By Ben Cohen
A few months back, I wrote a letter to 'The Money Honey' Maria Bartiromo trying to explain some basic economic principles she seemed to have missed in her 16 year career as a business journalist. Bartiromo had just interviewed Barack Obama, grilling him on his plans to increase tax on people making more than $250,000 a year. According to Bartiromo, these people weren't actually rich, and the burden of paying their fair share would freeze up the economy and destroy the system that created wealth in America. I pointed out that anyone making over $250,000 (over 10 times the poverty threshold for a family of four) could probably afford to pay a little more in taxes, and that her economic ideology had caused the recession in the first place. At that time, the economy was in dire shape, but nothing compared to the horrors we face today. I never heard back from the CNBC host, but I liked to think she may have changed her tune after the almighty economic meltdown.
Now the economy is free falling into the abyss, the CNBC host is unfortunately at it again, railing against Obama's stimulus plan, and proposal to tax people making over $250,000. Here she is on MSNBC regurgitating the same rhetoric she used pre-economic meltdown:
Ignoring the fact that only 2% of small business and individuals make over $250,000, Bartiromo's pleas are clearly aimed at helping the business elite she has spent a career sucking up to. Bartiromo's solution, like all the other members of the business classes, is to rely on private capital to stimulate the economy, describing the problems as a 'lack of liquidity in the market'. Making sure that the richest of the rich still have disposable money they may or may not give to charity, or may or may not use to create jobs is of paramount importance, despite the overwhelming consensus that government spending is the only way out of this recession.
The problem for 'The Money Honey' is that the public doesn't care about the top 2% of the population at the moment, and they particularly don't care about the banks.
Bartiromo and her cohorts at CNBC have lost all credibility on the subject, yet they continue to spout the same rubbish disguised behind new language. As Cenk Uygur points out, Bartiromo, like her colleagues, has never practiced serious journalism, otherwise she would have investigated the extraordinary corruption on Wall St that led to the catastrophe in the first place. Her contacts within the financial sector are virtually unparalleled, and had she known anything about the subject she gets paid to talk about, she would have spotted something seriously, seriously wrong before it happened. She didn't, and thought railing against tax increases and analyzing stocks constituted real journalism.
It's difficult not to be angry at the network of bankers, media pundits and politicians who got us into this mess in the first place, and Mrs Bartiromo deserves as much ire as the rest of them. No one seems to have a problem bashing Jim Cramer and the other melons on the network, and I suspect Mrs Bartiromo is getting a free pass because of her rather appealing looks. I'm not one to discriminate, so in the name of Jon Stewart, I'd like to say: F#$%k You, Money Honey.