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By MARC McDONALD
Molly Ivins once exposed Phil Gramm as the typical sort of GOP hypocrite who (like George W. Bush) loudly trashes all government programs, even as he rakes in tax dollars from various government programs.
In 2002, Ivins wrote:
"Gramm, the great crusader against government spending, has spent his entire life on the government tit. He was born at a military hospital, raised on his father's Army pay, went to private school at Georgia Military Academy on military insurance after his father died, paid for his college tuition with same, got a National Defense Fellowship to graduate school, taught at a state-supported school, and made generous use of his Senate expense account."
However, let it not be said that Gramm didn't at least attempt to make a living in the private sector (in fact, the most private sector of all). As The Nationpointed out, before Gramm joined the Christian Coalition's Ralph Reed to call for defunding the NEA, he was an active investor in soft-core porn movies.
In 1973, Gramm cut a check for $15,000 to invest in a budget soft-core production called Truck Stop Women. Because the film was oversold, his money was returned to him. Later, Gramm contributed at least $7,500 toward a film called White House Madness, a satire of the Nixon White House that featured a crazed president wandering around the White House in the nude.
Gramm lost his investment after the film flopped at the box office.
Clearly, like George W. Bush, Gramm was a failure in the private sector. Like Bush, Gramm then turned to the government as a career. As The Nation pointed out, Gramm went on to become "one of the most reactionary, venal, and destructive political figures in recent times."
Today, Gramm serves as economic adviser to John McCain and spends his time smugly belittling Americans, calling us a "nation of whiners." And this hypocrite, who benefited immensely from various government programs all his life, doesn't think that the government should do anything at all to help ordinary Americans who are struggling to make ends meet in the Bush recession.
The creator of the progressive site, BeggarsCanBeChoosers.com, Marc McDonald is an award-winning journalist who worked for 15 years for several Texas newspapers, including the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, before he quit his day job and set up shop (more...)