March 22, 2009

Well, if it wasn't already obvious, it should be plain by now that the whole flirtation with Judd Gregg wouldn't have worked out at all for the Obama administration. Because he just can't suppress his inner Republican, especially when he gets on national teevee shows like CNN's State of the Union with John King on Sunday:

"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 have 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.”

A clever quote (he's used it previously), but cleverness doesn't make for good economics. Obama's recovery plan has always been clearly a gamble of a different sort -- he's essentially betting that the stimulus package will create enough economic activity to overcome the deficits. In a simple airplane analogy, he's betting that they can create enough fuel to get the plane over the rough stretch -- which in the world of aviation, of course, doesn't work. But economics isn't exactly avionics. And Gregg knows that -- but hey, why not trot out the Republican talking points anyway?

Earlier in the segment, Gregg complained that the Congress was going after the AIG bonuses irrationally, with torches and pitchforks. But then he turned around and offered up this bit of hysteria too, certain to turn up on Glenn Beck's show Monday as proof of Obama's "socialism" taking us straight to Helena Handbasket. Yeah, that was helpful.

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