Today’s political roadkill is Sen. Phil Gramm, an economic adviser to Sen. John McCain.
McCain’s opponent Sen. Barack Obama is having a field day stomping on Gramm for things he didn’t say and extrapolating his misquotings beyond all reason, a commonly used political tactic.
Here is Obama:
Gramm actually said:
“You’ve heard of mental depression; this is a mental recession,” he said, noting that growth has held up at about 1 percent despite all the publicity over losing jobs to India, China, illegal immigration, housing and credit problems and record oil prices. “We may have a recession; we haven’t had one yet.”
This is undeniably true. If we actually fall into a recession, the crybabies will go into full freakout. Just look at what they are doing now, while we still have economic growth. (That means the economy is better now that it have ever been in our history, a much-ignored fact.)
Gramm is also being excoriated for saying this:
“We have sort of become a nation of whiners,” he said. “You just hear this constant whining, complaining about a loss of competitiveness, America in decline” despite a major export boom that is the primary reason that growth continues in the economy, he said.”
Notice that Obama has to make up the “figment of your imagination” part and that his conclusion is “it isn’t whining to ask government to step in and give families some relief.”
Obama’s premise that the current economy is wiping out innocent families betrays the folly of his contention that many of us aren’t whiners and his definition of “some relief” would be tough for our government to finance under current economic circumstances, much less if things were to really get tough.