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Fiddling While Rome Burns: A Fired-Up Santelli Challenges U.S. Leaders to Get Serious on the Economy & Stop Making Excuses


"Right now, I really do feel like Nero."

Rick Santelli, the man commonly credited with starting the Tea Party, criticized U.S. leaders Friday for spending more time coming up with excuses for why they can't seem to fix the economy than developing actual solutions.

“Today we’re going to discuss the jobs report,” he said, referring to the Labor Department's latest jobs data, “80,000 -- a far cry from the type of number we need. But let’s really dig down into the solutions, priorities, and excuses. Right now, I really do feel like Nero. I feel as though many of the leaders in the country look at these numbers and they come up with excuses.”

He continued, arguing that instead of actually addressing the U.S.’ economic woes, the country's leaders have invested more time in blaming President George W. Bush and claiming that they simply didn't know how bad things were.

“Here’s the issue the way I see it,” Santelli said, “in 2008, both candidates -- Mr. McCain and Mr. Obama -- they knew things weren’t good. They were hooked in on everything because we had a lame duck president. They watched the crisis unfold before their very eyes.”

“When it comes to solutions, I want to see some programs that don’t blame the last guy,” he added.

“And the other issue is on these excuses. I don’t want to hear economists from Ivy League schools have excuses because that type of an excuse comes not from their intellect (because they’re smart men and women), it comes from an ideology,” Santelli argued.

“We need people in the economic community that are willing to give good advice, not the advice based on their view of the world from a political vantage point,” he added.

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