CNBC "Mad Money" host Jim Cramer had been on a streak of demonstrating positive free-market behavior. He had criticized the government's handling of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. He even gave the media grief for overanalyzing the oil market fluctuations.
But on the August 27 "Mad Money," Cramer bucked his that trend and called for higher taxes for top income earners. On his "Mad Mail" segment, a n e-mailer asked Cramer if Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama's plan to raise taxes on incomes higher than $250,000 and redistribute the money to lower income earners would be good for the economy.
"If Obama puts more money in the hands of the majority of the consumers in this country (who make less than $250,000), won't that be a big push for the economy, and in turn for stocks?" the viewer, "Laurence in Iowa," asked.
Cramer took the Warren Buffett/populist stance and said he'd be willing to pay more in taxes.
"Everyone hold their ears here, okay - because I know this is going to sound really bad and very contrary, but if you make more than $250,000 maybe you should be paying a little more tax. I do, and I'm willing to pay," Cramer said. "A lot of people make a lot less than I do and they should be paying less tax. I don't know - that's what Lincoln said. It's Lincoln's view, it's my view."
The August 25 issue of Barron's reported Obama's plan would raise taxes on incomes above $250,000 - with the highest rate at 39.6 percent - and redistribute the wealth to the poor and middle-class. But that would be a big mistake, according to Jim McTague's article in the financial newspaper.