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. Rob K


    Don't give us the Constitution and free thinking BS. You don't know much if you try to defend your stance.

    If you know anything about an economy it takes money to go around. Noone. Not a soul is spending. Thank god our government is bold enough to spend money otherwise we would have filed for bankruptcy already due ot the GOP's ruinous reign.

    Lets not revise history. This problem is Bushes and the GOPs not Obamas. He is the only one that seems to care that our country is not going into the toilet.

    If Judd were in office, the Dow would be at 4000 and falling.

    March 22, 2009 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  2. Matt Kachaluba

    Well I don't agree with any of that.

    March 22, 2009 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  3. Seed of Change

    Judas has something to learn from the Senator 🙂

    Where was Senator Judas when Bush killed innocent people in Iraq and bankrupted this country?

    Senator Judas was partying with Bush... literally... they are in the same "party"

    March 22, 2009 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  4. ben

    It is not about judd gregg, it is John King with his program that caters for the republicans. He just married Danna Bash and both can not be trusted!

    March 22, 2009 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  5. JSU-TIGER99

    Have all the Republicans forgotten about the last 8 years when Bush was in office running this country in the ground, fighting a ware that cost $10 million dollars a day when that money can be use right here to fix some of the problem that we are having, If this country go bankrupt is it the Republicans fault. Please post my comment

    March 22, 2009 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  6. scott morley

    What is wrong is that if we hadn't wasted billions on a fake war in Iraq this country would have had the financial resources to face this crisis. We entered this crisis broke because of the deficits caused by the war.
    Another reason to string up Bush Cheney and the Republicans who rubberstamped the war and wild spending of the past 8 years.

    March 22, 2009 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  7. stillsupportspresident

    Thanks for the comment Tristan. That's all that is needed to be said on the matter. If Gregg is so opposed to Obama, why even accept the position then retract? I bet his record couldn't stand the vetting process as to why he flipped the script.

    March 22, 2009 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  8. Tyler

    Did George W and his lackeys have a hand in the current mess? You bectha! He along with most of his recent predecessors. But that doesn't change the fact that Obama is clueless and any more of his mishandling is going to screw us all. This is just the tip of the iceberg and at some point Obama is going to have to own up to his decisions and jump off the blame bush express. The reality is about to set in, and I don't feel like paying 10 dollars for a loaf of bread. The rules are simple, don't spend more than you make. This holds true for the simple American home, as well as our monstrous federal government. Regulation, or getting more bureaucrats into overpaid government posts to jack up more decisions helps nothing.

    March 22, 2009 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  9. Craig Simpson

    Gregg has no credibility at all....the fiscal problems were caused by lack of regulation under a republican controlled administration/congress.

    Why didn't he do or say anything 8 years ago?

    This is all about politics and only makes the republican scumbags look worse!

    Suck it up repubs. You are going to be paying the price for being irresponsible for a long, long time.

    March 22, 2009 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  10. Vicky

    I thought how this State of the union Program was a good Program and a nice well Prepared Program till I figured it is a Republican talking heads opportunity.

    John King we know you are a republican who can not be trusted!!

    March 22, 2009 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  11. TrueIndependent

    Who knew this man before he was considered for commerce position? First he wanted the job, and then he did not. His lack of decisiveness and fear of the GOP makes him totally not credible. Suddenly he thinks he is relevant? All this hypocrisy about the deficit.

    Again, i ask, what happened to their voices the last 8 years when education, healthcare, the environment, our rights, etc., were sacrificed because of the occupation of a country that did not produce 1 single terrorist on 9/11.

    I think that on Nov 4, 2008, majority of Americans told the Republican's to take a hike, at least for the next 4 years.

    And someone needs to tell John McCain that he needs to go into retirement.

    March 22, 2009 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  12. oefrank

    I am tired of these republican senators criticizing the president's plans but offer no solutions. For years they've agreed with bush and his policies. All of a sudden they have a voice. It is very clear to me that republicans are serving the have and the have mores. They could care less about the average citizens. Republicans are for the rich and special interest groups. Mr Gregg you decline to work for the president so your way of having imput is to criticize.

    March 22, 2009 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  13. Jim .N

    Any one with half a brain knows that the only way to straiten the problems out in Washington is term limits.I believe two terms for Senators and four terms for the House of Representatives. While they serve their bills should be paid and Family taken care for.That way they go to D.C. for the right reasons. If the leave in four years the crooks who operate for big companies don,t have time to corrupt them.
    Thank You
    Jim N

    March 22, 2009 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  14. Susie, Capistrano Beach

    Yeah, just keeping blaming everyone and doing nothing...isn't that what politicians do and that includes the Obama team...all I hear is we are in a the worst mess since the Great Depression and he didn't inherit this mess...that is correct but he is the only President I can remember that keep using that for an excuse instead of fixing the problem...and he should have thought of that before he flew back to Washington to vote on the bailout, which he did, then voted for a Stimulus package with all these earmarks that do nothing to fix the economy and now a budget that is 3+trillion dollars. Yes folks Obama is building big government and all of you who believe that is they way to fix our country deserve the outcome. The bad part of it is for those that do know and can figure it out and we end up sharing the fall of our county with you. Oh wait I forgot Bush is holding gun tto the OBama team and making them sign all these bills and hide the bonuses to Freddie/Fannie/Goldman Sachs/ Merrill Lynch.

    March 22, 2009 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  15. bca

    Judd Gregg is a good man with good intentions (as almost everyone is; even Limbaugh & Bush are), but I still slightly disagree with his claim. I believe that spending should be controlled, but it is still somewhat necessary for the survival & revival of our economy at the same time. We should also teach the people more personal responsibility than far-left liberals prefer to teach, but (at the same time), this is America – we stick together & help each other, through thick & thin. That is what America is mainly about (besides democracy & equal rights for all). Long Live the United States of America!!!! 🙂

    March 22, 2009 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  16. George

    John King, his wife Danna bash and his newly born child(STATE OF THE UNION) can not be trusted. They are republicans who are not hide their true bias.....

    From last sunday I thought why should I waste 9-1pm or 4hours listening to republicans talking head and talking points. I think I had that for the last 8years and that was Enough!

    March 22, 2009 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |

    Where was Judd when the Rep had to vote in giving the first bailout under Bush!!!! It was announced a year prior to Bush acknowledging that we were in a recession, where was Judd then, I get so sick and tired of hearing this rhetoric and politics from the GOP it is past getting sickening. If they got so much D-- knowledge why in the hell did they allow us to get to this point before the new administration came into play? It is a insult to those that are thinking straight, if he had a chance to help this country today and declined the invite why in the hell is talking now against it. Greater is he that is in me than he that is in the world. That is what the President is standing under and walking in faith. These other jokers just trying to position themselves for 2012 and be the big dog for the GOP, can't you guys see through the smoke and mirrors! Sure it is going to cost us something in the future but in order to make money you got to spend it!!! In order to bring us out of this recession same principle applies.

    March 22, 2009 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  18. dave b

    When will we see the GIANT posters of Comrad Obama like in Russia ?? Oh ... wait ... we already do .... never mind

    March 22, 2009 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  19. DAVE

    John john john, you can not be trusted!

    March 22, 2009 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  20. Diane from NC

    We need to do BOTH : get bonuses back, AND prevent this from happening in the future. If anyone listened to Larry King's interview with Judge Judy, she had some very sensible solutions that seemed very do-able by our government officials. Also, I hope President Obama reconsiders his support of Geithner. Both he and Dobbs need to be given the boot.

    March 22, 2009 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  21. beevee

    Does this guy have any better ideas othat than constantly criticizing the administration's recovery plans. If he did why did he not speak out when the downturn had started under GOP watch. Being constantly critical without any solid plans amounts to wishing the president to fail.

    March 22, 2009 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  22. Chris

    is this another republican trying to school us on fiscal responsibilty? the same party of "cut taxes but spend spend spend"? uhhh...yeah....i'm listening. cuz they know what they're talking about surely. (sarcasm intended)


    March 22, 2009 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  23. lou-dallas

    ...for all you past Bush-bashers, and I still wonder what you guys are still doing inhabiting the earth, this no longer has anything to do with him, this is now 'Barry's' economy, his and Princess Pelosi and dingy Harry Reid, the baffoon. Evidently, you guys are so obsessed with Bush-derranged syndrome that the thought of what is now being projected as 9 trillion dollar debt in the next ten years resulting from Obama's policies has no bearing on how you guys think. It's no wonder now how it was that Obama was able to hijack the country tin getting people like yourselves to vote for him!!

    March 22, 2009 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  24. SJ

    Mr. Gregg why not a dialogue of how to make it better rather than NO WE CAN'T!?

    March 22, 2009 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  25. Sam Jones

    Where were all you people when Bush STOLE / DEFRAUDED the 2000 election using voting machines and corrupt officials? Why weren't you watching him like a hawk day-by-day as you are so willing to do to Obama? Frankly, if the country goes bankrupt, the fault is purely with us – we sat by and let Bush rig 2 elections, fake 2 wars, and destroy the economy. Obama trying to fix it isn't when you start backseat driving – if he fails, he fails trying to do the right thing, if even in the wrong way. If he does anything corrupt, then absolutely tear into him, but otherwise, RUN FOR PRESIDENT IF YOU THINK YOU CAN DO ANY BETTER.

    March 22, 2009 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
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