With the Dow crashing another 2,000 points on Thursday, CNBC’s Jim Cramer officially lost his mind on national TV by urging government to slash all taxes and airdrop trillions of dollars onto the populace.
Apparently, this is the only sensible way to fight the pandemic-fueled panic currently gripping Wall Street and Main Street.
Cramer’s epic rant started on the right foot when he said Washington knows nothing about the true impact of coronavirus and that “there are no signs anyone in government understands [the] problem.”
But that was the point of departure from keen observation to lunatic rant:
Are we going to sit here and let so many companies go bankrupt because of an illness? I think that is stupid. This is the time for radical action and the action can be done by the federal government.
He goes on:
The only way to work smoothly is to take advantage of what the rates are and for the federal government to borrow as much as possible and give it to us. This can be returned after we get healthy.
ZeroHedge was able to stomach the whole rant (I stopped at “they know nothing”). Apparently, Cramer recommended that “companies tap their credit revolvers and that there should be no stigma attached to it when they do so.”
Cramer’s suggestions are so asinine that it’s hard to even know where to begin.
For starters, suspending all taxes while keeping government services running will exacerbate a worsening budget deficit that shows no signs of ever improving.
That was one of President Trump’s biggest blunders when he came into office: He lowered taxes but didn’t cut government spending, thus relying on fairy tale levels of ‘growth’ to close the deficit. (America, like other advanced industrialized nations, has been caught in a ‘growth recession’ for decades.)
It’s no wonder the Congressional Budget Office expects the deficit to top $1 trillion annually for the next decade, eventually reaching $1.7 trillion in 2030.
Basically, Cramer is saying we can pay the cost of government with a printing press instead of through taxes. So, what’s stopping government from using the same strategy in the future?
Printing trillions of dollars is another way to engineer inflation (hyperinflation?) – you know, the type the Federal Reserve pretends it doesn’t have but still makes ordinary life for Americans harder. But inflation has a long-term consequence, like destroying the value of the dollar.
Then there’s the obvious: How will airdropping trillions of dollars on an economy that doesn’t produce anything make things better? The post-2008 crisis period gave us the same type of stimulus Cramer is hoping for when artificially low interest rates allowed companies to rack up debt at an unprecedented pace.
Non-financial corporate debt has already reached 46.4% of U.S. gross domestic product – higher than the lead-up to the Dot Com crash and Great Recession. Corporate debt is the recession indicator nobody is paying attention to.
Cramer’s desire for free money may have already been granted after the Federal Reserve announced Thursday it will inject $1.5 trillion to revive the financial markets.
In a statement published by The Wall Street Journal, the Fed York Fed stated:
These changes are being made to address highly unusual disruptions in Treasury financing markets associated with the coronavirus outbreak.
Officially, the United States has become one of the biggest hot spots for coronavirus. On Wednesday, President Trump announced his administration would suspend all travel from Europe to contain the spread of Covid-19.
Disclaimer: This article represents the author’s opinion and should not be considered investment or trading advice from CCN.com.
Last modified: March 18, 2020 2:55 AM UTC