Everything is wonderful and peachy-keen in Obamaland if you rely on the reporting on the front page of The New York Times. Just ask CNBC's Jim Cramer. On his Feb. 12 program the "Mad Money" host dealt with the $789 billion stimulus package.
"Now if you were to believe what's in the papers, holy cow - except for the funny papers - you would think this package was wonderful," Cramer said he said of the reported agreement congressional leaders had reached on ironing out the package's details.
Cramer was referring to a front-page article by Richard W. Stevenson in the Feb. 12 Times, which gave a glowing account of this as a victory in the early stages of the Obama administration.
"Look at the front page of The New York Times today," Cramer said. "I love this one, ‘Measuring a Victory,' by this guy, Stevenson. He's a famous guy, you know? He's not Robert Louis Stevenson, he's Richard W. Stevenson. He writes - it's like a comedy routine - ‘It is a quick sweet victory for the new president and potentially a historic one.' Who edits this B.S.?"
According the Cramer, the bill doesn't address the specific economic problems, but instead is a mix of tax cuts and government handouts.
"The only thing historic here is how useless this package is when it comes to confronting any of our serious problems," Cramer said. "Congress passed a pastiche of tax cuts and pork-laden handouts to state governments. Great, it'll help my municipal bond portfolio."
Cramer questioned how the package would impact the key components in the ailing economy.
"Tell me, what does it do to solve housing?" Cramer asked. "What does it do to solve unemployment? How about the ever-hideous banking crisis? No? Anyone who follows the economy knows this stimulus package is a total and utter joke."
The blame for the failure of this massive spending should be placed on Congress, said the "Mad Money" host.
"Congress, heh - OK, I'm a diplomat and an elder statesman and gentleman farmer in the mold of Thomas Jefferson, with a little Frank Lesser mixed in, and all I say is these guys and dolls - they are just plain clueless."
By way of example, Cramer cited the tax credit the stimulus package would give new home buyers.
"So hey, how does Congress respond to the foreclosure crisis in its stimulus package?" Cramer asked. "With a solution that's about as efficacious as an invisible garment. It adds $500 to a tax credit for first time homebuyers. Five-hundred dollars - I got that in my pocket for heaven's sake. Yeah, I'm sure that'll do a world of good."
"Everyone in the press is pretending this package is wonderful, but in reality it's just as substantial as the emperor's new clothes," he added.