After three decades of public service, retiring Senator Judd Gregg R-Nh., isn't pulling any punches when it comes to his assessment of the economy, which he classifies as headed for an "inevitable fiscal meltdown." Gregg, the Ranking Member on both the Senate Budget and Banking Committees, has long been recognized as an expert on fiscal matters and spoke to Fox News on Sunday as he prepares to leave office.
Chief among Gregg's concerns is the massive deficit under which the U.S. is currently operating. Gregg says the economy is on an "unsustainable track" that, if continued at its current pace, "will double the federal debt in five years, and triple it in 10 years." Gregg compared financial problems here in the U.S. to those Greece is currently having, noting that while the U.S. is a "more vibrant nation, we are still on the exact same track" as the troubled country when it comes to finances.
Gregg insists we need to cut spending, especially as the nation gets ready to take on "70 million retirees" as opposed to the "35 million retirees" the U.S. is currently sustaining via Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid programs. Gregg says the government needs to create incentives for Americans to get involved and better understand the tax process, which he called complex. "Making tax laws simpler to understand" will result in higher compliance from taxpayers and "produce more economic activity" across the country.
When asked about solutions to help remedy the fragile financial situation, the Senator referenced his plan that would "eliminate a lot of deductions and exemptions" from which taxpayers would benefit from "drastic reductions in income tax rates for Americans making under $200,000 a year."
Congress is set to take up the expiring Bush tax cuts among other issues upon arrival back in Washington after the Thanksgiving holiday.