Badger Blogger

Jim Cramer responds, in writing, to White House reprisal

By - Mar 5th, 2009 01:04 pm
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CNBC’s Jim Cramer, who has taken heat in recent days for his “pointed criticism” of President Obama’s long-term economic strategy, writing at TheStreet.com.

“I am a fight-not-flight guy, so I was on my hackles when I heard White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs’ answer to a question about my pointed criticism of the president on multiple venues, including the Today Show.

“I’m not entirely sure what he’s pointing to to make some of the statements,” Gibbs said about my point that President Obama’s budget may be one of the great wealth destroyers of all time. “And you can go back and look at any number of statements he’s made in the past about the economy and wonder where some of the backup for those are, too.”

Huh? Backup? Look at the incredible decline in the stock market, in all indices, since the inauguration of the president, with the drop accelerating when the budget plan came to light because of the massive fear and indecision the document sowed: Raising taxes on the eve of what could be a second Great Depression, destroying the profits in healthcare companies (one of the few areas still robust in the economy), tinkering with the mortgage deduction at a time when U.S. house price depreciation is behind much of the world’s morass and certainly the devastation affecting our banks, and pushing an aggressive cap and trade program that could raise the price of energy for millions of people.

The market’s the effect; much of what the president is fighting for is the cause. The market’s signal can’t be ignored. It’s too palpable, too predictive to be ignored, despite the prattle that the market’s predicted far more recessions than we have.

Gibbs went on to say, “If you turn on a certain program, it’s geared to a very small audience. No offense to my good friends or friend at CNBC, but the president has to look out for the broader economy and the broader population.”

How much I wish it were true right now that stocks played less of a role in peoples’ lives. But stocks, along with housing, are our principal forms of wealth in this country. Only the people who have lifetime tenure, insured solid pensions and rent homes but own no stocks personally are unaffected. Sure that’s a lot of people, but believe me, they aspire to have homes and portfolios. If we only want to help those who have no wealth to destroy, we are not helping the majority of Americans; we are not helping the broader population.”

Is the White House further empowering its critics by fighting back? Does anyone else find it unusual that this administration devotes so much of its attention to defending itself from the criticism of “experts,” pundits, and talk-radio hosts? Sound off.

Categories: News & Views, Politics

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