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James P. Hoffa

James P. Hoffa

Posted: September 17, 2008 12:19 PM

John McCain: No Friend of the American Worker


John McCain told a real howler on Tuesday when he said American workers are the 'fundamental strength of the U.S. economy."

This is the same John McCain who's been kicking the crap out of American workers for the last 26 years. He voted to cut overtime. He voted against extending unemployment benefits. He voted to kill the minimum wage -- 19 times.

He called Social Security a "disgrace."

He supports sending American jobs overseas. "Lowering barriers to trade creates more and better jobs," he said. Yeah, that's what's been happening in my home state of Michigan.

He even crossed a strike line in January to appear with Jay Leno on "The Tonight Show."
So it was amazing to hear John McCain say that workers are the strength of the economy.

The 1.4 million members of the Teamsters Union are the heart and soul of the middle-class of our nation. I understand what workers are going through during this Bush-McCain recession. John McCain has worked during his entire legislative career to undermine American workers.
His newly-found respect for the American worker is nothing more than election year pandering.

It was even more unbelievable to hear him say he's going to "put an end to the reckless conduct, corruption and unbridled greed that has caused a crisis on Wall Street."

Did I hear that right? McCain and his pals were the ones responsible for the reckless conduct on Wall Street.

In 1999, John McCain voted for a bill to get rid of safeguards against reckless speculation by banks. That bill became law. It was sponsored by his good friend and top economic adviser, Phil Gramm.

You remember him, Gramm is the guy who said America is a "nation of whiners" facing a "mental recession."

Here's something else you should know about McCain's top economic advisor. In December 2000, Gramm further loosened regulations on risky financial deals by amending a spending bill.

There probably isn't a single person on the planet more responsible than Phil Gramm for the turmoil on Wall Street and the drop in housing values. And if McCain wins, there is no doubt that Phil Gramm would be his first pick as our next Treasury secretary.

McCain is right when he says we're the victims of greedy Wall Street speculators. Trouble is McCain's been fighting on their side ever since he got to Washington.

Do you remember the Keating Five? McCain was one of them. He intervened on behalf of his wealthy friend, Charles Keating, who went to prison for making bad loans, looting his own bank and leaving taxpayers holding the billion-dollar bag. McCain was lucky to get off with an admonishment by the Senate Ethics Committee.

So it isn't so easy to believe John McCain when he tells us he's going to clean up Wall Street for the American worker. His record says otherwise.