"I'm mad as hell, but, for some reason, my trillions in taxpayers' bailout dollars doesn't phase me"

"I'm mad as hell, but it's nothing my trillions in taxpayer bailout dollars won't fix!"

On this morning’s NYT Op-Ed page, Gail Collins  examines all of the shit going on in today’s apocalyptic world, mainly so that we don’t have to. Rick “Ass” Santelli, of course, manages to weasel his way into her analysis.

“Earlier efforts by the White House to come to the aid of the hopelessly indebted homeowners sparked the now world-famous unfairness explosion by the CNBC reporter Rick Santelli. “How many of you people want to pay for your neighbors’ mortgage that has an extra bathroom and can’t pay their bills?” howled Santelli, in one really impressive display of righteous wrath and misplaced modifiers.”

Collins’ greatest beef with Santelli is the fact that he “got a ton of publicity for his tirade, a reward that was pretty unfair in and of itself.” My greatest beef with Collins is that she neglects the elephant in the room. 

Santelli’s pseudo-populist rant is a smokescreen, plain and simple. The very notion of a retired stockbroker ranting about inequity in one of the halls of the sort of unbridled capitalism that initiated this clusterfuck is enough to get Zeus throwing down some thunderbolts. The financial sector  that profited by baiting these homeowners into unsustainable mortgages torpedoed the economy and has received trillions in life-support from the taxpayer. Why can’t the victims of this mess receive temporary assistance while their tormentors are walking away with the farm?

As if this isn’t enough, the housing recovery package will only help the fat cats! The plan will not price toxic housing assets to market, relieving the world’s Santellis of further financial disaster. The real tragedy is that Santelli doesn’t understand the issue well enough to realize that the fix he demonizes will actually save him in the end. 

Something is rotten on the floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.

– A-$

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