Phil Gramm, a former three-term Republican senator from Texas who once ran the Senate Banking Committee, told the House Financial Services Committee yesterday that “it was an outrage” that his friend Edward Whitacre, the CEO of AT&T, only got “$75 million” when he retired in 2007.
“If there’s ever been an exploited worker” it was Whitacre, said Gramm, testifying on the fifth anniversary of passage of the Dodd-Frank financial reform bill. Gramm appeared genuinely aggrieved by Whitacre’s shabby treatment and literally pounded the table while speaking.
Whitacre actually received a retirement package totaling $158 million.
Gramm attributed public anger at CEOs like Whitacre to “the one form of bigotry that is still allowed in America,” which is “bigotry against the successful.”
This is a clearly a long-standing belief of Gramm’s, who said almost the same thing, word for word, in 2001.
Gramm was co-chair of John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign and McCain’s top economic adviser until he was forced to resign after calling the U.S. “a nation of whiners.”
GRAMM: It’s the one form of bigotry that is still allowed in America, and that’s bigotry against the successful … My friend Ed Whitacre at AT&T, if there’s ever been an exploited worker, even though they made a big deal about him getting $75 million when he retired, the man added billions of dollars of value, he was exploited, it was an outrage!