CNBC’s Santelli melts down during tantrum over Obama’s ‘socialistic policies’

By David Edwards
Wednesday, May 1, 2013 11:11 EDT
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CNBC's Rick Santelli
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Tea party supporter and CNBC on-air editor Rick Santelli on Wednesday threw another one of his signature tantrums because President Barack Obama’s administration was pursuing “socialism” instead of what he said were “pro-growth policies” like tax cuts and austerity.

Santelli argued that payroll processor ADP showed that job growth was below economists estimates for April because “spongy jobs fits with spongy policy.”

“As long as we keep going down a road of socialist policies where the government is conducting and orchestrating, forget about it,” he said. “It just isn’t going to work.”

Senior economic reporter Steve Liesman, however, connected the weaker job growth to austerity policies and automatic spending cuts in the so-called sequester.

“My opinion has been, we should have a strong plan in place to cut the deficit and to do what we need to do in terms of revenue and spending, but we shouldn’t implement it until unemployment gets to be 6.5 percent,” he explained. “I want to go back to where we were in January, when we had somewhat better job growth, somewhat better GDP growth. And I want the federal government and the Fed on the same team, that’s all I ask.”

Santelli reached back to the 2010 election and noted that the American people had elected tea party candidates “for that very reason” of counteracting simulative economic policies put in place by the Federal Reserve.

“The Fed, through no elected officials, is usurping the public will to address issues that half the country wants, half the country doesn’t!” he exclaimed. “So. therefore, locked up is just what we need!”

“But, Rick if you have a government that is taking steps…” Liesman began.

“They’re just taking!” Santelli interrupted.

“No, this sequester is real, Rick,” Liesman insisted. “These are steps that were agreed by Republicans and Democrats are far as I can tell from the sequester… It will result in 500,000 to 700,000 fewer jobs.”

“You know what, Steve? Why is that so important?” Santelli yelled. “If you pay for growth by taking and then you stop taking and stop paying, it goes up, it goes down! What you want is self-sustained growth we don’t have to pay for. We do have a choice!”

“God forbid an earthquake happens and a hurricane happens, there’s nothing mankind or womankind can do about that,” Liesman noted. “So my point, Rick, is if you have a choice about whether or not you want to put 500,000 or 700,000 people on the street looking for work.”

“You know what?” Santelli screamed. “If you want to put those people to work, put pro-growth policies, not socialism in place! That’s where you’re going down the wrong road.”

“My point is even if I agree with what you’re saying, and I pretty much do,” Liesman replied.

“I could care less if you agree!” Santelli shot back.

“It’s better to create a job in the private sector than that government sector, but if you have a choice right now over a transition period not to put people on the street — to, by the way, compete with the large number of unemployed people who are coming out of school — why wouldn’t you take that choice?” Liesman wondered.

Watch the video below from CNBC’s Squawk Box, May 1, 2013.

David Edwards
David Edwards
David Edwards has served as an editor at Raw Story since 2006. His work can also be found at Crooks & Liars, and he's also been published at The BRAD BLOG. He came to Raw Story after working as a network manager for the state of North Carolina and as as engineer developing enterprise resource planning software. Follow him on Twitter at @DavidEdwards.
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