On Thursday’s broadcast of CNBC’s “Squawk Box,” CME Group floor reporter and tea party godfather Rick Santelli sounded off on the debt crisis that he said would lead the country “down the sewer” in a couple of generations if ignored.
Despite all this talk about the looming fiscal cliff and the day-to-day fluctuations of the financial markets, especially the Dow Jones Industrial Average, Santelli said the bigger point was being missed and that he has given up hope that the leadership in Washington, D.C., notwithstanding CNBC’s “Rise Above” marketing campaign.
“You know, the issue with TARP was — yes, there were things that were freezing up,” Santelli said. “And the responsible adults had to come and do something, and I remember the vote. I remember not agreeing with Maria Bartiromo at the time because everybody was disappointed they didn’t hurry up to write a check for seven-eighths of a trillion dollars without any thought. So I thought that was the negative issue here. I’m not wearing my [Rise Above] button today as you can see. And I think I’m going to be remiss to wear it anymore to be honest with you, gentlemen. I think that I was looking for the kind of ‘Rise Above’ where both sides brought something to the table. It’s turned into a game of childish nonsense, and I think it’s beneath the kind of leadership of the greatest country on the planet.”
Later in the segment, Santelli challenged CNBC contributor Jim Iuorio’s theory that the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) was a good forecaster of the future, except for the near-term.
“You know what — why do we look at the Dow Jones Industrial Average to handicap if this country’s going to go down the sewer in a couple of generations?” Santelli asked. “We can’t afford our bills anymore. The stock market is an immediate gratification for investors to make money. I don’t have a problem with it. But it doesn’t give you a glimpse into our future, or our kids’ future. The fact that we have $100 trillion of underfunded liability — it isn’t is a question of whether that’s going to work.”
And he went on to add his disdain for the main actors in the fiscal cliff drama that will unfold over the next five days.
“The Fed doesn’t have a clue,” Santelli added. “Neither does the president. Neither does Congress. Neither does Tim Geithner. He give a speech about the debt ceiling. I’d like to see if he could count to a million, much less $16.4 trillion.”