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.
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."