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Hoo-boy, what a scream Phil Gramm is!
He’s the sour old former-Texas senator who, in 2002, leveraged his chairmanship of the banking committee into a sweetheart job as chief lobbyist for UBS, a giant investment bank on Wall Street. He’s also tight with John McCain, who made Phil his campaign co-chair and top economic advisor last year.
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McCain, who has admitted that he doesn’t know much about economics, counts on his old senate buddy so much that Fortune magazine dubbed Gramm, “McCain’s econ brain.” The two say they confer every day, and McCain recently gushed: “I respect no one more in America on issue[s] of economics than I do Phil Gramm.”
Imagine the senator’s surprise, then, when his econ brain recently began sputtering out elitist vitriol about the hoi polloi. Gramm said he has no patience with all these stories about people facing hard times, declaring that America has “sort of become a nation of whiners.” The economy is fine, pronounced the economic doctor, except that people have fallen into “a mental recession.”
Actually, McCain need not have been surprised by Gramm’s harsh, right-wing rant. We Texans have long known that anyone needing a heart transplant should try to get Phil’s, for it’s never been used. A laissez-faire extremist, he’s never had any appreciation for people’s real-life problems, instead seeing people themselves as the problem. And he’s always been quick to mock folks who are beneath him on the economic ladder. Consider, for example, this Gramm gem about American poverty: “We’re the only nation in the world where all our poor people are fat.”
I’m telling you, the guy’s a scream! Yet, despite Phil’s recent political gaffe, McCain loves and respects him so much that Gramm is widely believed to be his choice for Treasury Secretary, which would make him America’s top economic official. Now wouldn’t that be a scream?
“Phil Gramm’s Greatest Hits: ‘Poor People Are Fat’ And ‘There Should Be No Minimum Wage’” www.thinkprogress.org, July 11, 2008.
“McCain Claims Gramm ‘Does Not Speak For Me’ On Same Day Gramm Speaks For McCain In Meeting With WSJ” www.thinkprogress.org, July 10, 2008.