Saturday, July 12, 2008

Pullins Report: Phil Gramm needs to drive down Main Street

By Rick Morris

On the heels of running our first syndicated piece through our new Friends of FDH Club, the great Gridiron Evaluations profile of Knowshon Moreno, we bring you thoughts on a more serious and depressing topic: the current state of the economy. This week, one of John McCain's leading economic advisers, former Senator Phil Gramm, really stuck his foot in his mouth when he dismissed the very real economic problems facing this country and the anxieties that people feel about how these issues have affected their own lives. For some reason, Republican leaders (and many so-called conservative activists) always feel compelled to defend the status quo when a Republican occupies the White House, no matter how much said Republican might have spent like a drunken sailor to get us into a bad situation.

But not political analyst Scott Pullins, my longtime friend whose Pullins Report has joined our Friends of FDH Club. This allows us to syndicate, with permission, his rejoinder to Gramm. If only Gramm would take a ride through Flyover Country as Scott suggests, he'd be singing a different tune.

Memo to Senator Gramm: Recession isn't Just in Our Heads
By Scott Pullins
Publisher, The Pullins Report

My friend Tim Russo alerted me to these comments from former Senator Phil Gramm:

“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.

Amazing. It's just in our heads.

I live in rural Knox County, Ohio, a Republican stronghold. I can look out my downtown Mount Vernon office window, across the street, and see a beautiful, historic home that sold for a fraction of its value at a Sheriff's auction. It was formerly owned by a local homebuilder and his family who are now facing their own "mental recession".

As I drive home tonight I will see car after car, sitting in yards with for sale signs. The fact that their owners have lost their jobs or can't afford to commute 50 miles each way for a job just over minimum wage must be in their imaginations.

Likewise, the empty, bank owned homes, scattered throughout my planned community, must also be just in our heads. The truckers who are parking their rigs because they can't afford to drive them, just a mirage.

Senator Gramm, come here to Republican Knox County Ohio. You can sleep on my couch. I'll give you a personal tour and you can see for yourself how this war and this economy has bled this community and its people.

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