Michael Barone

While scarcely taking a breath, Santelli went on to denounce the administration's Keynesian economists, deployed to defend the huge spending in the stimulus package and in the budget the new administration was preparing.

"They're pretty much of the notion that you can buy your way into prosperity. And if the multiplier that all of those Washington economists are selling us is over one that we never have to worry about the economy again, that the government can spend a trillion dollars an hour because we'll get 1.5 trillion back."

The reference is to the argument made by administration spokesmen that every dollar of government spending would put something more than a dollar into the economy. Past research, including some by Obama's chief economist, Christina Romer, cast doubt on that theory.

Now we can check the results, and the research seems to have been right. The administration said the stimulus package would keep unemployment under 8 percent. It's been at 10 percent, rounded off, for 10 months now. About 95 percent of new jobs in May were temporary Census Bureau positions.

"Cuba used to have mansions and a relatively decent economy," Santelli went on. "They moved from the individual to the collective, and now they're driving '54 Chevys" -- which left him unable to resist a dig at GM and its co-owners-to-be the United Auto Workers -- "the last great car to come out of Detroit."

"If you read our Founding Fathers, people like Benjamin Franklin and Jefferson -- what we're doing now in this country is making them roll over in their graves." No one would mistake Santelli's cri de coeur for the prose of the Founders. But their grievances against Britain, like Santelli's complaints about the Obama Democrats' policies, were rooted in moral considerations as well as economics.

"We're thinking of having a Chicago tea party in July," Santelli said. As it turned out, thousands of previously uninvolved citizens flocked to tea parties all over America even sooner, and now they're making their mark in primaries and special elections. New Deal historians can't explain that. Rick Santelli's rant does.


Michael Barone

Michael Barone, senior political analyst for The Washington Examiner (www.washingtonexaminer.com), is a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, a Fox News Channel contributor and a co-author of The Almanac of American Politics. To find out more about Michael Barone, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com. COPYRIGHT 2011 THE WASHINGTON EXAMINER. DISTRIBUTED BY CREATORS.COM

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