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. 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 |
  2. 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 |
  3. Stacy

    Where were all of these Republicans in Congress and on these boards when the Bush administration was DOUBLING the National Debt (i.e. $5.6 trillion to $10.8 trillion)? Why weren't they crying as loud as they are now back then? Hmmm...could this be what is called "playing politics?"

    March 22, 2009 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  4. JADE26

    Republican Judd Gregg wasn't alarmed when George Bush was in office. Now, since his party is in the minority he's obsessed with fiscal responsibility.

    March 22, 2009 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  5. roy slotten

    Help President Obama
    fix our broken federal government
    and bankrupt Free Enterprise system.
    On Nov. 2, 2010
    elect statesmen
    who ask: “What can I do
    for my country?”
    Defeat politicians
    who ask: “What can my country
    do for me and my special-interest,
    greedy, corporate constituents?”

    March 22, 2009 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  6. Richard L. Fortin

    And Judas Gregg was willing to jump ship and fall into lock step with Barrack Hussein Obama. He is now and always has been an empty suit I am sure glad we will be rid of him in NH in 2010.

    March 22, 2009 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  7. Ernestine

    90 March 22nd, 2009 4:07 pm ET

    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.


    Well, this idiot is thankful for the change that is to come. At lease someone is trying to work for me and others in the nation.

    March 22, 2009 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  8. Wesley

    Rush Limbaugh lowered-the-boom on Gregg to keep-in-line with the Party. Told ya he was a devoted little Republican!

    March 22, 2009 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  9. Steve C

    People who read this and do not get chills up their spine are should be shot. Our President is destroying the Country. WAKE UP!!!!

    March 22, 2009 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  10. Truth Bomb Thrower

    If I was an enemy of this country with a burning desire to destroy it, and if I found myself in the position of president, I would do EXACTLY all the things Obama is doing……absolutely nothing different. We have a "manchurian president" on our hands, folks. He and his supporters simply will not rest until this country and everything it stands for is annihilated.

    March 22, 2009 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  11. MAC

    I am tired of you people. Stop thinking about your bipartisanship, the republicans and the democrats aproved the war in Iraq togheter. Bill Clinton's administration forced the banks to lend money to everybody and Bush's administration didn't do anything to change it. Mistakes have been made by both sides, but it is time to stop blaming and start thinking for the good of our kids. Both goverments (Bush and Obama) have spend an outrageous ammount of money in the last year and our economy is not improving, actually it is getting worse. It is obvious to me, this budget is only going to increase our debt and make some crazy congressmen happy, that have forgotten our economic situation and have filled the budget with selfish and irresponsible earmarks.

    March 22, 2009 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  12. Dimslie

    They don't call Democrats "Dims" for nothing. We have a President that's never done anything but teach Constitutional law and "organize" communities. The Congressional Budget Office just said Friday that Obama's deficit is going to be 2 TRILLION DOLLARS worse than he says. And, that's fine with you Dims as long as you can keep talking about how much you hate Bush. Idiots.

    March 22, 2009 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  13. newz4i

    Another Republican without a plan ... just a complaint, Rush style.

    March 22, 2009 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  14. Shellie

    Rush Limbaugh put the pressure on. Now Gregg thinks like the rest of the Republican morons.

    March 22, 2009 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  15. Tim in Seattle

    I love the way all these Republicans are just now saying what dire straits the economy is in. WHERE THE HELL WERE YOU FOR THE LAST EIGHT YEARS with your SPEND SPEND SPEND President? What a BUNCH OF WINDBAGS!

    March 22, 2009 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  16. judesuper

    Where was this righteous anger from the repubs when bush/cheney lied us into a war so terribly unprepared that it not only costs lives on both side, but billions upon billions a month? AND he dropped the ball on finding bin laden. Oh yeah, I know where they were, it lock step with the repub party, that's where.

    March 22, 2009 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  17. stormstrike

    I'm amazed at how many people see this as a Democrat vs Republican argument.

    Bankrupt is bankrupt, no matter which party is currently in power. They're BOTH responsible for driving us into the ground with debt and uncontrolled spending.

    But most of you go along like sheep the way the media frames it as "conservative versus liberal" and don't want to recognize the fact that they're all ripping us off and destroying our country. But hey, I'm sure the average citizen knows more about American Idol than American politics, which is why politicians are allowed to get away with this stuff.

    March 22, 2009 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  18. big papa

    Whatever it takes in Baghdad...

    ...NOTHING for American taxpayers...

    ...MORE tax cuts for the rich...

    ...let 'em eat cake...

    ...Cheney and Bush can't be blamed...

    ...they deserve to get away with murder and the money they've stolen...

    ...Bush conservative Republicans...


    ...with countrymen and women like these...

    ...who needs Al Qaeda...

    March 22, 2009 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  19. Kelly

    Cheney and Bush should be prosecuted and put in Jail.

    They mislead Americans by fabricating a false intelligence report that Iraq has WMDs. Iraq was attacked for Bush's greed for oil.

    4200 US troops have died because of this unjust war.

    Cheney and Bush are war criminals.

    March 22, 2009 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  20. Kyle M.

    I'm sure he just off the phone with the Republican Chairman, Rush Limbaugh.

    March 22, 2009 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  21. Bill Gordon

    The Secy. of the Treasury has to be asked to resign. Already too many critical foul ups in a very short time frame.

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

    Isn't it funny how Obama supporters attempt to justify Obama's outrageous spending proposals by pointing out that President Bush spent a ton of money, as well? Do two wrongs make a right, Obama supporters? "This country is already bankrupt," says Connie from Indiana. Therefore, Connie, Obama's spending is acceptable? Give me a break. These sort of asinine straw arguments may work for Obama's autobiography and his fist-pumping cheerleading squad, but they are not a prescription for moving this country forward.

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

    Typical. Every time somebody criticizes "The One", the Obamabots come out of the wood work with their same tired refrain...Blame Bush. To you people, Obama can do no wrong. He doesn't have to take responsibiility for anything. Everything he does, regardless of history showing us how wrong it is, is justified because of the horrible 8 years under Bush. To you people, we just need to shut up and sit down, since he won fair and square, and we just need to jump on the Obama Bandwagon that the rest of you mindless sheep jumped on years ago.

    Give me a break. I didn't hear all this talk about unity and giving the president a chance in 2001 and 2005. You people scream bloody murder when Limbaugh says he wants Obama's "socialist policies", not the President (get it right) to fail, but you stand by silently, and in some cases even cheer on, when Al Gore calls Bush a liar, Harry Reid declares the war is lost, and Nancy Pelosi calls Bush the worst President in history and needs to be prosecuted. But you people are ready to crucify anyone, whether they be Democrat or Republican, who says anything even remotely negative about his policies.

    I am sick and tired of the hypocrisy that you people constantly spew on here. At least be honest enough to state that this has nothing to do with "supporting the President", which is the smoke screen you people hide behind, and everything to do with the fact that you only support people you agree with and demonize the people you don't.

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

    Gregg lecturing anyone on fiscal responsibility is like a drunk lecturing on sobriety. This man used up his credibility a long time ago. Now he needs to shut up so real work can get done.

    March 22, 2009 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  25. harry1

    Obama is all over the map! It's the ECONOMY stupid right up there with the dangerous middle east, and for once lets protect our borders. We are wasting money and the government is to blame! First and foremost our elected officials #1 JOB is to protect the people and they have failed us time and again. 9/11 and currently our fiscal crisis. There is no accountability only finger pointing. As a devoted republican I became so sick of the administration I too voted for CHANGE. We are in dire straights. God help us all!!!!!!!

    March 22, 2009 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
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