In 2009 when CNBC reporter Rick Santelli went on a rant about bailing out homeowners with government money and how people should protest like the American colonists with a Tea Party, a portion of the Republican Party’s base listened. What followed was a media storm where the GOP base re-branded themselves the “Tea Party” and went on to ride the public backlash against the financial crisis and bank bailouts to take over the House of Representatives.
Now the predictions Santelli made about the economy and government policy are getting called out, by one of his CNBC colleagues no less. CNBC commentator and economist Steve Liesman responded to yet another Santelli rant by saying:
It’s impossible for you to have been more wrong, Rick. Your call for inflation, the destruction of the dollar, the failure of the U.S. economy to rebound. Rick, it’s impossible for you to have been more wrong. Every single bit of advice you gave would have lost people money, Rick… There is no piece of advice that you’ve given that’s worked, Rick. Not a single one… The higher interest rates never came. The inability of the U.S. to sell bonds never happened. The dollar never crashed, Rick. There isn’t a single one that’s worked for you.
It would have lost you money if you bought the propaganda about how the economy worked, but it certainly did not lose those money who wanted government paralysis. The Tea Party’s advocacy of austerity served their 1% backers, such as the Koch Brothers, well and helped widen the already yawning wealth gap. No new taxes and no debt relief.
Instead of a populist movement to punish the banks and redistribute their ill-gotten gains there was an attack on economic stimulus and raising taxes.This despite many Tea Party members relying on public assistance and social insurance programs themselves – which they support.
Given the results of austerity economics and its failure to help the people like those in the Tea Party, one might think reconsideration was in order. But as long as people like Santelli are trying to yell over reality the show must go on.