To some extent, he’s just speaking the truth. However, as we all know, the truth can’t often be spoken during a presidential campaign since it never gets digested well by the media or the voters.
Video report from CBS News:
In the interest of full disclosure and fairness, here is Gramm’s full statement from the Washington Times:
With the economy on the top of voters’ minds, Republican presidential candidate John McCain’s top economic adviser said the Arizona senator will lay down a detailed program to revive dynamic growth with dramatic tax and spending reforms.
In an interview with the Washington Times, Phil Gramm, a former Texas senator who is now vice chairman of UBS, the giant Swiss bank, said he expects Mr. McCain to inherit a sluggish economy if he wins the presidency, weighed down above all by the conviction of many Americans that economic conditions are the worst in two or three decades and that America is in decline.
“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.”
“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.
“We’ve never been more dominant; we’ve never had more natural advantages than we have today,” he said. “We have benefited greatly” from the globalization of the economy in the last 30 years.
Mr. Gramm said the constant drubbing of the media on the economy’s problems is one reason people have lost confidence. Various surveys show that consumer confidence has fallen precipitously this year to the lowest levels in two to three decades, with most analysts attributing that to record high gasoline prices over $4 a gallon and big drops in the value of homes, which are consumers’ biggest assets.
In truth, he attempted to provide evidence to his claims, which were not reported by the media it seems. Still, the sound bite alone is enough to get him tossed under the bus with the Rev. Wright’s of the world. The last thing any candidate wants is to be perceived as unfeeling or insensitive.