The Republican Party led by George Bush inherited a budget from Bill Clinton that not only was balanced but showed a surplus and by the time right wing conservatives got through with it, the surplus had been transformed into a trillion dollar mess with huge deficits in the budget. Doubling the national debt from $5 trillion to $11 Trillion did not elicit any charges of fiscal mismanagement from Republicans like Senator Judd Gregg of New Hampshire. When President Bush proposed a stimulus package, the majority of Republicans voted for it. But, when President Obama urges a stimulus package, conservatives like Gregg suddenly find religion and demand fiscal responsibility. Senator Gregg, after agreeing to join the Obama Cabinet, decided he would not because of disagreements with the Democrats about deficits and spending.
Senator Gregg has every right to find fiscal religion and seek to be in favor of balanced budgets, but he was part of the Bush group that got America into trouble and he has a responsibility to work with the president. The Obama stimulus package has been in the news for weeks and when the president contacted him, the senator knew what was the direction of the Obama administration. One has to wonder if the entire matter was part of a Republican plan to embarrass the president.