March 22nd, 2009
03:41 PM ET
11 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. Leslie

    Republicans are FISCALLY CONSERVATIVE, Democrats are FISCALLY SOCIALIST. Democrats will take the last penny in your wallet and give it to your neighbor who does nothing but sit in their butt all day while you work your finger to the bone. Ever heard of a democrat who never like increase in taxes? Democrats love money, they love to distribute wealth but they don't know how to create jobs. They hate corporations creating JOBS. Oh well, you people deserve that EMPTY SUIT in the Whitehouse, you voted for SPEECHES, that's all you got, SPEECHES – INVESTMENT – SALIVA!

    March 22, 2009 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  2. Jeff

    Senator Gregg says Obama's stimulus plan will bankrupt the nation?

    Translation: The wealthy may be asked to pay their share of taxes.

    March 22, 2009 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  3. Joshua


    If you know the future, please give me the winning lottery numbers for the Megamillions next week. Otherwise, you should be charged with cruelty for having three kids when you knew they will inherit a bankrupted country.

    March 22, 2009 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  4. irishtexan

    The GOP is done. They have two options: (1) Slam Obama and be right and try to regain the respect they lost in two last elections or (2) Slam Obama and be wrong and go out in a blaze of semi-glory. Makes sense. That's what someone does when backed into a corner and fighting on its last breath. Don't fall for it people.

    March 22, 2009 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  5. barry

    After 8 years of so called war and the billions to pay for it no wonder we might go bankrupt. Let's also not forget about the billions that were stolen during the last administration.

    March 22, 2009 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  6. notfollowingBHO

    As a Republican, again I will show as much respect for YOUR president as you showed mine for the last 8 years. I have followed the issues unlike most Obamanotics and I do not agree with the direction he is taking this country. Wake up BHO followers and listen with your heart and mind for a change.

    March 22, 2009 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  7. steve Loudon, TN

    After reading many of these posts, I am encouraged to see that a lot of posters realize the real source of the problem, the gang of 535 in Washington. And when they make a point, they support it with understanding and fact and not just invective as we hear from poorly informed Messiah lovers, who don't have a clue other than it's Bush's fault and anyone in that administration. Obama has set out to destroy the private sector and make reliance on big government (full of failed socialist policies which have never worked). The American public, if any good comes out of this, will finally realize that the so-called representation in Congress represents noone but themselves and their own benefit and special power and wealth. The plane may only have 15 minutes of fuel, but worse yet it is pilotless. Courage and strength fellow Americans, and I only hope that those who have no sense of history (I lived in the Carter years with over 17% prime rate, the blaming by Carter of American malaise, etc. and that was nothing compared to what is coming). God bless those Americans who have shown their knowledge in these postings, which are just usually a forum for blame and hate to Bush.

    March 22, 2009 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  8. Antonio

    I think that this country was in the wrong direction and still going on the wrong direction, You can't throw the money a way like the government has been doing on the last 18 months, I'm agreed with providing help for the unemployed but I'm not agreed with the bank packages, Just like those irresponsible people took those mortgages that they couldn't afford the same way the USA is conducting itself, It's a matter of time before the USA has to default on it's debt, there is not way on the world how a country can sustain itself just base on borrowing money. I voted for MR Obama and believed that he was going to act more responsibly with the banking system but he has taken the same approach that Mr bush did with the bank and it's not going to work, we are heading toward disaster.

    March 22, 2009 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  9. ruddyabroad

    The country is going to bankruppcy?? Gregg, where were you the past 8years?? the country is already bankrupted and potentially drags the rest of the western world with it.. Thank you W!!!
    Now the new administration is trying to fix the mess and some of you are playing petty politics.. Come on people,
    Obama's adm didn't cause the mess, and they are doing well so far to put US back on the good tracks... wake up! If there was one time when the country should be united this is now!
    Reps, are you willing to sacrifice 95% of working people just to help 5% (making millions per year) pay less taxes??

    March 22, 2009 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  10. Arlene Illinois

    If and when this country goes bankrupt I hope it laysoff
    EVERY member of congress, since term limits aren't working.

    March 22, 2009 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  11. Trudy

    I have to chuckle, "Texas Teacher", that you think that your slobber fest over Obama is this pulse of the nation because, in your opinion, you have gleaned from the posts that everyone is 'pro-Obama'. Please consider that I, along with many, many others (who are obviously Republicans, or just believe in fiscally responsible representatives) never get our comments posted here. Don't know if CNN has a liberal bias (nahh, couldn't be that :)) or if they filter their posts by omitting anything with the words, NO THANKS OBAMA).

    March 22, 2009 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  12. Ken Sawyer

    The voters wanted change and now they have it.

    March 22, 2009 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  13. Rob Johnson

    This country has been bankrupt ever since 1921 and so has the US Treasury as well. They have been running on exhaust fumes for a very long time. Their system for a lack of a better term, is due to monetary slavery a.k.a. TAXES, that inevitably go into an account for Pilgrim Investments, being Bush Sr. and the Queen of England.

    What people fail to realize is that nothing can or will change due to a preponderance of ignorance. As soon as this subsides, people will think, "Oh ,the storm has stopped." In reality, it has not, it has just calmed down, in order to regain its strength and ultimately destroy and capsize everything and anything in its way-a path of destruction.

    Until we all changes what we see and think and geta ticket to the clue bus globally, this onslaught will continue.

    March 22, 2009 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  14. twinkletoes

    The direction Obama is taking the country is spot on – you HAVE to spend your way out of a depression. You have to spend money in order to ensure job creation and tax revenues down the road. How ironic that Republicans look to the Great Depression and say Roosevelt's spending policies didn't help get the country out of the depression, it was World War II that accomplished this goal. What was WWII but the biggest stimulus packet ever!!?? Barring another world war, we desperately need to go in the direction Obama has mapped out. And his spending is not just spending for spending's sake – it is being spent on items desperately needed to make America competitive in the long run and save the environment as well. This administration needs every one of our support to move this country forward. Quit whinning and start working.

    March 22, 2009 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  15. Joyce Becker

    Gregg Judd is a dud, if he cared so much about this country he would have worked with the Obama team and helped find a solution to the financial problems. If it wasn't for Bush and the rest of the Republicans the economy would not have been so bad, remember they were left with a big surplus when Clinton left office, what did they do with all of that money. At least President Obama has a stimulus plan and if given a chance it will work, if capitalism will ever work in the first place.

    March 22, 2009 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  16. Liv

    Thank you Sen. Gregg for standing up and speaking the truth. We need more representatives like you right now.

    March 22, 2009 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  17. bill

    Senator Gregg you should stay with helping your brother and yourself with your earmarks so you and your brother can get rich at the taxpayers expense. What a hypocrite

    March 22, 2009 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  18. SickOf TwoFacedPols

    Senator Gregg is a great one to talk. This is the same guy that spoke before the CATO Institute and said that the more highly skilled H-1B visa holders that we import, the more highly skilled jobs there will be for American workers.

    This statement was based on a laughable analysis produced by an organization that claims 5 Americans hired for every H-1B. Unfortunately for the American workers, this data relationship is not a causal one - it is just an observation of existing data.

    Mr. Gregg was just as willing to sell the American economy out when he thought that he could make some campaign donations from the India Caucus, or from high tech - who both desparately desire to import cheap labor at the expense of America's own highly trained technical workers.

    March 22, 2009 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  19. nh resident

    i live in nh.greed,i mean gregg was 1 of bushs yes men.he did not serve the people of nh ,he did what the repubs wanted not what would help nh.thank god he not in govt. now.he was part of the problem ,not the answer.give obama a chance.

    March 22, 2009 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  20. Bill Kansas

    The new John King show DUH!!!!!!!!
    Boy, CNN must be desperate.
    What a way to lose viewers.

    March 22, 2009 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  21. Zion

    This shows CNN's bias towards Republicans. Why has it not been reported that Gregg had to step down due to back taxes? He's still allowed to speak. That's what I mean by the media bowing down to not even intelligent Republicans, just those who keep the pot stirred.

    March 22, 2009 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  22. Zion

    @ Dave NYC

    It always amazes me how these Republican tools have no problem bankrupting America with un-necessary wars, but when it comes to *investing* in our own country they get all high and mighty about how much it costs!

    Then they want to wear a lapel pin screaming, "God Bless America." Fascinating isn't it?

    March 22, 2009 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  23. hrh jack

    I, for one, am sick and tired of those who are very willing and able to offer criticism but apparently incapable of suggesting concrete alternatives to the strategies and actions they so freely condemn.

    My own criticism does come with a concrete alternative. It's this:

    If you have no alternative suggestions, shut up and go think some more. Because nobody is listening to your rant.

    March 22, 2009 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  24. yougottabejoking

    As a Bush supporter, I did not agree with everything President Bush did, like immigration for instance. Just because he is President does not mean he will not make a mistake-but I guess Obama,Obama,Obama can do no wrong-I forgot he is the Messiah!!!!!!!! You people need to look at facts and issues and quit following someone like a blind fool. I say for starters, send the illegals home and redo the entire welfare system. Helping someone stay on welfare will not stimulate this economy and neither will spending tmoney we do not have.

    March 22, 2009 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  25. Ted

    Imagine going to get a loan at the bank for a house and you tell them even though you don't have any money, you want the loan for a house as well as additional money because you think it's the right time to get a new computer, TV, home entertainment system and a new car too. Here's a novel idea – add up all the revenue you can realistically expect (and if you want to get if from the "rich" maybe you ought to think about trying to limit their pay) and then figure out what you can do with that money. If you need it all for bailouts and stimulus, then you'll need to shut down other areas of government. Perhaps the best bet is to suspend Congress's pay and that of their staffs.

    March 22, 2009 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
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