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Phil, Lamar and Little Stevie Become "Populists"
It's the silly season [silly cartoony music], Campaign '96 is loose on the land, with more presidential candidates than a circus has clowns! Speaking of which, Phil Gramm has declared himself --"now get this): "A blue-collar Republican." This is "Dollar Bill Phil" Gramm, who boasts that he's raised more money from Fat Cats and big corporate givers than anyone in history. Blue collar? He wouldn't know a work shirt if you stuck one in his mouth -- better make that a triple-extra large, by the way. Blue collar? The only job Phil has ever had is on the government payroll: state college professor, congressman and now senator. Speaking of shirts, Lamar Alexander is running as a "Man of the People," and to prove it, he wears a checkered red flannel shirt everywhere he goes. Even when he announced his candidacy for president, there he stood in that common-man's flannel shirt. But wait . . . it still had the crease marks in it! His staff forgot to wash it first -- it probably still had that little cardboard piece in the collar. My current favorite though is Little Stevie Forbes, the "plutocratic populist" who inherited daddy's millions and now lives in his New Jersey mansion . . plus his French chateau, his London townhouse, his palace in Tangier and his own personal island in Fiji. Still, this "Son of the Soil" says he's on your side, that he has a burning desire to lower your taxes. You do make more than $200,000 a year, don't you? No?! Well, then your taxes go up under Forbes's "Flat Tax" scheme. Some populist. These Republicans are to real populism what near beer is to beer ... only not as close. I m Jim Hightower and that s my take.
"GOP Candidate Forbes's Taxes Would Fall by More Than Half Under His 'Flat Tax' Plan." News Release by Bob McIntyre, Citizens for Tax Justice, 12/15/95. "Scramble is on to understand this guy Forbes" by Eleanor Randolph. Los Angeles Times Service, Jan. 1996.