A Fine Whine: Telling Phil Gramm How It Really Is

Fabulous post at Texas blog BurntOrange, to help Phil Gramm understand what real life is like for us whiners.

Melody Townsel begins with the quote from Gramm.

“We have sort of become a nation of whiners. You just hear this constant whining, complaining about a loss of competitiveness, America in decline,” said the former Texas senator. “You’ve heard of mental depression; this is a mental recession.”

Gramm also said the media was responsible for fostering unnecessary anxiety over the state of the economy. “Misery sells newspapers,” he said. “Thank God the economy is not as bad as you read in the newspaper every day.”

Or then again, maybe it is. Townsel elucidates it on down for Gramm.

See, Phil, while you were on the stump, not-so-quietly losing your mind, I was on about my fifth hour of work. I sat my alarm for 4 a.m. so I could get five hours of freelance writing and editing in before my eight-year-old crawled out of bed…

Townsel: “Errand time now, Phil. I fill up the car. That runs $58 this week, when it used to come in right at $30. Not that I’m whining, big guy.”

…I hand the kid a sandwich (by the way, Phil — the price of a loaf of bread is now up about 50%, did you know that?). Then I bust out a cheap craft kit to keep her close and busy and begin my next chore of the day: making call after call begging the Texas Insurance Risk Pool to accept the pages of pages of documentation I’ve already submitted as proof that I really can’t get a standard commercial insurance policy and I, therefore, really, really need them to sell me a $7,500-deductible, $469/month policy.

See, Phil, I’m uninsured now…[W]hen my old insurer…informed me that my premium was going up to the point where it was rivaling my mortgage, it was time for me to pack up my whiny ass and look for greener pastures.

Greener pastures that, when it comes to health insurance, apparently no longer exist in America…

Errand time now, Phil. I fill up the car. That runs $58 this week, when it used to come in right at $30. Not that I’m whining, big guy. Then we head to the grocery store to pick up a few staples at the grocery store (milk, $5.79/gallon; grapes, $7.24 for 1 1/2 pounds; $4.99 for a pint of blueberries; $2.39 for a dozen eggs)…

We head home so I can get started on another four-hour project for a client…

Why the need for an additional 20 hours of work per week? The small stuff, Phil. The stuff you and Wendy don’t sweat. Gas prices. Food prices. Utility bills. The vast crops of legalese sounding, alphabet-soup fees and surcharges that are suddenly appearing on every single bill I get so every vendor in the marketplace can pass on increasing gas and commodity prices to us “whiners” in a way that’s harder for us to figure out. But not, sadly, any easier to pay.

There’s lots more, and you should read it all, but suffice it to say that it doesn’t appear the Gramms, architects of the Enron Loophole, live on the same planet as the rest of us whiners.


  • A Nuffer
    July 12, 2008 - 4:39 am | Permalink

    Great editorial! For all those rich assholes in the white house, including congress, the american people are hurting badly and you don’t give a damn!! You have rubber stamped the worst administration in history and don’t intend to do one thing to help the poor and working class to survive! As long as they get their free health care, their perks, and retire on the backs of the people, they don’t give a fig!!
    Phil Gramm is a sleeze, just like his wife and all the rest. I am not religious but I hope to God he will punish all of you who have broken the backs of the people! Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid are in the pockets of big business, therefore nothing changes. The greedy of the country continue to want every last penny and they take it with a smile from the working class and the poor!

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