Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Gramm is McCain's $$ Man

This is a problem for GOP candidate John McCain in November.... "Inflation, Consumer Prices Rise in January." (WaPo)

"Inflation accelerated in January as the rising cost of energy, food and transportation led price increases across a broad array of goods and services..... and yesterday "oil closed at a record high of more than $100 a barrel.... ."

You get the picture, our economy is in the dumper. Yet candidate McCain admitted to the Wall Street Journal editorial board in January that he "doesn't really understand economics" and looks to his adviser and former Senate colleague, Phil Gramm.... whom he had brought to the meeting.... as his expert on the subject! (HuffPost)

Phil Gramm! "By your advisers we shall know you" should be a heeded campaign commandment. Because we now know a lot more about McCain by his choice of an economic guru.

Gramm, who prides himself on meanness, once wrote a vanquished opponent, "I feel sorry for your many problems, but you deserve them."

Elected as a tight-fisted Texas conservative in 1984, over time he was shown to be all sermon and no scripture.... "Gramm spoke of belt-tightening, but forced it only on folks he didn't need, notably immigrants and the poor. He began his career railing against corporate subsidies, but he never pulled the trigger. Instead he became one of the biggest recipients of campaign contributions from energy, banking, health-care, and insurance companies." (Slate)

During his 18 years in the Senate, Gramm helped spearhead the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act which allowed commercial and investment banks -- like Citigroup --to more easily merge. He's all about big business is better and anti-government.

Gramm also reflects the world-view of in-Iraq-100-years, bomb-bomb-bomb-Iran, jobs-will-never-come-back McCain. Gramm ran for president himself in 1996, and failed.... "What killed Gramm in '96 was not that he's hypocritical or too ambitious or ugly (one of his talking points) or even condescending. What killed him was that he has a deeply gloomy view of the world. Gramm lives on fear. We're on an escalator to hell..... He sees enemies everywhere."

He's been described as having "a rare quality in a successful politician. He is a man smaller than life." Making Gramm the perfect ideologial fit for McCain, but not for a country bent on change and hope for the future.

McCain's handlers and the Republican mover-doers know that McCain is weak on economics but strong on war and fear, especially fear. Watch for the fear meter to go to red by November.... a terrorist incident, escalating problems in the Middle East.... we'll know it when we see it. It'll be a commander-in-chief moment tailor-made (literally?) for MadMax McCain. Or at least spun to holocaustic-heights by the Republican myth-makers.

In November citizens will have a clear choice.... the McCain-Gramm continuance of The Decider's boogieman style and downward economic spiral, or turning the page and moving forward. No decision should be easier.

1 comment:

rfalken said...

Swell.. Gramm is back... If you recall the story of Wendy & Phil Gramm;

One upon a time.. in 1993, in the final days of the first Bush administration, Wendy Gramm, chairwoman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, (CFTC) pushed through a regulatory exemption removing energy derivatives contracts and interest-rate swaps from federal oversight.

Enron hit the jackpot and five weeks later Wendy Gramm became a member of the Enron board of directors.

Enron Lobbyists working with Senator Phil Gramm drafted the now famous “Enron loophole” for Enron’s new experiment, "Enron On-line". - Gramm received more than $34,000 in campaign contributions from Enron.

Gramm slipped in this Enron-backed provision and on December 2000 President Clinton signed The Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000 ( CFMA ) into law.

As a result, energy trading on electronic platforms was now exempted from regulation by the US. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and the speculation began.

Less than a month later, California began to experience rolling blackouts due to artificial electricity shortages which, according to documents later released by federal energy regulators, were the result of manipulative trading practices employed by Enron.

Enron, with Wendy Gramm now on its board of directors, created false electricity shortages, defrauding consumers out of an estimated $40 billion.

Gramm is McCain's key economic advisor.