Every time you look around lately, John McCain and friends are spouting off about important issues like the economy, globalization and Social Security. And with each passing day, they give Americans a clearer sign of just how out of touch they really are.
Earlier this week, Senator McCain called the system that finances Social Security retiree benefits "an absolute disgrace," even though the pay-as-you-go system remains successful for millions of Americans since it was established during FDR's administration.
Now, the McCain campaign's co-chair, former Sen. Phil Gramm of Texas, says that America's economy isn't doing all that badly. In fact, he told The Washington Times: "We've never been more dominant; we've never had more natural advantages than we have today."
Phil Gramm makes a living heading up a Swiss bank, thus he's insulated from reality. He's as out of touch as John McCain. The facts don't register with these multi-millionaires, just as they didn't register with George W. Bush.
McCain, Gramm and Bush are the kind of guys who see "strong fundamentals," when most Americans see six months of job losses, declining wages, the highest foreclosure rates since the Great Depression, and skyrocketing fuel and food prices.
Now, Phil Gramm tells The Washington Times, we have "sort of become a nation of whiners. ... You hear this constant whining, complaining about a loss of competitiveness, America in decline."
How much more evidence do we need that Senator McCain's top economic advisor -- the man McCain says he's considering for Secretary of the Treasury -- hasn't got a clue about the real problems facing America's working families?
In Gramm's America, the current economic downturn we're living through isn't so bad. "You've heard of mental depression; this is a mental recession," he told the Times. "We've never been more dominant; we've never had more natural advantages than we have today," he went on to say.
Gramm's talk of "mental depression" replays Senator McCain's assertion in January 2008: Concerns about our downward spiraling economy are "psychological." Speaking at a Town Hall, McCain labeled "the fundamentals of our economy" as "still strong" and shrugged off worries by saying "a lot of this is psychological."
Gramm won't even go that far. He's says the economic downturn is a fiction created by the media to boost sales, explaining: "Misery sells newspapers. ... Thank God the economy is not as bad as you read in the newspapers every day." Someone should clue this multi-millionaire in: Gasoline is going for more than $4 a gallon, and a lot of Americans can't afford a daily paper these days.
Americans aren't whining. They are voicing their justified frustration with policies that put profits over people. They have had it with politicians who stand in the way of change -- like providing health care for all. Most of all, they are tired of being told that this country's problems are imaginary. Those problems are very real to the millions who have lost their jobs, their homes and the hopes of a secure retirement. They want leaders who will fight for them, instead of leaders who refuse to deal with reality.
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