Phil Gramm, whose economic advice is one of the principle redeeming factors in a McCain candidacy, hasn’t exactly been tossed under the Straight Talk Express for his remarks about the economy, but he’s apparently been told that he’s riding in the cargo area for a few weeks.
Democrats are outraged at Gramm’s remarks because, well, being outraged is what Democrats do best. And the McCain campaign is appeasing the Democrats because if he does they may like McCain better when they pull the lever for Obama.
Barack Obama says we don’t need another Dr. Phil. I’m not sure why – most of America loves Dr. Phil. He also cited high gas prices as evidence of a recession, which shows that Obama should have failed his Economics 101 class, if he ever took one.
Consider this. With 25% of the labor force unemployed (and at a time when far fewer women were in the labor force), the soil literally blowing off the farms all across the Great Plains as they were being foreclosed, the failure of 4,000 commercial banks and 1,700 S&Ls leading to a declaration of a complete bank holiday, Treasury securities earning negative interest, money supply down 40%, industrial production down 47%, GDP down 30% and the wholesale price index down 33%, “Dr. Phil” Roosevelt declared “We have nothing to fear but fear itself.” He’s now ranked among the greatest Presidents, certainly considered a hero to Democrats and that line is one of the most often quoted in American political history.
Fast forward to 2008. Unemployment, of a much larger labor force, is below the level of the Clinton “boom” years at 5.5%, the biggest problem facing most farmers in the plains states is where to spend all that money from selling corn at record prices for ethanol production, the FDIC’s “watch list” of problem banks is near historical lows with only 76 banks, Treasury security spreads are returning to normal and were never anywhere near earning negative yields, money supply is stable (M1) to up (M2), industrial production is stable, GDP rose 1% in the first quarter, wholesale prices are up, Phil Gramm says “We have nothing to fear but whining” and he’s pilloried. The liberal double standards never fail to amaze.
Meanwhile McCain is visiting Michigan where he lost to Mitt Romney because he had the guts to engage in real Straight Talk himself in Januray: “Some of the jobs that left the state of Michigan are not coming back.” John McCain is at his best when he’s shooting straight and at his worst when he’s pandering to the media. Hopefully he’ll realize that Phil Gramm has this one exactly right and that he had it right himself in January.