(midnight. Guess what led off repeat week? Springsteen tomorrow. – promoted by ek hornbeck)
So we’re at the point that a comedian has to take a break from fart sounds and funny faces to dish out some journalism. Because otherwise, there isn’t any? Journalism, that is.
The lines are drawn pretty clearly: If you can help people make money to be able to retire, enjoy life, pay for college, pay down debt, etc., you are a “good guy,” so to speak. If you take the other side of the trade, you are, well, let’s say, a less favored fellow. And if you gun for the gigantic investor class that is out there that includes 90 million people in one form or another, whether it be 401Ks or individual stocks or pension plans, then you are on my enemies list.
Now some would say, including Rush Limbaugh, I am on someone else’s enemies list: that of the White House. Limbaugh says there are only a handful of us on it, and if I am on it for defending all of the shareholders out there, then I am in good company. Limbaugh — whom I do not know personally, but having been in radio myself, know professionally as a genius of the medium — says, “They’re going to shut Cramer up pretty soon, too, but he’ll go down with a fight.”
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 and that help eliminate the excess supply of homes.