Sunday, February 22, 2009

Gibbs Addresses Santelli's Anti-Mortgage Plan Rant

CNBC's Rick Santelli, shown above, engaged in a rant about President Obama's mortgage plan, stating that we're "subsidizing the losers' mortgages." Amazingly, he was cheered on by Wall Street traders–members of the very same financial industry whose recklessness and incompetence have a great deal to do our current economic straits. As reported on "60 Minutes":

The numbers are staggering, but they don't begin to explain the greed and incompetence that created this mess.

It began with a terrible bet that was magnified by reckless borrowing, complex securities, and a vast, unregulated shadow market worth nearly $60 trillion that hid the risks until it was too late to do anything about them.

...this disaster was created entirely by Wall Street itself, during a time of relative prosperity. And they did it by placing a trillion dollar bet, with mostly borrowed money, that the riskiest mortgages in the country could be turned into gold-plated investments.

This industry had no problem being bailed out by taxpayers to the tune of billions–yet these "winners" are livid at bailing out the mortgage "losers." Let's also not forget the CEOs whom President Obama recently called out for enjoying huge bonuses courtesy of the taxpayers.

All this and more was apparently not clear to Santelli, so Press Secretary Robert Gibbs was compelled to explain what the mortgage plan is and is not. Watch:

Gibbs: "This plan helps those who have acted responsibly, played by the rules and made their mortgage payments. This will help people who aren't in trouble yet keep from getting in trouble. You can't stay in this program unless you continue to make mortgage payments. is not going to help a lender who knowingly made a bad loan and it is not going to help...somebody who has long known they were in a house they can't afford. ...This plan helps people that have been playing by the rules but can't get refinancing [to] get that refinancing so their home doesn't become foreclosed on. And Mr. Santelli might also know that if you live in a home that's near one that's been foreclosed, your home value has likely dropped about 9%, which for the average home is about $20,000."

Gibbs ends with his best line on the grandstanding Santelli: "I'd be happy to buy him a cup of coffee. Decaf."

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