Chicago Tea Party: CNBC commentator Rick Santelli defends the common man

Chicago Tea Party: CNBC commentator Rick Santelli defends the common man

CHICAGO – CNBC commentator Rick Santelli sounded off last week for the common man. He observed on Feb. 19, 2009: “The government is promoting bad behavior.”
His statement resonates above the cacophony of voices that are both for and against the stimulus packages and their hopeful results. As I have said before, we are fading away from “political correctness” to “political accuracy” as the economy melts down and the thirst for clear explanations rises up.
We need more of this political accuracy in our media. We don’t need the “sheeple” (sheep people) who proclaim to be journalists and commentators but can’t formulate a tough question let alone dissect a flawed strategy. Santelli also questioned the new administration, which is “big on computers and technology,” with this:

“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 loser mortgages?”

“You could also ask if we would we like to at least buy cars and buy houses in foreclosure. You could reward people who could carry the water instead of drink the water. Are you listening, Obama?”

This is an interesting video clip. You can see New York-based CNBC commentators rail from Santelli’s pure candor and chide him and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange crowd surrounding him. They are making absolute sense.
Note to CNBC: Replace some of the “sheeple” commentators you have in New York. They are clueless about what’s happening in the real world of the common man and woman. “You can’t buy your way into prosperity,” Santelli concludes while contemplating having a Chicago tea party in July.
The lack of media coverage
Santelli’s call for a tea party in July should have been covered across all the nightly news and especially in Chicago. Instead, we are deluged with fluff stories that have the draw of the Weekly World News like “chimp rips hands off woman” or “octomom caught shopping at Nordstrom”.
Speaking of the octomom, she’s a bailout problem. She should reverse her name to Momot Co. and ask for a bailout. It was reported that she will cost California $5 million in medical costs just for this year to cover her expenses. Hopefully she’s covered in the 1,100 pages of the latest stimulus package. She’s a story in herself.
This is the big question on everyone’s mind now: “Will the second stimulus package work?”
It would be very easy to say: “I hope so.” Obama’s claim that it “will create 3 million jobs” could never be claimed in a financial setting. The SEC would immediately be down on language like that. It’s like saying this: “This investment will create a positive cash flow of 10 percent in the next 10 years.” How can you predict the future?
Any financial instrument or financial package with a claim like “this investment will produce a 27 percent gain in value in the next five years” would be taken right off the market. Anyone (i.e. part of the administration or an economist) claiming a future result is as precise as predicting Chicago weather and as full of hot air as global warming.
Reality check
The stock market isn’t buying into the benefits of the stimulus package. A more acceptable definition would be that it’s a “stabilization package” rather than a stimulus package. It’s estimated that there are 9,000 pork projects within it. We didn’t elect Jimmy Dean as president. I trust that Obama cut the fat on both sides of the bill.
The New York-based commentators on CNBC kidded Santelli about running for U.S. senator. After all the lame actions of Illinois politicians who have put us on the map as the Comedy Central of the U.S., I think Santelli would provide some badly needed common sense. That seems to be lacking on many issues by many politicians across the country.
CARLINI-ISM: More Santelli’s need to be out there questioning things that others just buy-off on based on rhetoric and not results.
Recent columns by James Carlini

James Carlini is an adjunct professor at Northwestern University, and is president of Carlini & Associates. He can be reached at or 773-370-1888. Check out his blog at
James Carlini will be a keynote speaker at the upcoming Broadband Properties SUMMIT ’09 in Dallas, April 27th -29th discussing “Intelligent Infrastructure”.
This article previously appeared in, and was reprinted with its permission.
The opinions expressed herein or statements made in the above column are solely those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Wisconsin Technology Network, LLC.