirted socialists are sounding right on your target!

    Blame anybody but the big spenders from day 1

    Get a grasp on history... liberals are sick and stupid... ignorant.

    Get a life and go back to a socialist country, like Russia or China...

    O ... ponder it... socialism is here now... and China and Russia will own us... but not me... Patrick Henry where are you?

    March 22, 2009 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  15. Alan Rabinowitz

    If he's smart enough to predict the future, why didn't he join the administration to help?

    March 22, 2009 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  16. Henry Miller, Cary, NC

    As long as comments are still open here, I'd like to point out something:

    Capitalism is not inherently irresponsible.

    In fact, to the contrary.

    A lot of our current fiscal crisis is the result not of a lack of the oversight of law but rather the reverse–legal encouragement to do something irresponsible. The Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac thing was a direct result of 1990s-era liberal legislation more or less requiring them to make high-risk loans to people almost certain to default on them, and then backing up those loans with federal money. The irresponsiblity wasn't that of capitalism, it was that of government.

    Nor are the insane salaries of upper management and insane bonuses an artifact of capitalism. In fact, they're irresponsible perversions of responsible business practice made possible by the nearly incestuous mechanism of mutually back-scratching members of overlapping boards of directors.

    March 22, 2009 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  17. Ajoy Adhikari

    May be instead of Gregg we could ask George W. for a comment. He might say something positive after bailing out the Country.

    March 22, 2009 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  18. AP

    Why has there been nothing on this site about the fed printing A TRILLION new dollars??? Our money is on the way to becoming worthless and nobody even reported on it!

    March 22, 2009 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  19. Aviate

    All of this raises the question–where were you these last eight years, Sen. Gregg, when Pres. Bush & the GOP rammed through fiscal policies that took us from budget surpluses and a paid-off national debt (which was scheduled for about 2009 when Clinton left office) to record deficits and the verge of an economic depression?? If we only have 15 minutes of fuel left, it's because Republican policies have taken us wildly off-course! Now that we have a President who's actually trying to land the plane safely, you sound the alarm!

    If you had expressed such concerns eight years ago, when Bush & Co. revived "voodoo economics," you might be worth listening to. Instead, you are now just another typical Republican hack, putting party before country.

    March 22, 2009 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20