Memo to Obama: Get out of the way

Passing the president's jobs plan would be worse than doing nothing at all.

By Jim Cramer Sep 14, 2011 9:05AM

the streetjim cramerDoes it matter what President Barack Obama does? Other than perhaps to declare a moratorium on changing anything?


We've had some classic examples in this one-two punch of "the jobs plan" and "how to pay for the jobs plan" that show me, increasingly, it doesn't matter.


Here's why. If you look at Obama's plan through a corroded prism, but one that has served you well, it's about giving money to state and local governments to keep paying highly unionized people on their payroll. It is also about keeping people from looking for work who would rather not take lower-paying jobs than they used to have -- remember, corrupted prism.


It is about payroll tax breaks for startup companies that don't even bother to care about this minuscule nonstarter, something that truly doesn't influence behavior of people who create small businesses. Heck, they expect to lose money when they start them, not worry about payroll tax exemptions. It is about giving people who work a couple of percentage points more on their wages, perhaps so they can shop at Target (TGT) and not Dollar General (DG).


In return, the president wants to make it so municipalities and states can't raise as much money as they like to pay for needed infrastructure that hires people, because the muni bond deduction is smaller than it was, so there is less demand for them.


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It is about taking away the job creation of the one industry that is truly producing jobs, the oil and gas business. If you take away the favorable drilling depreciation, you take away a principal reason we are willing to drill so many wells that have a tremendous wealth ripple effect, as I learned from Halliburton (HAL) in my recent trip to the Bakken.


All in all, that makes the jobs plan a net negative. Plus, it is a tremendous waste of time, because the House will not help pass it.


So if the president had done nothing, it would be better. But to do nothing is to risk losing the election because you didn't fight the coming recession hard enough. To do nothing is to cede the ball to the GOP, which will say he did nothing.


If someone actually knew business in this administration, the plan would put all the money behind the winning team, not the losing team, helping people move to where the jobs are -- which is in the oil and gas industry. But then you would be perceived as helping a cohort that "polls badly," and you would be helping a non-green fuel when ideologically you are committed to green.

So we have this worse-than-nothing game plan: tax breaks that have to be paid for the wrong way and that do not influence hiring behavior.


What a mess.


Memo to the president: Stay away from us, and we will solve it. Without your help.


I think that's what the polls that show he doesn't fare well with the economy are really saying.


They are right.


At the time of publication, Cramer had no positions in the stocks mentioned.


Jim Cramer is a co-founder of TheStreet and contributes daily market commentary to the financial news network’s sites.


Follow Cramer's trades for his Charitable Trust.

Sep 14, 2011 12:57PM
China has a average tariff of 16.8 percent, the US. is 1.3 percent, we need to either raise our tariffs or require those who export products to our country to produce a percentage of those products hereLight bulb
Sep 14, 2011 12:43PM

EVERYONE!! To President Obama and all 535 voting members of the Legislature:  It is now official that the majority of you are corrupt morons:
a.. The US. Postal Service was established in 1775. You have had 236 years to get it right and it is broke. 
b.. Social Security was established in 1935. You have had 76 years to get it right and it is broke. 
c.. Fannie Mae was established in 1938. You have had 73 years to get it right and it is broke.
d.. War on Poverty started in 1964. You have had 47 years to get it right; $1 trillion of our money is confiscated each year and transferred to "the poor" and they only want more.
e.. Medicare and Medicaid were established in 1965. You have had 46 years to get it right and they are broke.
f.. Freddie Mac was established in 1970. You have had 41 years to get it right and it is broke.
g.. The Department of Energy was created in 1977 to lessen our dependence on foreign oil. It has ballooned to 16,000 employees with a budget of $24 billion a year and we import more oil than ever before. You had 34 years to get it right and it is an abysmal failure.You have FAILED in every "government service" you have shoved down our throats while overspending our tax dollars. AND YOU WANT AMERICANS TO BELIEVE YOU CAN BE TRUSTED WITH A GOVERNMENT-RUN HEALTH CARE SYSTEM ?? Folks, keep this circulating. It is very well stated. Maybe it will end up in the e-mails of some of our "duly elected' (they never read anything) and their staff will clue them in on
how Americans feel. AND I know what's wrong. We have lost our minds to "Political Correctness" !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Someone please tell me what’s wrong with All the people that run this country!!!!!! We're "broke" & can't help our own Seniors, Veterans, Orphans, Homeless etc.,??????????? In the last months we have provided aid to Haiti , Chile , and Turkey .. And now Pakistan .....previous home of bin Laden. Literally, BILLIONS of DOLLARS!!! Our retired seniors living on a 'fixed income' receive no aid nor do they get any breaks while our government and religious organizations pour Hundreds of Billions of $$$$$$'s and Tons of Food to Foreign Countries! We have hundreds of adoptable children who are shoved aside to make room for the adoption of foreign orphans. AMERICA: a country where we have homeless without shelter, children going to bed hungry, elderly going without 'needed' meds, and mentally ill without treatment -etc. YET......................They have a 'Benefit' for the people of Haiti on 12 TV stations, ships and planes lining up with food, water, tents clothes, bedding, doctors and medical supplies. Imagine if the *GOVERNMENT* gave 'US' the same support they give to other countries. Sad isn't it? 99% of people won't have the guts to forward this. I'm one of the 1% -- I Just Did!

Sep 14, 2011 11:02AM

The truth of matter is that Americans including myself thrive on cheap fuel.

Give us cheap gasoline and the economy will boom for us and the world.

let's take that 500 billion dollars and convert our cars to natural gas. Change

our gasoline stations to natural gas pumping stations. We will put millions of

us to work doing all the conversions. Then with the billions of dollars per day

 that will be staying here insted of going to the middle east, we can start to pay

 down our national debt for once. It really is that simple. Come on America Wake up!!!

Sep 14, 2011 12:35PM
We have lost 33 percent of manufacturing jobs since the 1970's. This results in losses of jobs in other employment sectors as well. We import far more than we export so a lot of companies have went broke trying to deal with China and other foreign countries merchandise. The USA job market is a disaster and I don't believe the plan being proposed will do anything to solve it.
Sep 14, 2011 1:04PM
Everyone working for the Government, WILL NOT work. 
Sep 14, 2011 11:25AM

This all started with the passing of NAFTA by both Political Parties now we

are paying the price.

Sep 14, 2011 1:02PM
Obama is only trying to get re-elected.  He actually doesn't give a damn about the rest of us.  Wake up people.  He is destroying our Country.
Sep 14, 2011 10:42AM

Katherine - Jim is not a republican - he is a democrat - this was no surprise to me.


Do a search on "jim cramer political views" he came out of the closet back in 2007.


When Oduma took over gas was $1.89 a gallon - now it is $3.61.


The extra $ people pay to fill up their gas tank is like a tax + it really hurts the poor.


You want to see the US economy boom - get the price of fuel down.


Using nat gas instead of gasoline is a win win win win win -


The USA needs to be self sufficient in energy  - nat gas is a way to bridge the gap between where we are now - and some point in the future when we will use Obama bred Unicorns to fill our transportation needs.


Plus oil & gas creates millions of HIGH paying JOBS without spending more GOVERNMENT money. In fact the government MAKES money off the oil & gas leases.



Sep 14, 2011 1:55PM
Interesting Cramer... However, nothing will change UNTIL the real issue of a simplified tax structure levels the playing field for all. One side says jobs, jobs, jobs, another says tax the wealthy another says remove government entitlement programs including military veteran programs... BS, only about 2% of Americans have ever served our country via military service on some capacity. You can sell, sell, sell or buy, buy, buy in a broken business model based on "speculation" however, the rich got richer, poor got poorer... and most was built off the backs of the middle class & WALL STREET got bailed out... hhmmmm.. something wrong with that picture?
Sep 14, 2011 2:10PM

What Obama must do for the good of America is not run for the presidency again; and just take

the money he will get and settle down to do nothing for the rest of his days.  He and his backers brought change alright, but not good change America needs.  Hopefully, Americans have had enough of Obama and will not re-elect him. 

Sep 14, 2011 11:08AM

This isn't politics; it’s business. Giving people money to spend at Walmart only creates jobs in China. It is a quick way to put money in voters' pockets but will do nothing to stimulate growth. How can companies plan their future with so much uncertainty? Would you build not knowing what all your future liabilities are going to be? A lot of companies had their strategies jolted by the recession and now their eyes are wide open. They cannot afford any mistakes. They have done a great job controlling costs but now need clear vision so revenues can follow.

Sep 14, 2011 1:06PM

Well said Cramer. Although I will say it goes beyond oil & gas. A travesty really; enduring a struggling economy when many conditions exist that are characteristic of a strong, robust economy. The Fortune 250 have more cash on their balance sheets than anytime in history. Political ineptitude, lack of leadership, and a desire to place idealology above the better good of the people keep the cash in the coffers instead of in the spending stream, stoking the economy and creating jobs. You want jobs America? Repeal all that has been done in the last two years and place a moratorium on all new regulations & tax laws. Unemployment would be lass than 5% in two years and America would be viewed as the world economic leader again.

Sep 14, 2011 2:53PM

The biggest problem with the American economy is that the government takes in 2.2 trillion and has a budget 3.8 trillion that the dems refuse to understand must be cut.


There is absolutely NO criteria under which the nation can continue to do business as usual handing out money to those who never paid taxes with a budget that is almost 58% over what we have to spend.


Charity is giving what you can to those that NEED it, is NOT going into debt to give money to those who need it...........that is called suicide by virtue of stupidity........which is the method many of the poor acheived that status!

Sep 14, 2011 10:12AM
You may not agree with Cramer on a lot of his picks but this time he is right.
Sep 14, 2011 2:15PM

I live in Houston, TX the oil capital of the US.  I have worked in the oil industry (EXXONMOBIL-accounting) and I can tell you that all the hype about oil industry jobs is pure bunk!  Most of the jobs created here in TX have been low paying minimum wage jobs.  Even in the oil patch the only ones making any money are engineers, scientists, and executives.  Most of those in the industry, at least on the downstream side, have been temp jobs that offer low pay and no benefits of any kind.  Rarely is a temp offered an actual job with the company. Back in 2003 the industry started providing generous exit packages to those close to retirement that were making the good money everyone thinks is out there now.  Since then those positions have been filled with temp workers to help those poor oil billionaires make billions more.

So, don't be fooled by all the hype about TX leading the nation in job creation unless you want to be a landscaper,  grocery cashier, burger flipper, or baby sitter.

Sep 14, 2011 2:09PM
Resign would be nice for starters.  2012 - End the Error.
Sep 14, 2011 1:31PM

    If Obama, the far left environmental conspirtors and the American haters would let us, we could become a prosperous, energy independent nation with work for all americans. We could marry this with a sensible, yet effective approach to clean coal technology, responsible marcellous shale drilling and dedicated wildlife habitiats. Instead we the people let the far left idiouts; Obama, Pelosi, Reed, Lisa Jackson steal our country and run it into the ground with us in it. We need to elect a God fearing, conservative government run by statesmen, not bankers, that police the finacial industry, not get in bed with them. We need this gonvernment to give businesses the freedom to operate and expand with only responsible regulation to prevent abuse,   This can happen. No more Bushes, (Bush is the reason we have Obama) and no more Obamas.


Sep 14, 2011 1:38PM

I had to read this twice, but Cramer is right on, this time, on every point.  When I have some time I will have to reread one more time.  Get out of the way and STAY out of the way!

Sep 14, 2011 12:19PM

People, people...

The current mess is a direct result of over 20 years of American corporations exporting good paying jobs overseas.  Why?  Because Joe Sixpack wants CHEAP goods, with the inevitable result that Joe Sixpack lost his job to China and now can't afford to buy anything.

It's about the jobs, people!

Sep 14, 2011 11:17AM

For once Cramer makes sense.


But did he beg for the bailout in 2008?


F the banks and wallstreet also Mr Cramer.

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