Phil Gramm, the former right-wing senator from Texas, has surprised me.
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I had assumed he had zero charitable instincts, for he kept trying to kill such poor people’s programs as food assistance: “We’re the only nation in the world where all our poor people are fat,” he smirked.
But Phil seems to have developed a new empathy for people who’re demonized. Although he’s now a Wall Street operative, Gramm returned to Capitol Hill in July to express solidarity with victims of bigotry in our country. Wow! Gramm standing with Black Lives Matter and oppressed immigrants!
No, no… not “them.” The former senator was testifying against a new rule requiring corporations to reveal the spread between their CEO’s pay and what their workers get. It’s “demagoguery,” Phil grumped. Then he lurched into the abyss of absurdity by wailing that overpaid corporate chieftains are actually – get this – victims of public bigotry. The multimillionaire snarled that “The one form of bigotry that is still allowed in this country is bigotry against the successful.”
To prove this bizarre claim, Gramm cited the specific case of his buddy, Ed Whiteacre, who retired as CEO of AT&T in 2007. Ed was widely condemned for grabbing a $158-million retirement package for himself as he went out the door. Gramm practically wept as he related the sad story of Whiteacre’s heartache. The guy was actually underpaid, wailed Gramm – “If there’s ever been an exploited worker, he was exploited. It was an outrage!” Odd since the former senator, had never previously expressed the slightest concern about exploited workers.
This is Jim Hightower saying… Perhaps Gramm could do a telethon to support ex-executives like Ed, who suffer such soul-crushing bigotry. Please give ’til it hurts… and don’t laugh, for Phil really feels the pain of the rich.