Tuesday, February 19, 2013

I was on the CME trading floor...

...last week and ran into an old colleague of mine, Rick Santelli. (Not sure if he remembered me or not.) Rick and I don't agree on most things nowadays, although he is far from disagreeable. He's actually a very personable guy. And modest, too. In fact, I'm pretty sure Rick would never agree with me that his famous rant had a significant impact on America. But as for me, not only do I think Santelli created the tea party movement, but he may have also slowed the nascent economic recovery in its tracks. How? By thwarting mortgage relief for individuals. Don't believe me? Then check out this video:

I think the Obama administration was genuinely intimidated by Santelli's rant. After TARP, the stimulus and the auto bailout, any more help for the economy from Washington was just too much for people like Rick and the tea party to bear. And the president and his people knew it.

Just imagine how much faster things might have recovered if we'd bailed out individuals like we did Wall Street and Detroit. Who knows? The economy could be humming along today at three percent GDP growth with unemployment under seven percent. Oh well.


Ed Crotty said...

It is possible that the "tea party" part is just a coincidence? But the Koch Brothers had a Tea Party thing going in 2002. And they did most of the funding after Santelli's rant.


Completely agree that the Tea Partiers have adversely affected the economy. That was the whole point - to hurt the economy enough to keep Obama from being re-elected.

MTracy said...

I suppose. Although Fox News sure ran with the idea after Rick's rant.

Also, while I agree that Republicans wanted to hinder the recovery in order to hurt the president, the tea partiers genuinely believed that the road to prosperity was through austerity.

I think people like Santelli felt punished for being prudent while the profligate were being saved. The trouble is, we needed to bail them out just like Wall Street and Detroit in order to save the rest of us. It may not have been fair, but it sure might have helped.