On March 5, Jim Cramer published a response on his website to White House attacks on his credibility on financial issues. The most startling aspect of the response was Cramer’s admission on his politics. “To be totally out of the closet, I actually embrace every part of Obama's agenda, right down to the increase on personal taxes and the mortgage deduction,” he wrote.
Cramer garnered the attention of the White House on the March 3 “Today” show. Asked by Matt Lauer whether or not Obama’s policies are “shareholder friendly,” Cramer declared, “This is the most, greatest wealth destruction I’ve seen by a president” He later expanded on that statement on his CNBC “Mad Money” show.
“I'm not entirely sure what he's pointing to make some of the statements,” White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said of Cramer. “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?” Cramer wrote in response. “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.”
Most readers of Cramer know that he was a supporter of Obama in the general election campaign. He made that known in a New York Magazine article in late 2008.
But now, Cramer has had the temerity to question the fiscal soundness of the Obama budget and economic recovery plan – a plan that included large tax increases on high income earners, carbon cap and trade and a ballooning deficit.
The Obama budget earned the ire of Cramer as he wrote, “But these are issues that we have no time for now, on the verge of a second Great Depression. This is an agenda that must be held back for better times. It is an agenda that at this moment is radical vs. what is called for.”
Cramer even went so far as to suggest the fiscal woes have been exacerbated by the new president. He contended, “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 and that help eliminate the excess supply of homes.”
Jim Cramer should not expect an invitation one of the President’s cocktail parties any time soon.