Wanna Buy a Gramm?

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As a top advisor to predatory lenders, as well as John McCain ex-Texas Senator Phil Gramm has been taking heat for calling people concerned about the tanking economy and the loss of the homes, jobs and futures as ‘€œwhiners’€ experiencing a ‘€œmental recession.’€

Having studied the career of Gramm as part of a research paper I had to write in the mid-90s, it was like a trip down memory lane when I heard the Huffington Post had posted something about Gramm investments in a couple failed Russ Meyer-inspired soft-core porn flicks.

To be certain, in the hypocrite hall of fame, Gramm’€™s got his wing. The smaller government, except when it comes to giving taxpayer money to my corporate clients, Gramm made a career of railing against ‘€œguvment’€ spending.

Gramm once said, ‘€œI have a philosophy of free enterprise. I believe government is the problem.’€

Interestingly enough, it wasn’€™t until he was over 50 years old that Gramm finally cut the cord so that government wasn’€™t completely funding his existence.

Consider that Gramm was:

1. Born on a military base in a government-funded military hospitalRaised by Army master sergeant with a government paycheck.

2. Sent to a private school with the GI insurance received after his father’€™s passing.

3. Financed in his additional schooling with the National Defense Fellowship.

4. Paid his salary from the taxpayers as both a professor at Texas A&M and as a member of the U.S. House and Senate ‘€“ a taxpayer-financed salary for 35 years.

And then he became a veep for UBS, which benefitted greatly from his antipathy towards public accountability for corporations and his efforts to entirely deregulate the finance system and allow speculators to gouge the public.

Anyone who’€™s been exposed to Gramm for 14 seconds knows he is virtually character-free and willing to do whatever necessary to enrich himself or his corporate masters. He no doubt loved the Bush-McCain $5 billion tax cut for Big Oil and no doubt he guided McCain to push for another $4 billion.

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Scot Ross served as Executive Director of One Wisconsin Now & the Institute from 2007 to 2019.