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Good Thing He Wasn’t Commerce Secretary

Give this to Sen. Judd Gregg (R-N.H.): He wasn’t lying when he said he wasn’t a good fit in President Obama’s cabinet.

Gregg, of course, withdrew his nomination for commerce secretary in a storm of media attention last month. The senator, the ranking Republican on the Senate Budget Committee, cited concerns that his spending philosophy was too far adrift from that of the White House.

He wasn’t kidding.

In today’s Washington Times, Gregg minces no words in going after Obama’s $3.6 trillion budget wish-list for 2010:

The president’s budget also proposes to set us on a path to nationalize the health-care system at a huge cost, and, for good measure, it throws in nationalizing the ability of people to borrow to send their kids to college. It suggests that the best way to address climate change is to create a new national sales tax on everyone’s electric bills. And, at a time when millions of Americans are struggling to find jobs, it proposes taxing small businesses, our nation’s engine of job growth, at rate that could be seen as confiscatory.

In other words, the president’s proposal is a massive and breathtaking document, and it should not be called a budget. Rather, it should be called a blueprint for the France-ification of America, a notebook for nationalization, or a memo for massive debt creation. But a budget, by any sense of the word, it is not.

The rant might be easily dismissed if Gregg’s Democratic counterpart on the Budget Committee, Chairman Kent Conrad of North Dakota, didn’t harbor a similar distaste for parts of the president’s budget. Notably, Conrad has criticized the administration’s cap-and-trade proposal, arguing that it would increase fuel costs at a time when Americans can least afford it. Earlier this week, he told The Hill that anyone who thought the White House budget would pass the Senate “is smoking something.”

At least we know where they stand.

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