Tax Day Blues
by Kiko Matsing
The Tea Party arose as a potent political movement in early 2009, a grassroots reaction to the massive government spending and interventionist policies of the new Obama administration and congressional liberals. On the February 19, 2009 Squawk Box, CNBC contributor Rick Santelli took aim at the just-announced policy of government-instigated mortgage modifications, handing taxpayer-funded aid to over-extended borrowers who might otherwise default. “The government is promoting bad behavior,” Santelli proclaimed, by asking responsible borrowers “to subsidize the losers’ mortgages.”
“How many of you people want to pay for your neighbor’s mortgage that has an extra bathroom and can’t pay their bills?” Santelli challenged the traders standing near him at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. The crowd erupted in disapproval. “We’re thinking of having a Chicago Tea Party in July,” he exclaimed. “All you capitalists that want to show up to Lake Michigan, I’m gonna start organizing.”
The Tea Party movement has largely been ignored, or worse, disparaged as fringe, extremist, racist in mainstream media that has become the PR arm of the left-wing establishment. (Notice the drumbeat over the Copenhagen climate summit versus the relative silence about the leaked CRU emails.)
“a bunch of guys who are just looking for a reason to yell at the black President.” (Keith Olbermann, MSNBC)
“It’s hard to talk when you’re tea-bagging” (Anderson Cooper, CNN; well, Anderson, you should know!)
“Cheered on by Fox News and talk radio, the hundreds of Tea Parties today were designed to protest the bailouts, the stimulus plan, and President Obama’s budget….But critics on the left say this is not a real grassroots phenomenon at all, that it’s actually largely orchestrated by people fronting for corporate interests.” (Dan Harris, ABC World News)
“There’s been some grassroots conservatives who have organized so-called Tea Parties around the country, hoping the historical reference will help galvanize Americans against the President’s economic ideas. But, I tell you, the idea hasn’t really caught on.” (Chuck Todd, NBC White House correspondent)
“Similar so-called Tea Parties sprung up around the country last April to blast the economic stimulus package, a movement championed by high-profile conservatives ….Political analysts say conservative Republicans are hoping these rallies give them the united front they desperately need.” (Terrell Brown, CBS Evening News)
“What’s more, polls show most Americans don’t feel overtaxed…” (Dan Harris, ABC)
Well, Dan, wait till you get the bill on this one:
Oh, and by the way, guess what happened to the government mortgage modification program?
The number of homeowners who defaulted on their mortgages even after securing cheaper terms through the government’s modification program nearly doubled in March, continuing a trend that could undermine the entire program…
The Treasury Department said it could not explain the growing number of what it called cancellations, almost all of which were apparently prompted by the borrower’s being unable to make the new payment…
About seven million households are behind on their mortgage payments.
The Obama administration’s modification program has been widely criticized for doing little to help them.
‘Nuff said. Want some tea?