John McCaslin

Sen. Judd Gregg, the New Hampshire Republican and ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee who withdrew his name to become commerce secretary, says President Obama in a few short weeks has managed to steer the country "dramatically to the left," and in doing so he has sacrificed the "American dream" for future generations.

First accepting the post of commerce secretary, then suddenly bowing out uncomfortably on Feb. 12 in light of differences with the new administration, Mr. Gregg tells Inside the Beltway: "I'm glad I didn't take the job, although I didn't handle it very well, so really in many ways I feel rather badly about it."

Yet given the president's massive tax-and-spend budget proposals, which the senator warns will "triple" the national debt over the next decade, Mr. Gregg now says for the "first time" in America's history one generation will be passing to the next "less opportunity than we received from our parents" that will "reduce the quality" of our children's lives.

Mr. Obama "thinks governments create prosperity and not individuals," Mr. Gregg says.

The respected GOP senator says he also opposes taxpayer dollars going to the floundering U.S. automakers, adding that structured bankruptcies of the Detroit companies "would be better than what is planned now, to be honest with you."

Now, with Mr. Obama taking the unusual step this week of ousting General Motors Chief Executive Officer Rick Wagoner, Mr. Gregg reasons: "That's the slope you get on when you start doing industrial policy - when the government starts running a company."

The entire interview with Mr. Gregg can be heard on Inside the Beltway radio at


"By the way, Madam Speaker, if you like the way the federal government runs other government businesses like the post office, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, FEMA and the IRS, you will love the new federalized auto industry."

-Rep. Ted Poe, Texas Republican, addressing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on the House floor this week


As if commercial airliners already don't have enough to worry about - from bankruptcies to rising fuel costs to terrorists trying to blow them out of the once-blue skies - legislation was introduced in the U.S. Senate this week to "require air carriers to provide training for flight attendants and gate attendants regarding serving alcohol, recognizing intoxicated passengers and dealing with disruptive passengers."


John McCaslin

John McCaslin is a contributing columnist on and author of Inside The Beltway: Offbeat Stories, Scoops, and Shenanigans from around the Nation's Capital .

Be the first to read John McCaslin's column. Sign up today and receive delivered each morning to your inbox.