Chris Matthews and Jim Cramer praise President Obama, Ben Bernanke and Tim Geithner for saving us from another Great Depression while failing to note a number of things. One, what caused the financial collapse in the first place that resulted in the need to rescue it. Two, that we still don't know where all of our tax dollars went. And three, that the system is still not safe and as Simon Johnson just pointed out on Bill Moyers Journal, things could worse because the system has not been reformed.
Matthews: Well, I guess the big question I would have Jim is if you had to look say five, ten years from now, looking back to now with the clarity of history, does Barack Obama deserve credit for a) avoiding a second Great Depression as he came into office with a strong stimulus of almost two trillion dollars in fiscal stimulus, huge printing of money, the bailouts etc. and secondly has he really put us on the course to recovery from this recession?
Cramer: Alright, I think it’s a team effort. Chris, first of all Ben Bernanke was late, but really went into high gear and the transition from Bush to Obama was really saved by Bernanke’s actions. Second, Bernanke did a good thing, but also Tim Geithner did a good thing and you could argue well Tim Geithner’s totally Obama’s man. Geithner made everybody feel that the banking system was safe. Once we had the banking system safe we began to have the recovery. So Obama should get a lot of credit for that.
Matthews: Well you know when the politicians wag and the right wing goes after them as they do—that’s the way politics works—they say bailouts, bailouts, bailouts as if there’s something wrong with the guy. They say deficits, deficits, deficits as if there’s something wrong with the guy. But everything I studied on college and grad school was that you’ve got to do those things, both in terms of the sectors of the economy which were in trouble, the financial sectors, the auto industry and you had to do something with regard to the over all economy in terms of printing the money, monetary policy, fiscal policy. The very things he did are things you’re taught you have to do. Am I wrong?
Cramer: No! You’re totally right. I hear those people criticize and I think, did they ever read any history about what this country did wrong between 1929 and 1932? This was exactly—what these pundits are calling for is exactly what created a multi-year depression. No! I mean, Bernanke, Obama, Geithner…they got it right!
Matthews: Well, all you hear from on the right is like Terry Jeffrey’s my pal who sits there like from Human Events on the far right, they come on here as if all you had to do was laissez faire. Step back; let the invisible hand solve the problem. Say’s law is still in effect, everything’s going to clear—they actually say this crap… so loudly they must believe it or else they’re just desperate. But they do believe that doing nothing was the right answer. Just balance the budget.
Cramer: They’re dreamers. Look!
Matthews: Let business solve the problem.
Cramer: Here’s the hand. It wasn’t invisible. It was choking America. We are very lucky that these guys understood history. Now the reason why it’s easy to criticize Obama and why he doesn’t take any credit is we haven’t created any jobs yet Chris.
Cramer: And that is bad.
Sadly being humiliated by Jon Stewart was not enough to keep Jim Cramer from ever appearing on my television set again. He was right back on the air pretending it didn't happen. I don't know why anyone would take this guy's advice about anything. Later in the segment he also said this when asked about where we were headed with unemployment.
I think we are at the peak or within .1 [of the peak]. We are not going to breach 10%. I have my neck on the line on that.