Phil Gramm, McCain's former economic advisor

Fri, 09/19/2008 - 12:46pm
By: Main Stream

Main's submitted Letter to Editor's in Swing-states:

Yesterday, McCain came out blasting his guns at SEC chair Christopher Cox, saying he should be fired immediately, and then today, McCain cools his heels a bit over Cox and in his statement, along with plugging the book he wrote, starts yammering about Eisenhower and the invasion of Normandy. He is trapped in a mental, military time warp and can't get his brain around the current economic problems facing our country without invoking some reference to the military or battlefield. (McCain: "Let's all take off our civilian hats and put on our military helmets"). Most every speech or townhall gathering includes war and battle references - "fighting" and "bombing", Normandy and Eisenhower, P.O.W. camps and torture, "I've fought worse enemies", he's the only candidate who has "really fought for you." He has no grasp of current affairs and relates every crisis we are facing, economic-social-fiscal, to the damn battlefield or a P.O.W. camp. He has truly lost his bearings.

McCain (I was FOR de-regulation, before I was against it), has surrounded himself with economic advisors who prove to be inept, like Phil Gramm and Carly Fiorina. Phil Gramm is being referred to now as "the man who broke the economy" mostly due to the fact that he co-sponsored and helped to push through a last minute 262-page amendment in Congress, back in 2000, that would keep financial institutions/derivatives from being properly regulated:

"McCain's former economic adviser is ex-Texas Sen. Phil Gramm. On Dec. 15, 2000, hours before Congress was to leave for Christmas recess, Gramm had a 262-page amendment slipped into the appropriations bill. It forbade federal agencies to regulate the financial derivatives that greased the skids for passing along risky mortgage-backed securities to investors.

On Monday, McCain issued a tough-talk statement that he was "glad" that the feds "have said no to using taxpayer money to bail out Lehman Brothers, a position I have spoken about throughout this campaign." On Tuesday, the government did the daddy of all bailouts. It took over AIG, fearing its bankruptcy could set off a cataclysmic chain of events.

And do you know where the problems lay at AIG? They weren't in its main insurance business. They were in its derivatives-trading unit.

Last February, Fortune Magazine called Gramm "McCain's Econ Brain." Gramm lost the official title of economic adviser for making an impolitic remark about this being "a nation of whiners." But Gramm's belief in letting speculators do as they please was never an issue. And even after he left the campaign, Gramm had been mentioned as a possible Treasury secretary in a McCain administration."

And that, my friends, is why everything's falling apart. That is why the taxpayers are now on the hook for the follies of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Bear Stearns and now the insurance giant AIG to the tune of $85 billion.

Concern with Gramm-McCain economics may explain why three former SEC chairmen, appointed variously by Reagan, Clinton, and George W. Bush, took the unprecedented step of jointly endorsing a candidate for the Presidential race: Barack Obama, whom they praised for his “reasoned approach” to “the current financial crisis and the need for balanced regulatory reform.” Other Obama backers are Paul Volcker, ex-Federal Reserve head, and Vanguard founder John Bogle, who said “We need some regulation! . . . I’m a Theodore Roosevelt Republican, and the party has abandoned me.”

Our country is broken. Our banking and financial system is falling apart. The Treasury Department is printing money like its toilet paper, more and more jobs are being lost each month, foreclosures by the thousands, bank failures, companies closing, plus, we continue to spend billions each month in Iraq, and almost half of the country will vote for more of the same in November.



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Gramm's Fingerprints on Current Market Mess

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