WASHINGTON --- The Republican National Committee issued this op-ed by Jim Cramer:
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 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...
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.
But Obama has undeniably made things worse by creating an atmosphere
of fear and panic rather than an atmosphere of calm and hope. He's done
it by pushing a huge amount of change at a very perilous moment, by
seeking to demonize the entire banking system and by raising taxes for
those making more than $250,000 at the exact time when
we need them to spend and build new businesses, and by revoking
deductions for funds to charity that help eliminate the excess supply
We had a banking crisis coming into this regime, but now every area
is in crisis. Each day is worse than the previous one for this
miserable economy and while Obama's champions cite the stimulus plan,
it's really just a hodgepodge of old Democratic pork and will not
create nearly as many manufacturing or service jobs as we hoped. China's stimulus plan is the model; ours is the parody.
Sure there's going to be some mortgage relief, but the way to approach that problem is to eliminate the overhang, which a $15,000
tax credit for existing home sales could have dented if not consumed. I
have offered a comprehensive plan of 4% refinanced mortgages for all by
the government, not just those many considered deadbeats, to eliminate
moral hazard. I have come up with a novel plan to cut the principal and
spare the banks regulatory problems by offering them a certificate of
equity, making them whole over time when the house appreciates in
value, which will happen if demand is stoked and supply is shrunk.
Which leads me to the true irony of not being political: I don't
like talking politics. It is personal, but some things are a matter of
public record, including my substantial six figure donations to the
Democratic Party before I was no longer allowed to contribute by
contractual agreement. I regard two Democratic governors as my friends,
and helped back one of them in a major financial way and spoke and
campaigned directly for the other.
Most important, I believe his agenda is crushing nest eggs around
the nation in loud ways, like the decline in the averages, and in soft
but dangerous ways, like in the annuities that can't be paid and the
insurance benefits that will be challenging to deliver on.
So I will fight the fight against that agenda.
If that makes me an enemy of the White House, then call me a general
of an army that Obama may not even know exists -- tens of millions of
people who live in fear of having no money saved when they need it and
who get poorer by the day. -- (photo: courtesy of www.cnbc.com )
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Jim Cramer is host of CNBC's "Mad Money" and markets commentator
for TheStreet.com. He graduated from Harvard
where he was President and Editor-in-Chief of the prestigious daily The
Harvard Crimson. After graduation he became a reporter for the Tallahassee
Democrat and later for the Los Angeles Herald Examiner where he covered stories
ranging from homicides to sporting events. Cramer is a former hedge fund
manager and founder/owner and Senior Partner of Cramer Berkowitz.