Magazine of Socialist Action in Australia

Whine and dine

Reading Time: < 1 minutes

OK, so more than a million Americans have lost their homes in the worst housing crisis since the Great Depression and the country’s unemployment rate rose at its fastest pace in more than two decades, stoking fears of recession.

But, as former Texas Senator, Phil Gramm (a top economic adviser to Republican presidential candidate John McCain) says, the real problem is: “We have sort of become a nation of whiners. You just hear this constant whining, complaining about a loss of competitiveness, America in decline.”

Gramm, of course, has little to whine about. He’s got a very generous pension as a former member of the House and Senate. In addition, he has found work since leaving the Senate as a lobbyist for the firms he once aided as a legislator.

Plus, his wife is helping out. Wendy Lee Gramm was Ronald Reagan’s and George Bush senior’s appointed head of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. Under her stewardship the commission exempted Enron (the company involved in the largest securities fraud scandals in history) from regulation of its trading in energy derivatives.

Surprisingly, after leaving that post, Wendy Lee Gramm took a seat on the Enron board of directors!


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