Here Comes the Hammer

Legendary Keynesian To Address Conference Of Mayors
M.C. Hammer / AP

M.C. Hammer / AP


The Washington Post reports that M.C. Hammer (aka Stanley Burrell) will address this month’s meeting of the U.S. Conference of Mayors in Washington, D.C. on Jan. 17.

According to the Post:

The group plans to discuss deficit reduction and sequestration, job and economic growth in high unemployment areas, gun control and school safety, Hurricane Sandy, immigration and a possible end to the tax-exempt status of municipal bonds.

Hammer, perhaps the most famous rapper of the early 1990s, rocketed to fame with hits “U Can’t Touch This,” “Too Legit To Quit,” and the less popular, yet no less catchy “Addams Groove.”

He reportedly earned as much as $33 million in 1990. This success allowed Hammer to establish an empire that included a fleet of 17 cars, as many as 21 racehorses, and a 200-person entourage.

As famous as MC Hammer was for his music, he may be even more notorious for his rapid financial collapse. Hammer filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 1996, claiming debts in excess of $10 million and a net worth of $1 million.

With the federal government sequestering many of his remaining assets for much of the ensuing decade, Hammer’s dire financial situation allowed him to commit himself to the cause of deficit reduction. He began participating in entrepreneurial endeavors like VH1’s “The Surreal Life” and a biographical ad for Nationwide Insurance, becoming an expert in fiscal responsibility.

Hammer appeared to be back on his feet by 2011—even paying off a $700,000 back tax bill according to his Twitter account—so perhaps there is no more fitting expert to address the nation’s mayors, many of whom have recently declared bankruptcy themselves.

The Obama administration is planning to send Vice President Joe Biden to address the conference as well. Biden and President Barack Obama have allegedly put fiscal responsibility at the top of their agenda for their second term, but critics of the administration remain skeptical.

Should Jack Lew’s recent nomination to head the Treasury Department fail in the Senate, Mr. Hammer may prove to be a fitting replacement.