In the News

Sen. Judd Gregg, the New Hampshire Republican who nearly became President Obama's secretary of commerce, said today that the United States couldn't join the European Union because our deficit and debt levels are too high:

"We won't even be able to get into the EU if we wanted to," the Hill quotes Gregg as saying on MSNBC, "because our government is so large and so huge."

The European Union's Stability and Growth Pact requires a budget deficit of less than 3 percent of GDP and a national debt of less than 60 percent. The Congressional Budget Office is forecasting larger deficits than this under the Obama budget in the coming years.

"We've been lectured by France on the fact that we're not fiscally responsible right now," Gregg said. In other words, the United States has managed to go broke even before adopting a European-style welfare state.

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