Al Hubbard, architect of the Bush-cum-McCain health plan, compares Americans' use of the health care system to shoppers who indiscriminately buy caviar while someone else foots the bill, just as Senator Phil Gramm exits as co-chair of John McCain's presidential campaign after calling America a "nation of whiners" in a "mental recession."
Phil Gramm obviously had the quote of the week. Voters dealing with skyrocketing gas prices and collapsing home values just love being called "whiners" by a millionaire. This kind of out-of-touch condescension comes as no surprise to anyone who has followed Gramm's career. He's left his fingerprints on some of the worst economic debacles in U.S. history. He was a champion of energy deregulation, which gave us Enron and blackouts and price gouging. He was a champion of deregulating the savings-and-loan industry, the bailout of which cost taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars. And his leadership on banking deregulation helped create the current sub-prime mortgage crisis. Republicans love to talk about Obama's lack of experience. I'll take fresh blood over Gramm's kind of track record any day of the week.