10 September 2001

Another Republican Model of Hypocrisy: Phil Gramm

From the Houston Chronicle comes this column bidding adios and good riddance to U.S. Senator Phil Gramm - Gramm, a man who claims the government is wasteful and worthless, but has spent most of his life on the government dole and/or taking advantage of benefits of government programs.

In 23 years in politics, Gramm built a reputation as a tight-fisted budget-cutter who fought to reduce the size of the federal government and get rid of social programs that he views as wasteful handouts for freeloaders.

At the same time, however, he brags about all the costly federal benefits he has provided for Texas, sometimes even taking credit for projects that were passed over his opposition. "I'm carrying so much pork I'm beginning to get trichinosis," he once boasted.

For a senator who believes that government is "a corrosive influence," Gramm has never had a problem accepting federal help for himself. He was born in a government hospital, educated by his father's G.I. insurance, put through graduate school by a National Defense Education Act fellowship, and taught economics at Texas A&M University assisted by a development grant from the National Science Foundation. Since his election to the House in 1978, he has been on the government payroll. His wife Wendy has also held federal jobs since the couple came to Washington.

» read more