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“Tell me with whom you walk, and I’ll tell you who you are,” goes the old adage.
By that wisdom, John McCain is Phil Gramm, which is another way of saying he’s Wall Street and Corporate America. Not only has McCain filled his campaign staff with big business lobbyists, but he’s also put such corporate-minded characters as Gramm by his side as top policy advisors, walking in step with them.
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You might remember Phil as the right-wing, Texas senator who chaired the senate banking committee. He rammed through a Wall Street deregulation bill that suddenly let powerhouse investment banks move into exotic financial schemes that were balanced precariously atop predatory subprime mortgages. Having been the magical congressional alchemist for this rapacious scheme of turning poor people’s home-ownership dreams into Wall Street gold, Gramm left the senate to go – where else? – to Wall Street!
For the past six years, he’s been VP and top lobbyist for UBS, one of the world’s largest investment banks and a major player in the subprime mortgage game. Unfortunately, that game has gone very badly, and as a result, UBS has posted $37 billion in losses in just the past six months. Thanks, Phil.
But disastrous economic failure hasn’t daunted Gramm, who has been McCain’s national campaign co-chair and financial policy guru from the start, even though he continued lobbying for UBS. Now, he’s walking McCain over the economic cliff, having developed the GOP candidate’s recent policy of coldly dismissing relief for duped borrowers and rejecting public regulation of Wall Street’s profiteering schemes. Guru Gramm is also pushing McCain to raise America’s retirement age, privatize Social Security, and further deregulate Wall Street.
Did I mention that Gramm is in line to be Treasury Secretary if McCain wins? And that, my friends, is who John McCain is.
“McCain housing policy shaped by lobbyist,” www.msmbc.com, May 27, 2008
“Phil Gramm & John McCain: Together Again,” www.realclearpoliticis.com, October 20, 2006
“McCain guru linked to subprime crisis,” www.politicl.com, March 30, 2008
“Economic Slump Underlines Concerns About McCain Advisers,” www.washingtonpost.com, April 2, 2008