FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
John McCain didn't need this. Former senator Phil Gramm, McCain's campaign co-chairman and one of his economic advisers said the U.S. is only going through a "mental recession." No problem.
Gramm also called the United States "a nation of whiners." McCain is actually quite capable of saying stupid things on his own… he really doesn't need Phil Gramm to help him. Gramm later said he was referring to U.S. leaders as "whiners," not ordinary Americans – but that's not what he said. Gramm also stood by his comments on a mental recession, saying we haven't measured negative growth – it's simply all in our minds.
McCain, he couldn't distance himself from the comments fast enough, saying he strongly disagreed and that Gramm didn't speak for him. But Phil Gramm is advising him on the economy and is co-chairing his run for the White House.
Phil Gramm has now made it much more difficult for McCain to prove to the average citizen that he feels their pain, and it reinforces the perception that wealthy Republicans are out of touch with what most Americans are dealing with. Gramm's remarks come after McCain himself said earlier this year that the economy isn't his strong suit and after he insisted the fundamentals of the economy remain strong.
Tell that to the millions of Americans who are grappling with record energy costs and gas prices, the housing and credit crises, a loss of jobs, increase in unemployment, a slumping stock market, inflation, a falling dollar, the drain from two wars and on and on.
It's Friday afternoon and we need your help here…
Here’s my question to you: What's the difference between a "mental" recession and a real one?
Interested to know which ones made it on air?
Thomas from Ohio writes:
A mental recession is having someone tell you the economy is really hell out here in the heartland, while your wife rakes in millions from her beer distributorship and you make your money off the taxpayer, the guy who’s having a real recession and drinking his troubles away.
A mental recession is something the rich experience when they’re out of Grey Poupon. The other is for everyday Americans.
Don from Temecula, California writes:
A mental recession is when you see your neighbor struggling financially. A real recession is when you are struggling financially. Enough said.
It's a "mental" recession to the 1% of the U.S. population that has 95% of the money here in the United States.
I guess a mental recession is when you have nightmare that your 401K is disappearing before your eyes. A real recession is when you wake up and you realize you were not dreaming at all, that your 401K rate of return since Jan is -7%.
Jack, A mental recession is worrying about your stock in GM going down... a real recession is worrying about how you're going to pay for gas for that old GM of yours.
Apparently, I only "think" I'm hungry.
Oh that's easy: in an economic recession, you lose your shirt (house, job savings). In a mental recession, you lose your mind (sanity, peace of mind, feelings of well being). Gramm is already there.
A "mental" recession is what the Republicans are feeling. A real recession is what the rest of us are feeling.
The difference? A couple hundred thousand dollars a year.