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Cramer: Clinton-Era Prosperity, The Truth Behind the Bull

Former US President Bill Clinton during the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) in September 2008 in New York.
Stan Honda | AFP | Getty Images
Former US President Bill Clinton during the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) in September 2008 in New York.

It seems Republicans and Democrats are spinning new versions of history. Jim Cramer sorts out the fact from the fiction.

History is not a set of hard and cold facts as we are led to believe in grade school – history is a matter of interpretation.

And it's often interpreted very differently, depending on the agenda of those in power.

That's exactly what's happening now as lawmakers talk about the bull market that coincided with the Clinton era , the one that started in 1992 and continued until 2000, where the Dow powered from 3,200 to 11,000.

The discussion right now centers on what happens to the stock market if we go back to the Clinton era tax rates.


Democrats insist that the higher tax rates didn't hurt the market – in fact, they argue the higher taxes helped the market because the deficit went down and Treasury interest rates went down.

Republicans argue that the bull market was triggered by the Internet explosion – that it had little to do with Mr. Clinton.

Still others say that the rally only occurred because of the Republican Revolution in Congress.

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"First, let me say, I lived through that era. It was when my hedge fund was ascendant and I studied the bull market endlessly. So I consider myself a pretty astute examiner of the period in question," said Cramer.

And although it's all a true – largely Cramer says none of it was the main catalyst for the prosperity.

According to Cramer – the massive bull was a direct result of the explosion of jobs and expanding profits.

"At the time the White House was deeply wired to creating jobs and allowing the private sector to blossom," he said. "We got tons of new job creation from all parts of the private sector, big, small, everywhere, and that propelled the stock market all the way.

In short, my conclusion about the Clinton era is that the genesis and sustenance of the bull market came from corporate profits.

Tax rates just weren't much of a factor

In fact, to me the greatest thing about the bull market of the 1990s was how little Washington mattered at all.

It was about corporations spewing cash as the world's economies expanded at a terrific pace. We get that to happen again and the Clinton era bull market will be repeated.

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