May 7th, 2009
10:45 AM ET
13 years ago

Gregg slams Obama budget cuts

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Sen. Judd Gregg, R-New Hampshire, noted Thursday that the $17 billion in cuts President Obama proposes in his 2010 budget would equal the operating budget of his own state for a few years. But Gregg, who almost joined the Obama administration, added the cuts are not enough.

The cuts represent "less than one half of one percent of the federal budget which will be approximately $3.5 trillion this year," Gregg, the ranking Republican on the Budget Committee, said in Senate floor speech.

"It's as if you had a vast desert of sand," Gregg said. "It's as if this were the Gobi Desert or the Sahara Desert and you came along and you took a few pieces of sand off the desert – it literally will have virtually no impact on the deficit and the debt as we move forward into the out years [of federal fiscal planning] because of the fact that while you are taking these few dollars out, which I congratulate the President for trying to do – they are adding back in massive amounts of spending."

Gregg also used an aquatic metaphor to describe the new administration's cuts.

"So, you are taking a little teeny spoonful of water out of the ocean while you are dumping a whole river into the ocean so the water levels go up and the debt levels go up and burden on our children goes up and the cost of the government and the debt of the government is and remains an unsustainable event for our nation and for future generations."

Gregg, who withdrew his nomination to be Commerce secretary, parted ways with Obama over policy differences before he could be confirmed by his fellow senators. Since backing out of the Commerce spot, the New Hampshire senator, who is known as one of the keenest fiscal minds on Capitol Hill, has been a persistent critic of president Obama's spending and borrowing plans.

In March when Obama's budget blueprint was released, Gregg sounded an alarm bell, saying the country will go "bankrupt" if Obama's fiscal proposals were followed.

Related: 'This country will go bankrupt, says Gregg

"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,'" Gregg said in an interview with CNN's John King. "Well, the plane crashes and our country will crash and we'll pass on to our kids a country that's not affordable."

Filed under: Judd Gregg • Obama administration
soundoff (38 Responses)
  1. Gilberto

    Is the Senator drunk or just plain idiotic?

    didn't Obama say that this was a first step and that much more would be needed to be done?. In other words, how can you walk a mile if you don't take the first step?. Useless rethoric from a typical GOP nut. We're seeing positive results already from the TARP and other initiatives. The comparisons he makes are simply not appropriate.

    May 7, 2009 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  2. AJP

    Poor Greeg, he can't help what he says, he is just a dumb Republican.

    After all Rome wasn't built in a day and everylittle bit helps and it will take time to clear up what Boy George and his gang did to our country.

    May 7, 2009 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  3. Alan

    So, Gregg - you're saying "don't bother because it's a small amount?" ANY amount cut is a start, dumb bell! And Obama's made it clear the cuts will keep coming as they continue to pour through the programs and ineffeciencies. At least he's TRYING and AWARE of the deficit - and using the money that is in the budget for things that actually help THIS country. Sheesh.

    May 7, 2009 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  4. FL for Change

    And HIS plan is...oh that's right, the GOP doesn't HAVE any plans...they "JUST SAY NO," right Nancy???

    May 7, 2009 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  5. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    Well Sen. Gregg, you've been part of the Senate long enough. who approved all of this wasteful spending? Okay, we'll take your criticis, but what's your alternative? That's the problem with your party. You can complain and bicker, but when it comes to providing a solution, you guys are mum. What up wit dat?

    May 7, 2009 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  6. Dan

    Hey Gregg, the gas light came on over a year ago. Where were you then???

    May 7, 2009 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  7. HL

    Hmmm...we can listen to one of the Republicans who supported Bush in creating this mess or we can support the man elected overwhelmingly in November?

    Mr. Gregg, sit down and shut up!

    May 7, 2009 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  8. SHIRLEY "60"

    We really don't expect anything more from the repubs and conservatives, now do we? Greg just go away with the rest of those hateful, greedy, ridiculous people in your party. Everyday you all seem to be walking on the edge of sanity, and it is becoming more and more apparent.

    May 7, 2009 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  9. S Callahan

    forget the ideology of his party...this is OUR country. Wisdom would say spending so much initally was dellusional....time will tell the story.
    I had a dream the other day that the citizens took back their country..each contributed 1000 ..paid off the debt and booted all the self serving people out of line from reality.

    May 7, 2009 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  10. Frank, Las Vegas

    Judd, like the rest of the GOP do nothing but complain, no matter what President Obama does. America sees quite clearly which party is the party that does things for the country and which party does absolutely nothing.

    May 7, 2009 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  11. Ed

    I think John King should continue in his campaign to replace Russ Limbaugh. His apologist approach to the Republican agenda and his
    soft shoe with his republican interviews show a lack of substance make him a "MUST MISS" commentator. All he had to do was ask Gregg for specifics on his "tax breaks to the rich" economic recovery plan. There's more but its of little use with the "NO" mind set.

    May 7, 2009 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  12. Billy

    So more "No" from the party of No.

    At least Obama is trying to do something.

    May 7, 2009 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  13. Jess

    You know, people might start paying attention if you offered an alternative, rather than just wag your finger and say "this isn't good enough." Just a suggestion....

    May 7, 2009 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
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