An impassioned and sometimes fiery Jim Cramer, the investing guru and host of CNBC's "Mad Money," said Tuesday night that government deregulation was nothing short of a "covert attempt" to eliminate the federal government's responsibilities to its citizens.
"Do not be fooled by the sirens of laissez faire," he told a packed audience at Bucknell University's Weis Center for the Performing Arts in the continuing national speakers series, "The Bucknell Forum: The Citizen & Politics in America."
"Ever since the (President) Reagan era, our nation has been regressing and repealing years and years worth of safety net and equal economic justice in the name of discrediting and dismantling the federal government's missions to help solve our nation's collective domestic woes," he said. "We call it deregulation … a covert attempt to eliminate the federal government's domestic responsibilities."
Cramer took issue with the proposed $150 billion economic-stimulus plan, calling it a "nonsensical rebate, the functional equivalent of a fancy iPod and an expensive pair of Nikes, and layer on still more debt that we can't pay for. … What a waste, what a travesty."
The bemused best-selling author noted the "utter inconsistency" of laissez faire.
"We want laissez faire when it comes to business -- except when it comes to the insistence of a politically popular but economically and environmentally hazardous renewable fuel, ethanol," he said....
A fuel that doesn't work
As a result, he said we have unequivocal government support for a fuel that doesn't work and that raises the price of food for everyone including those who can least afford it, which, in turn, forces the Federal Reserve to keep the money supply tight to rein in resulting inflation.
"So we are laissez faire when it suits us … and we are anti-laissez faire when we can help farm states crucify us on a cross of ethanol," he said.
He railed against a tax structure that supports "tax rates for billionaires at a lower percentage level than those who make $30,000 a year. This is utterly shameless.">>>MORE