CNBC’s Rick Santelli ranted against the government’s crony capitalism and unsound economic policies from the floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange five years ago today. The rant has been widely credited with capturing the mood of the Nation and helping to set the Tea Party movement on course for widespread victory the following year.
Highlights from Santelli’s now famous rant:
You know, the government is promoting bad behavior, because we certainly don’t want to put stimulus forth, and give people a whopping eight or ten dollars in their check, and think that they ought to save it.
And in terms of modifications, I’ll tell you what, I have an idea. You know the new administration’s big on computers and technology. How about this, (Mr.) President and new administration — Why don’t you put up a web site to have people vote on the Internet as a referendum to see if we really want to subsidize the losers’ mortgages, or would we like to, at least, buy cars and buy houses in foreclosure and give them to people who might have a chance to actually prosper down the road, and reward people that could carry the water, instead of drink(ing) the water.
This is America! How many of you people want to pay for your neighbors’ mortgage that has an extra bathroom and can’t pay their bills? Raise their hand. President Obama, are you listening?
Y’know, Cuba used to have mansions and a relatively decent economy. They moved from the individual to the collective. Now they’re driving ’54 Chevys, maybe the last great car to come out of Detroit.
We’re thinking of having a Chicago Tea Party in July. All you capitalists that want to show up to Lake Michigan, I’m going to start organizing… We’re going to be dumping in some derivative securities. What do you think about that?
Listen, all I know is that there’s only about 5% of the floor population here right now, and I talk loud enough they can all hear me. So if you want to ask them anything, let me know. These guys are pretty straightforward, and my guess is, a pretty good statistical cross section of America, the silent majority.
You know, they’re pretty much of the notion that you can’t buy your way into prosperity, and if the multiplier that all of these Washington economists are selling us is over one, that we never have to worry about the economy again. The government should spend a trillion dollars an hour because we’ll get $1.5 trillion back.
I’ll tell you what, if you read our Founding Fathers, people like Benjamin Franklin and Jefferson, what we’re doing in this country now is making them roll over in their graves.