fresh voices from the front lines of change







When Phil Gramm called America a “nation of whiners” for not loving the economy, I said: “This is does not make Gramm uniquely callous. It just makes him a conservative.” Gramm was merely echoing documented and widespread sentiment among conservative leaders — that if you feel the economy isn’t working for you, then you’re wrong.

Today in St. Paul, where conservatives are gathered for the Republican National Convention, Gramm wanted to make sure you heard him right. Bloomberg (via ThinkProgress) reports:

“If you’re sitting here today, you’re not economically illiterate and you’re not a whiner, so I’m not worried about who you’re going to vote for,” Gramm told supporters of McCain at a Financial Services Roundtable event in Minneapolis on the sidelines of the Republican National Convention.

Putting the politics of the presidential campaign aside, exactly who was Gramm talking to at a “Financial Services Roundtable event?”

As The Financial Services Roundtable describes itself:

The Financial Services Roundtable represents 100 of the largest integrated financial services companies providing banking, insurance, and investment products and services to the American consumer. Member companies participate through the Chief Executive Officer and other senior executives nominated by the CEO.

Literally, the CEOs of the nation’s top financial services companies and their representatives.

So to translate Gramm-speak, if you are a CEO of corporations such as Allstate, Bank of America, Capital One, Charles Schwab, Citigroup, Countrywide, Fidelity Investments, General Electric, JPMorganChase, Visa, Wachovia or another of the top 100 financial services companies, then you are “not economically illiterate and you’re not a whiner.”

Never mind that several of those “economically literate” CEOs are directly responsible for the current housing and credit crisis.

But Gramm is at least right that these CEOs are not whining. Why would they? They are doing quite well, after taking advantage of conservative economic policies to line their pockets while the American economy turns to rubble.

As for those in the 99.999999% of the country — who are not part of the Financial Services Roundtable and who are trapped under the economic rubble — Phil Gramm still speaks for conservatism when he tells you to shut up.

While Gramm is speaking for conservatives, we at Campaign for America’s Future are speaking to conservatives. Check out our new ad below, which is greeting conservative delegates in their St. Paul hotel rooms this week.

And if Phil Gramm wants to call us whiners for reminding them about the damage inflicted on Americans by their policies, then we’ll just whine louder.

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