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McCain Adviser: Recession All in Our Minds

Posted on Jul 10, 2008
Gramm and McCain

Whispering words of wisdom: Adviser Phil Gramm stands behind John McCain, literally and figuratively.

According to Phil Gramm, the former senator from Texas who’s now a key economic adviser to Sen. John McCain, America’s economic woes, insofar as they actually exist, are the product of some stinking thinking by “a nation of whiners” and doom-and-gloom headlines from the U.S. media. Gramm’s comments, made during an interview with The Washington Times, drew strong criticism from McCain himself, as well as from Barack Obama’s camp.

But, as a Politico article from earlier this year points out, Gramm might have personal reasons to downplay the current economic downturn.

The Washington Times:

In an interview with the Washington Times, Phil Gramm, a former Texas senator who is now vice chairman of UBS, the giant Swiss bank, said he expects Mr. McCain to inherit a sluggish economy if he wins the presidency, weighed down above all by the conviction of many Americans that economic conditions are the worst in two or three decades and that America is in decline.

“You’ve heard of mental depression; this is a mental recession,” he said, noting that growth has held up at about 1 percent despite all the publicity over losing jobs to India, China, illegal immigration, housing and credit problems and record oil prices. “We may have a recession; we haven’t had one yet.”

“We have sort of become a nation of whiners,” he said. “You just hear this constant whining, complaining about a loss of competitiveness, America in decline” despite a major export boom that is the primary reason that growth continues in the economy, he said.

“We’ve never been more dominant; we’ve never had more natural advantages than we have today,” he said. “We have benefited greatly” from the globalization of the economy in the last 30 years.

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By cyrena, July 14, 2008 at 6:47 am Link to this comment


“... So phillie willie,”???? smile smile smile smile

I don’t know why. Maybe I’m so tired I’m silly.

But, this just tickled me ... and the puddle of diarrhea..Oh MY! smile

You could always get a job as a comedian samosamo. People need this…they’d pay for it. We can’t pay for anything else, so what the hell…

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By Inherit The Wind, July 14, 2008 at 4:27 am Link to this comment

It was said before and far more eloquently:

When told that the people had no bread, Marie Antoinette asked:

“Why can’t they eat cake?”

Then there was Nelson Rockefeller in the early 70’s saying:

“Take your average household making $100,000/year”

in a time when a working man was lucky to make $15,000/year and a full professor at a university made $25,000 (assistant profs made $13,000 to $15,000).

One more reason to make sure McSame isn’t elected.

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By samosamo, July 11, 2008 at 9:42 pm Link to this comment

Phil Gramm, a former Texas senator who is now vice chairman of UBS, the giant Swiss bank.

So phillie willie, now we know where you keep your offshore ill gotten gains. Come over to my house I will show what whinning is all about. Lost my job, had to refinance my house for a lower mortgage payment, am collecting unemployment compensation for now and hope I get a job soon. Like I said, you want some real whinning, come over you classic puddle of diarrhea.
I guess if mccain has done any one good thing it would be getting rid of your sorry ass. But I still will not vote for him.

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By WriterOnTheStorm, July 11, 2008 at 10:55 am Link to this comment

I’m as happy as the next guy to see Gramm bite the bitter dust of political expediency, but what he said was a fairly banal academic truth for economists. Every market is subject to the moods (mentality) of those who buy or sell in that market. If overnight everyone decided that gold, for example, is worthless, it would indeed become worthless - duh.

But apart from the gotcha aspects of this, the real story here is McCain. His ruthlessness in throwing Gramm overboard reveals not a man of honor, integrity and principals as his campaign contends, but rather a pandering opportunistic sell-out. Just another carney in the circus groveling for center ring.

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By southparker, July 11, 2008 at 9:11 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Substitute “I” for the “we” in the last paragraph and you have the essense of Gramm’s comments.  From the perspective of the corporations and elite wealthy in this country, those last three statements are true.

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By P. T., July 11, 2008 at 9:08 am Link to this comment

Phil Gramm is defensive because a lot of the blame for the recession is the fault of him and his wife, Wendy Gramm.

The deregulation that they pushed through led to the mortgage and housing crisis of today.  That led to the recession.  That’s why Gramm has become known as “Foreclosure Phil.”

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By JATINDER SINGH HOON, July 11, 2008 at 9:03 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Old tired men club.With advisor like Phil Graham, who needs economic experts.

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By Louise, July 11, 2008 at 7:43 am Link to this comment

Big mystery. How can people who make decisions that pull the country back into the dark ages, killing millions along the way, not understand the consequence of their actions?

How come we hear we’re winning in Iraq, at the same time we hear we’ll be there for a hundred years?

How come we hear, we consume 25% of the worlds oil and we sit on 2% of the worlds reserves, but we can “drill” our way out of our oil problem? Does anyone in DC know how to do math?

How come it doesn’t matter that millions are suffering horrible, brutal deaths in those third world nations where the hunger for oil drives indifference to the brutal behavior of leaders in bed with those oil people?

How come testimony, and the numbers establish as fact, run-away market speculation is driving up the cost of oil, but the infamous 110 congress wont do anything about that run-away speculation?

How come this goes on? Don’t these people care what their political decisions do? Don’t they care that they are destroying the nation?

That was the big mystery when the Supremes overstepped their authority and selected a Bush to run the country. That was the big mystery when we found out that Bush sat on his hands when warnings came that terrorists were preparing to attack the country. That was the big mystery when that Bush decided, after being attacked by someone allegedly from Saudi Arabia, trained by someone allegedly in Afghanistan, to attack Iraq.

Don’t they know what they are doing? Don’t they care? 

You better believe they know what they’re doing. It’s called profit.

And you darn well better believe they don’t care. It’s called stealing from the poor to give to the rich. Which of course is why John McCain is the most perfect choice for president of these United States. He not only does not care, he does not have a clue!

More important, those voters who support his run for president and will show up to vote for him in November, don’t care, and don’t have a clue.

Even if you drew a roadmap for them, they couldn’t understand. Even if they focused really hard and got a glimmer of what’s really going on, they still wouldn’t understand, or care. Because the biggest mystery of all is how these dumbbells can still believe if they vote for corruption and dishonesty, [theft from the majority to provide great wealth to the privileged few] they somehow will get a piece of that wealth!

Meanwhile the TRUTH in big bold letters is out there, if anyone cares to take a look.

Phil Gramm, the most perfect example of a man who steals from the poor to give to the rich is being held up by the republicans as the “expert” on the economy. Yes, if the goal is to take whatever’s left when Bush finishes looting the treasury, Phil Gramm is the perfect choice to make decisions about the economy. Because he, better than just about anyone will figure out a way to bleed the very last dollar out of this turnip called the United States.

And just in case you think I’m exaggerating republican intent, lets look at one of Gramm’s statements:

“A proven “instrument” of bipartisan reform and change in many areas, Mr. McCain would seek out Democratic leaders like Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada to fashion a bipartisan reform of Social Security.”

What is the one thing these bastards have not been able to dismantle? Social Security.

Do you believe for one minute they’re going to sit quietly while there is still a multi-billion dollar revenue they don’t have feeding into their bottom line? If millions of old and sick and crippled folks fall by the wayside when they steal that money, do you think they care?

Not for a minute.

It’s the republican way.

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By dihey, July 11, 2008 at 7:33 am Link to this comment

Both campaigns jump on utterances by persons associated with the other campaign even though neither McCain nor Obama can control what these loose cannons say. It is all understandable but smells of Kindergarten-level prattle. I for one wish that the campaigns stick to what really counts which is what the candidates say and do.

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By Conservative Yankee, July 11, 2008 at 7:22 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Graham is perfect for his role. He is for no one, and everyone, he was a Democrat when they shared his racist elitist beliefs, then he became a Republican when Republicanism advanced his personal interests. He is the quincintenial banker, landlord, and massa of the plantation.  If the South rises again, He’ll be the new Jeff Davis

BUT he’s right about one thing… we’re a nation of whinners internet revolutionaries with some good ideas but no back-bone to take the necessary steps (which TD won’t let me post) to reaccuire our nation. 

So far we have acquiesced to torture, kidnapping, evesdropping, the loss of our fourth, fifth and sixth amendment rights. We are presumed guilty until proven innocent, we are have sacrificed our right to freely move about and “pursue happiness” We’ve watched in thrall while our “leaders” have sold the country to China, opened the southern border to cheap labor, and stolen two elections.  Phil Graham did not do this… we asked for it.

So what’s it going to take?  The brown-shirts hauling our loved ones away, the imprisonment of decenters, Karl Rove pissing on the Old North Bridge?

... bet I know what would do it… maybe when the government begins rounding up TV remotes.

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By reason, July 11, 2008 at 6:38 am Link to this comment

Cyrena and Jersey Girl, “go girls”! You’re right on the money!....... I’m with you all the way!!!    smile

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By dicl, July 11, 2008 at 6:38 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Phil and Wendy, the perfect poster folks for corruption, both of whom made the Enron scandal possible and who whined publicly when their ill-begotten Enron shares tanked.

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By felicity, July 11, 2008 at 6:35 am Link to this comment

From Gramm’s view naturally all is peachy-keen. Gramm and his fellow nabobs live by the code of socialize the risks; take the profits.

So, when their risk-taking gets them in trouble they turn to the government to bail them out.  However, when there are profits to make and take, the government is suddenly the regulation-happy ogre.

This sweet little flimflam deal is the heart and soul of Republicanism.

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By xyzaffair, July 11, 2008 at 6:33 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I’m not surprised.  Phil Gramm accused Bill Clinton of pandering to a special-interest group because of his gays-in-the-military initiative.

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By Chris Hall, July 11, 2008 at 6:06 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Hey Phil,

The ONLY reason exports are up is due to the weak dollar, but I guess as the VP of the Swiss bank UBS you wouldn’t know that? Guys like this drive me crazy. Phil Graham’s comments sound like an alcoholic not ready to admit there’s a problem so of course, nothing needs to be done. And then to talk of US dominance. When will these guys figure out that domination isn’t the goal. The goal is for as many Americans as possible to experience prosperity, not to suffer from the ills associated with an unnatural distribution of wealth. What about Reagan’s trickle down theory now? Oh yeah, give all the money to the wealthy so it can trickle down to us poor peasants waiting for our handouts. Working like a charm ain’t it? I have never agreed with the President of Iran but thought he had a point when he said that it will take 30 years to repair the damage done by the Bush administration.  Unfortunately, I think he may be a bit optimistic. I don’t for a second believe my family and my business can survive another 8 years of this insanity. We’ve got big challenges ahead. Guess I’m whining though.

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By Harris D> Foster, July 11, 2008 at 4:59 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

More stupidity and madness coming out of the mouth of another John POW McCain. We have the three “Stooges” Lieberman, Lindsay Graham and Phil Graham. With friends of John McCain like this who needs enemies. These “public” servants are disgraceful human beings…
If poepl vote for McCain…they are truly morons….

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By cyrena, July 11, 2008 at 4:23 am Link to this comment

•  “You’ve heard of mental depression; this is a mental recession,” he said, noting that growth has held up at about 1 percent despite all the publicity over losing jobs to India, China, illegal immigration, housing and credit problems and record oil prices. “We may have a recession; we haven’t had one yet.”
Yes, I suppose it does become a mental recession when one loses their job, their home, their health, and one or more of their loved ones to a senseless war. And yes, the mind DOES have a tendency to be negatively afflicted when it receives no nourishment in the form of food that has become unaffordable.

So, the pompous, arrogant former senator from Texas, (who made life quite miserable for the majority of the constituents there) hasn’t changed a bit. No surprise to find him on the McCain team. He and Cheney were always good buddies.

•  “…despite a major export boom that is the primary reason that growth continues in the economy, he said.”

Humm, an ‘export boom’ huh? And, what might those ‘exports’ be? WEAPONS, WEAPONS, AND MORE WEAPONS. Somebody please tell me what else the US is ‘exporting’ besides death and destructive hegemony.

•  “…“We’ve never been more dominant; we’ve never had more natural advantages than we have today,” he said. “We have benefited greatly” from the globalization of the economy in the last 30 years.”

“We” have never been more DOMINANT. His ‘we’ isn’t the same as the rest of our ‘we’. He means the PNAC goal has been achieved. DOMINANCE. Mission accomplished at the expense of humanity.

“Natural advantages?” What might they be?

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By reason, July 11, 2008 at 3:37 am Link to this comment

Phil Gramm can do little but be defensive of the policies that has brought us to this economic condition. Does anyone think he or those he supports will acknowldege any responsibility for allowing our country to be raped, pillaged and plundered by corporate elitists? Their attitude is, as long as they live the good life then who care about those who go without to sustain them. Phil Gramm and John McCain don’t have a clue!

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By skulz fontaine, July 11, 2008 at 3:24 am Link to this comment

We’re in a WAR!! Stop whining. Doesn’t matter that the war is illegal and a gross violation of basic human decency, stop whining about it. Give up those fine young American boys and girls and stop your darn whining about how the U.S. military chews them up and stuffs them summarily into a bag. Whiners! The economy is in shambles and Congress allowed that so, stop your darn whining! Americans put that greedy congregation of vampiric blood sucking vermin in office so, stop whining about it! Phil Gramm got his so, stop whining! McInsane got his so, stop whining! Obama, Clinton, and even Mr. Catsup John Kerry got his, stop whining! Pull up to that gas pump at the old ExxonMobil station and shell out your four dollars and however much chump-change is required and stop your darn whining! FISA spying and telecom immunity and don’t forget that beloved torture and Alberto Gonzales/John Yoo, stop whining about it! Karl Rove can refuse a summons to testify before Congress and so, stop whining. That grand experiment in democracy we so lovingly call America is over, so stop whining about it! You’d think that Americans would have learned their place in the social structure by now. Whiners! Oh yeah, bottom of the food chain and you’ll pay for that too. Whiners!

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By jersey girl, July 11, 2008 at 2:21 am Link to this comment

Keep talkin’ Phil. Expose your candidate to the masses for the elitist he is.  Some straight talker.

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