On Wednesday’s broadcast of CNBC’s “Squawk Box,” CNBC’s CME Group reporter and godfather of the tea party movement Rick Santelli expressed his dismay that some economists, including Moody’s Economy.com’s Mark Zandi, were lamenting the drop in federal spending that seemed to have contributed to the new disappointing gross domestic product numbers.
With GDP contracting at 0.1 percent, Santelli said the European characteristics of the U.S. economy are providing European-style growth.
“[W]hen you act like Europe, you get growth rates like Europe,” Santelli said. “And our discussions with economists sound like we’re in Europe. They have the same discussions constantly. They’re always doing the right thing. They’re always thinking they know better, and this the kind of growth. We have become Europe. We are now Europe.”
Santelli’s rival, CNBC contributor Steve Liesman, dismissed Santelli’s criticism, noting that those number also indicating a drop in spending from the federal government.
“We reduced federal spending by 15 percent,” Liesman replied. “Which part of ‘that’s not Europe’ don’t you get, Rick?”
But Santelli maintained that the reduction in federal spending was a necessity.
“Why do we need to reduce government spending, exactly?” Santelli said. “Because we are running $1 trillion deficits for crying out loud!”