Archive for the ‘Gregg’ Category

Gregg Goes From Bipartisan Symbol to Top Obama Critic

March 28, 2009

Sen. Judd Gregg, who was President Obama’s commerce secretary nominee until withdrawing his name from consideration, has emerged as the toughest critic of the president’s handling of the economy and has helped galvanize Republican opposition to Obama’s policies.

Fox News
At first, the relationship between President Obama and Sen. Judd Gregg looked like love at first sight, proof that opposites do attract.

Obama is a 47-year-old left-leaning Democrat who believes in the power of government to solve people’s problems. Gregg is a 61-year-old New Hampshire Republican who advocated limited government and made millions through business investments.

Their unlikely partnership seemed destined to transcend partisan lines and symbolize the change that Obama promised to bring to Washington.

But Gregg, who was Obama’s commerce secretary nominee until withdrawing his name from consideration, has emerged as the toughest critic of the president’s handling of the economy and has helped galvanize Republican opposition to Obama’s policies.

He warned on Monday that Obama’s $3.6 trillion budget proposal will lead to unsustainable debt levels and send the country on a fiscal path resembling that of a “banana republic.”

Gregg kept up his attacks on Obama’s budget request Saturday in the weekly Republican radio address, saying the path to prosperity is not the excessive spending proposed by the president but limited spending that holds down the growth of government, taxes and debt.

The senator said Obama’s proposals “represent an extraordinary move of our government to the left.”

He said Obama “is not trying to hide this; in fact, he is very forthright in stating that he believes that by greatly expanding the spending, the taxing and the borrowing of our government, this will lead us to prosperity.”

Like most relationships, this one began with mutual admiration, respect and trust, with flowery compliments flowing between each other.

At their first public appearance together a week-and-a-half before Valentine’s Day, Obama called Gregg “a master of reaching across the aisle to get things done. He will be an astounding addition, a trusted voice in my Cabinet and an able and competent ambassador … I can think of no finer steward for our nation’s commerce.”

In turn, Gregg praised Obama’s economic stimulus proposal to stabilize the economic slide and pull the country out of recession as an “extraordinarily bold, aggressive, effective and comprehensive plan.”

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In his radio address Saturday, Gregg countered each of Obama’s policy principles:

— “It is the individual American who creates prosperity and good jobs, not the government.”

— “We believe that you create energy independence not by sticking Americans with a brand new national sales tax on everyone’s electric bill, but by expanding the production of American energy … while also conserving more.”

–“We also believe you improve everyone’s health care not by nationalizing the health care system and putting the government between you and your doctor, but by assuring that every American has access to quality health insurance and choices in health care.”


Republicans Respond To Obama Budget

March 28, 2009

Attacking President Barack Obama‘s grand spending plans, a GOP lawmaker who almost joined the Democrat’s Cabinet said Saturday the U.S. must live within its means or risk its tradition of passing a more prosperous country from one generation to the next.

“We believe you create prosperity by having an affordable government that pursues its responsibilities without excessive costs, taxes or debt,” Sen. Judd Gregg said in the Republican radio and Internet address.

By WILL LESTER, Associated Press Writer

Gregg, who accepted the job as commerce secretary but then withdrew his nomination because of “irresolvable conflicts” with Obama’s policies, has become one of the toughest critics of Obama’s handling of the economy.

“In the next five years, President Obama’s budget will double the national debt. In the next 10 years, it will triple the national debt,” said Gregg, R-N.H.

“His budget assumes the deficit will average $1 trillion every year for the next 10 years and will add well over $9 trillion in new debts to our children’s backs,” said Gregg, the top Republican on the Senate Budget Committee. “He also is proposing the largest tax increase in history, much of it aimed at taxing small business people who have been, over the years, the best job creators in our economy.”

Gregg said Obama’s proposals “represent an extraordinary move of our government to the left.”

He acknowledged that Obama “is very forthright in stating that he believes that by greatly expanding the spending, the taxing and the borrowing of our government, this will lead us to prosperity.”

In seeking to make the GOP case, Gregg said:

–“It is the individual American who creates prosperity and good jobs, not the government.”

–“We believe that you create energy independence not by sticking Americans with a brand new national sales tax on everyone’s electric bill, but by expanding the production of American energy … while also conserving more.”

–“We also believe you improve everyone’s health care not by nationalizing the health care system and putting the government between you and your doctor, but by assuring that every American has access to quality health insurance and choices in health care.”

He said the U.S. “has an exceptional history of one generation passing on to the next generation a more prosperous and stronger country, but that tradition is being put at risk.”

In Obama Budget; Interest Payments on Debt Will Surpass Defense Spending

March 24, 2009

Republicans over the past few days have slammed Obama’s blueprint, finding creative ways to express how devastating they say the proposal will be to the nation’s financial standing. 

“They are taking the United States down the road of destruction with the debt and the interest on the debt that our children and our grandchildren are going to have to pay,” Sen. John Ensign, R-Nev., said Tuesday. 

After Sen. Judd Gregg, R-N.H., called the budget akin to “banana republic” fiscal policy on Monday, Republicans argued Tuesday that it would run up deficits so high that the United States would not even qualify for membership in the European Union. 

“This creates for us a higher deficit than Cuba’s,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said. “This is not the kind of position we want to put the United States in.” 

Gregg railed on the spending plan over the Congressional Budget Office estimate that the deficits will end up doubling the country’s public debt to 82 percent of its gross domestic product by 2019. 

“To try to put it in a different context, if you take all the presidents since George Washington through George Bush and add up all the debt that they’ve put on the books for the American people, President Obama’s proposal actually equals and exceeds that amount of debt in his first term,” Gregg said Monday. “Staggering numbers when you think about it, just plain staggering numbers.” 

If the borrowing continues as projected, U.S. interest payments will climb rapidly — eventually reaching annual levels comparable to the whopping stimulus package passed last month. 

After three years of deficit spending at projected levels, the interest payments would hit $367 billion in 2013. They would hit more than $500 billion in 2015, soar to $734 billion in 2018, and be more than $800 billion in 2019. 

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., noted that the interest costs would total more than what Obama plans to spend on defense. 

Another concern is that China and other nations have been loaning the United States much of the money it needs — and the Chinese recently questioned their investments in U.S. treasury bonds out of concern the U.S. is getting over-extended. 

Senate Democrats are making key changes to Obama’s budget, trimming spending and dropping some parts entirely, to keep it alive on the Hill. 

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Mark Levin Reminds Americans that Values Count

March 24, 2009

Republicans need to review the past in order to effectively move into the future.

And Republicans need to regain their core values fast in order to effectively work through the current Obama Administration’s march toward socialism.

The Republican past is not John McCain, much as he is loved and admired.

And though many of us think about Ronald Reagan, we must grasp the values and not the personalities we need now — a personality will rise in his or her own time.

Mark Levin’s book  “Liberty and Tyranny” is an effort to get us all to think again about the values we need.

Judd Gregg, who nearly became Barack Obama’s Commerce Secretary, seems to have regained his good thinking and is now speaking out about the Obama budget.

“It just seems inappropriate and irresponsible to spend so much that we send along a huge debt to our children and grandchildren,” he said today on the Fox News Channel.

Good Republican thinking.

“This is a massive spending document that increases government and taxes dramatically.”

So is that a good thing?

Republican cannot allow Rahm Emanuel, Robert Gibbs and the others to define them.  Democrats fear a united conservative movement and have worked hard to make the discussion about Limbaugh or Steele.

The discussion is not about who.  The discussion is about the values and how best to achieve them.

Republicans: If You Can’t Agree On Core Values Now, Commit Harakiri

 Republicans Must Hang Together, or One By One


 Liberated “Almost Commerce Sec” Gregg: Obama’s Harshest Budget, Debt Critic

 U.S. Seeks Expanded Power to Seize Firms

 Because of Obama, Our enemies sense weakness

Senators Ready To Abandon Missile Defense:

GOP sees signs of life in Northeast

Obama Wants Confidence To Revive the Economy: But Hasn’t Earned Any

March 24, 2009

Am I supposed to have confidence when the president praches “You can have everything: health care and the rest.  Just let me give your kids this debt.”

Seems counter-intuitive….

Am I supposed to trust Turbo Tax Geithner?  YIKES.

Hillary, Rahm Emanuel, Robert Gibbs?

Am I supposed to trust the House of Representatives and Nancy Pelosi?

Pelosi is telling  illegal immigrats the law enforcers are anti-America.

Should I trust the Senate?  Chris Dodd has amnesia and a retirement spot in Ireland, thanks to his government “service.”

I feel like a farm animal who just got “serviced” by one of the bulls…

Has Dodd given back the AIG donations to his campaign —  after he wanted AIG bonuses repaid?

Senator Judd Gregg deadpanned today, “Americans started a revolution because a far off king abused his tax authority….”

HA!  A bit of hope from the Senate!

In the Senate, the buck really has to stop now for conservatives…..

Read Michelle Malkin:


With the braying of 328 yahoos — members of the House of Representatives who voted for retroactive and punitive use of the tax code to confiscate the legal earnings of a small, unpopular group — still reverberating, the Obama administration yesterday invited private-sector investors to become business partners with the capricious and increasingly anti-constitutional government. This latest plan to unfreeze the financial system came almost half a year after Congress shoveled $700 billion into the Troubled Assets Relief Program, $325 billion of which has been spent without purchasing any toxic assets.

By George F. Will

TARP funds have, however, semi-purchased, among many other things, two automobile companies (and, last week, some of their parts suppliers), which must amaze Sweden. That unlikely tutor of America regarding capitalist common sense has said, through a Cabinet minister, that the ailing Saab automobile company is on its own: “The Swedish state is not prepared to own car factories.”
Another embarrassing auditor of American misgovernment is China, whose premier has rightly noted the unsustainable trajectory of America’s high-consumption, low-savings economy. He has also decorously but clearly expressed sensible fears that his country’s $1 trillion-plus of dollar-denominated assets might be devalued by America choosing, as banana republics have done, to use inflation for partial repudiation of improvidently incurred debts.

From Mexico, America is receiving needed instruction about fundamental rights and the rule of law. A leading Democrat trying to abolish the right of workers to secret ballots in unionization elections is California’s Rep. George Miller who, with 15 other Democrats, in 2001 admonished Mexico: “The secret ballot is absolutely necessary in order to ensure that workers are not intimidated into voting for a union they might not otherwise choose.” Last year, Mexico’s highest court unanimously affirmed for Mexicans the right that Democrats want to strip from Americans.

Congress, with the approval of a president who has waxed censorious about his predecessor’s imperious unilateralism in dealing with other nations, has shredded the North American Free Trade Agreement. Congress used the omnibus spending bill to abolish a program that was created as part of a protracted U.S. stall regarding compliance with its obligation to allow Mexican long-haul trucks on U.S. roads. The program, testing the safety of Mexican trucking, became an embarrassment because it found Mexican trucking at least as safe as U.S. trucking. Mexico has resorted to protectionism — tariffs on many U.S. goods — in retaliation for Democrats’ protection of the Teamsters union.

NAFTA, like all treaties, is the “supreme law of the land.” So says the Constitution. It is, however, a cobweb constraint on a Congress that, ignoring the document’s unambiguous stipulations that the House shall be composed of members chosen “by the people of the several states,” is voting to pretend that the District of Columbia is a state. Hence it supposedly can have a Democratic member of the House and, down the descending road, two Democratic senators. Congress rationalizes this anti-constitutional willfulness by citing the Constitution’s language that each house shall be the judge of the “qualifications” of its members and that Congress can “exercise exclusive legislation” over the District. What, then, prevents Congress from giving House and Senate seats to Yellowstone National Park, over which Congress exercises exclusive legislation? Only Congress’s capacity for embarrassment. So, not much.

The Federal Reserve, by long practice rather than law, has been insulated from politics in performing its fundamental function of preserving the currency as a store of value — preventing inflation. Now, however, by undertaking hitherto uncontemplated functions, it has become an appendage of the executive branch. The coming costs, in political manipulation of the money supply, of this forfeiture of independence could be steep.

Jefferson warned that “great innovations should not be forced on slender majorities.” But Democrats, who trace their party’s pedigree to Jefferson, are contemplating using “reconciliation” — a legislative maneuver abused by both parties to severely truncate debate and limit the minority’s right to resist — to impose vast and controversial changes on the 17 percent of the economy that is health care. When the Congressional Budget Office announced that the president’s budget underestimates by $2.3 trillion the likely deficits over the next decade, his budget director, Peter Orszag, said: All long-range budget forecasts are notoriously unreliable — so rely on ours.

This is but a partial list of recent lawlessness, situational constitutionalism and institutional derangement. Such political malfeasance is pertinent to the financial meltdown as the administration, desperately seeking confidence, tries to stabilize the economy by vastly enlarging government’s role in it.

Liberated “Almost Commerce Sec” Gregg: Obama’s Harshest Budget, Debt Critic

March 24, 2009

Now that he’s not joining them, Judd Gregg has made no bones about criticizing the Obama administration.

The New Hampshire senator and formerly almost-commerce-secretary has become one of President Obama’s sharpest and most prominent congressional critics of late, saying this weekend on CNN that “this country will go bankrupt” under Obama’s budget and denouncing the administration’s consideration of rolling big energy and health care policies into the un-filibuster-able budget, telling the Washington Post that that’s the “Chicago approach to governing” (akin to “running over the minority, putting them in cement and throwing them in the Chicago River”).

Gregg cuts a unique path: He stands by Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and told CNN’s John King that while he has problems with the budget and stimulus package, when it comes to the administration’s efforts to stabilize the financial system, “I think they’re taking the right course of action.”

In an interview yesterday, Gregg praised Obama on a personal level as a “pretty effective guy” and a “great personality” and gave preliminary kudos to Geithner’s new bailout plan (though he wanted to read the fine print), saying that public guarantees plus private dollars could equal the right formula to get toxic assets off of banks’ books.

Meanwhile, Gregg has also emerged as one of the sharper critics of the effort to impose a supertax on AIG bonuses, calling that “an abuse of the tax laws” (though he says that the bonuses themselves are “despicable” and that more should have been done to rein in American International Group earlier).

The tax-AIG-at-90-percent effort, Gregg said yesterday, “sets a horrific precedent for our nation. This is something Venezuela might do.” He adds: “As a practical matter, the opportunity to discipline this was flubbed by us. The Treasury Department had every opportunity to limit these bonuses,” including making the $30 billion in additional funds released this month contingent on curbing bonuses.

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Sen. Judd Gregg, R-N.H. speaks during a news conference on Capitol ...

Gregg said President Obama proposes to amass more debt than all other U.S. presidents — combined.  Here Sen. Judd Gregg, R-N.H. speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Monday, March 23, 2009.(AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Sen. Gregg says Obama budget will bankrupt US

March 22, 2009

The top Republican on the Senate Budget Committee says the Obama administration is on the right course to save the nation’s financial system.

But Sen. Judd Gregg of New Hampshire also says President Barack Obama‘s massive budget proposal will bankrupt the country.

Gregg says he has no regrets in withdrawing his nomination to become commerce secretary. He pulled out after deciding he could not fully back the administration’s economic policies.

The senator said Obama’s spending plan in the midst of a prolonged recession would leave the next generation with a country too expensive to live in.

Gregg appeared Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

Expect Obama To Trash Bipartisan Pledge and Railroad His Budget Through Congress “Rubber Stamp”

March 18, 2009

Even with a huge majority of Democrats in the House and an ample edge in the Senate, Barack Obama is expected to take no chances on anything stopping his spending train.

The legislative and deliberation shortcut is called “budget reconciliation”…..

By using this trick,Obama can be assured he’ll get his hands on a lot more money than he might if he went through normal congressional procedure….

President Obama urged more speed just yesterday for his next budget: a $3.6 trillion beheamouth.  “Budget reconciliation” would allow him to get exactly what he wants.  So watch this develop: AIG is a distraction.  The AIG bonuses ate less than 0.1 % of the AIG bailout…..

That doesn’t include all the health care money Obama wants by a long shot:
Health care overhaul may cost another $1.5 trillion or more

Obama’s budget doesn’t yet fully address the climate change measures he wants: Cha-ching:
 Obama climate plan could cost $2 trillion

The stimulus — which no “lawmaker” has admitted to reading before it was passed, was a lesson in why we need congress to deliberate and not rubber stamp spending bills.

But the president naturally wants more spending, less deliberation and more rubber stamping — which will get him his goals and reelection….

By John E. Carey
Peace and Freedom

Obama’s Real Problem: He Still Wants Toxic Acid Bank Bailout $750B, Budget of $3.6 Trillion, and More


By Lori Montgomery
The Washington Post

Senior members of the Obama administration are pressing lawmakers to use a shortcut to drive the president’s signature initiatives on health care and energy through Congress without Republican votes, a move that many lawmakers say would fly in the face of President Obama’s pledge to restore bipartisanship to Washington.

Republicans are howling about the proposal to expand health coverage and tax greenhouse gas emissions without their input, warning that it could irrevocably damage relations with the new president.

“That would be the Chicago approach to governing: Strong-arm it through,” said  Sen. Judd Gregg (R-N.H.), who briefly considered joining the Obama administration as commerce secretary. “You’re talking about the exact opposite of bipartisan. You’re talking about running over the minority, putting them in cement and throwing them in the Chicago River.”

The shortcut, known as “budget reconciliation,” would allow Obama’s health and energy proposals to be rolled into a bill that cannot be filibustered, meaning Democrats could push it through the Senate with 51 votes, instead of the usual 60. Presidents Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton both used the tactic to win deficit-reduction packages, while George W. Bush used it to push through his signature tax cuts.

Administration officials say they have not made a final decision about whether to use the maneuver. But White House budget director Peter R. Orszag said yesterday that it is “premature to be taking it off the table.” Meanwhile, key administration officials, including White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, are pushing for reconciliation instructions in the budget proposal that Democrats are scheduled to unveil next week, congressional sources said.

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Fumble to Stumble; Obama Moves Ahead or Back?

February 14, 2009

Reinforcing the view that the Obama team is losing the discipline it displayed on the campaign trail…

By Edward Luce and Krishna Guha
Seven days ago, the joke in Washington was that Barack Obama had suffered the worst possible week of his presidency – in spite of having just three from which to choose. The loss of Tom Daschle, Mr Obama’s nominee for health secretary, to the usual shenanigans over tax arrears was a big setback. But a week, as the cliché goes, is a long time in politics and this last one has proved even more uncomfortable.

The withdrawal on Thursday night of Judd Gregg, the Republican senator from New Hampshire, who had a change of heart about whether he could fit in with a Democratic administration, is not in the same league as the loss of Mr Daschle. Although an embarrassment, Mr Gregg’s withdrawal as the nominee for commerce secretary is likely to end up as a footnote. The same would probably apply to almost any other banana skin lying in wait for Mr Obama were he to lead America out of recession and help restore confidence in the global capitalist system.

Unfortunately, the difficulty of that task looks even greater today than during the euphoria of his inauguration. The blame for that has been heaped on Tim Geithner, Mr Obama’s Treasury secretary, who is accused of having botched his announcement on Tuesday of a new financial sector rescue plan.

The Dow Jones industrial average lost 382 points that day – the largest drop since early December. Economists disagree about the likely impact of – and even the need for – the $787bn (£547bn, €611bn) fiscal stimulus, which last night was heading for approval by Congress. But all agree that it will at best provide temporary relief and a lasting recovery is impossible until there is a restoration of healthy credit flows through the financial system.

Most, thus, see the stimulus as a mere appetiser to the main course of bank recapitalisation. “Japan proved that unless you get the banking system healthy again then no amount of stimulus is going to be enough,” says Bill Gale, director of the economic studies programme at the Brookings Institution. “If we don’t do a proper bank recapitalisation now, then it’s the kind of thing we will look back on in two years and say: ‘My God, we missed an opportunity to recapitalise the banks at a time when it would have been much less expensive’.”

Mr Geithner’s plan was widely panned in the market for lacking detail – particularly on the shape of a proposed public-private partnership to buy toxic assets. But while thin on specifics, the plan was in some respects bolder than anticipated. Mr Geithner set out a process for revealing the true extent of the losses facing US banks and a mechanism for providing additional equity capital to help them survive the recession. If, as most independent experts believe, the process reveals a big capital shortfall, it could open the door for large-scale bank recapitalisation.

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Gregg: ‘I’m Too Conservative’ for Obama

February 13, 2009

Republican Sen. Judd Gregg said Friday that he pulled out of the job of commerce secretary after realizing that “I’m just going to be a little too conservative” for President Obama’s administration.

Associated Press

If you’re going to be on a football team, “you’ve got to pull out and block on every play, you can’t do it on every other play,” the senator said.

“I didn’t feel comfortable going forward because of my individuality, for lack of a better term,” Gregg said during an appearance Friday morning on CNBC.

Gregg said he thinks Obama is on the right track in attempts to stabilize the shaky financial system and that the proposal of Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner — much criticized as being too vague — is going to be an extremely strong initiative once it is filled out with details.

At the same time, Gregg said his conservative inclinations would show up in terms of fiscal spending.

Regarding the $790 billion economic stimulus plan, “I think there was a tactical error made … in that you allowed the appropriators to write the package,” said Gregg.

He said he thinks the stimulus plan “should be focusing mainly on trying to stabilize the real estate markets, and promoting small business and getting jobs.”

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