Saturday, February 21, 2009

If There's a Dallas Tea Party, I Might Well Show Up

A couple days ago, I discussed a common-sense stimulus plan--one that gives the power back where it belongs, to the people--that's been making the rounds of the Internet for the past week or so. And here's another great idea that's only been around for a couple of days, but it's starting to explode across the country. It comes from CNBC reporter Rick Santelli, who captured the mood of a lot of Americans earlier this week with his interview of traders at the CME group, a major futures and options exchange out of Chicago. In this video, Santelli and the traders have the chance to vent about the potential for their having to pay their neighbors' mortgage, especially if said neighbor bought way more house than he/she could afford. Santelli floats (pun intended) the idea of having a "Chicago Tea Party" this summer and echoes the oft-stated premise that the government can't buy its way into prosperity.

Here's a good summary of Santelli's idea, which has really taken hold in many circles over the past few days:
Rick Santelli, who also an experienced investment strategist and trader, put it simply that the government would be promoting bad behavior by subsidizing mortgages given to people who ought not to have had them to start with.

"Because we certainly don't want to put stimulus forth and give people a whopping $8 or $10 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, President and new administration? Why don't you put up a website 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 that might have a chance to actually prosper down the road, and reward people that could carry the water instead of drink the water?"

Rick Santelli went on to compare what is happening to America under Barack Obama to Castro's Cuba and to suggest a kind of "Boston Tea Party" anti spending revolt. Rick Santelli's impassionate speech on CNBC brought cheers on the floor of the Chicago Board of Trade, from where he was reporting,
There have been a lot of taxpayer protests around the country since the Porkulus bill was drafted, and I would certainly consider attending (and blogging, and taking pictures of) such a protest if one materialized here in the Metroplex.

Santelli has had a busy week; since that original video came out on Thursday, he's appeared in two more videos; the first video discusses Santelli's thoughts on the White House's rather juvenile overreaction to his original report, and in the second one, Santelli and Home Depot founder Ken Langone have a less-impassioned but very productive discussion on ways that the nation might get out of the mess it's in--and it involves a very different way of doing things than those expressed in the Porkulus bill.

Meanwhile, there may be a Chicago Tea Party even if Santelli doesn't organize one; several other entities have already launched websites promoting such a thing, and Santelli is no doubt enjoying his rockstar status of the moment.

At one of the linked stories above, someone muses about the possible content of such a party:
[W]hat exactly would one dump in the harbor? Surely not tea. Rick Santelli, perhaps a little tongue in cheek, suggested dumping some derivative securities. Somehow, though, that doesn't seem to imply the most exciting of visuals. Whatever gets dumped in the harbor, the new tea party better get ready for an Envrionmental Protection Administration law suit. There is a bit of oppression that the British never thought of.
Lord help us all.

Incidentally, the CNBC anchor asked Santelli if he'd consider an appointment to the Senate if Roland Burris is forced out in Illinois; Santelli replied that he didn't want to have to "shower every hour," as he'd seemingly have to do if he lived or worked in Washington. (There's certainly enough dirt there to go around at the moment.)

UPDATE: There may not be a Dallas Tea Party yet, but one is being organized in Ft. Worth (scroll down a bit).

QUOTE OF THE DAY: "It is time for the productive majority to refuse to subsidize the leeches of society, both economic and political. If we didn't produce it, there would be nothing for the thugs to redistribute. It's time we reminded them of that."--commenter Patsy, from this post at Riehl World View.

No comments: