Reporting from a trading floor in Chicago, CNBC reporter Rick Santelli heatedly blasted President Barack Obama on February 19th over his plan to ease the housing crisis. “The government is promoting bad behavior. . . This is America. How many of you people want to pay for your neighbor’s mortgage that has an extra bathroom and can’t pay their bills? President Obama, are you listening?”
White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs had an angry response today and says Santelli should read the President’s plan. He used Santelli’s name five times, and the CNBC reporter is being portrayed as the next Joe the Plumber. This is ironic in light of the recent debate on the Stimulus Bill.
Santelli published a long post on CNBC’s website defending himself and denying any connection to the “tea party movements that have popped up” since the rant aired, such as those orchestrated by FreedomWorks, a conservative nonprofit group that put Santelli’s image on its home page soon after the rant aired, along with the words “Are you with Rick? We are.” Santelli says his goal is to spark a debate. “I want the new administration to win this one,” he said. “It’s a question whether spending our children’s money is going to make us win or not, or is it going to take its own time to heal, like a cold going away?”
Santelli noted that numerous Members of Congress said they were forced to vote on a $750 billion bill without reading it. The promise to post it on-line for 48 hours prior to the vote was broken. When it did go on-line the search function was disabled.
Many of my friends are in real estate and some of them have to wait for 7 months before financing is approved. That has to change, and perhaps it is not so bad for the market to find a natural low which determines a true fair price. A 20% down payment on a house sounds like a realistic requirement to me.