Classic Santelli Rant on the Buffett Rule

CrownThomas's picture

One person that is actually worth watching on CNBC is Rick Santelli. Yesterday he went into a fantastic rant about just how ridiculous this "fair share" talk is, and how useless the proposed Buffett rule will be.

At least someone is trying to point out that it's a spending problem, not a revenue problem. But then again I would argue that the President already knows all of this, he's just trying to spread the wealth around, you know, like his Marxist professors taught him.

"People don't want to hear solutions, they want to change the dialogue. Bait & switch so we get more worried about what people pay, what's fair. You know how my kids opportunities are affected by how many millionaires there are? You know what I see is going to affect their opportunity? $15.6 TRILLION!"

Wait until we breach the debt ceiling again this fall Rick...

So in case you missed it, here it is:


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GCT's picture

WoW the huffpo folks are out in force today.   The problem is government spending.  They government is not going to lower its spending.  I could care less what another person has.  But the media and Obama got some of you jealous. 

johnnymustardseed's picture

Tax cuts account for 48% of the deficit, defense 35% and entitlements 10%........cut away!!!

DOT's picture

Hey ,Johnny, got any word on if  ole Uncle Warren is still holding GE debt ?

Now looks like a good time to get paid in full. 


ljag's picture

Perhaps, but that relative minority might not be the sociopaths that we have now raking the table clean. Do you think rules of law and peer pressure affected the decision making process of the bully that took your lunch money in jr. high? I doubt it. People like the bully only understand one thing......might. You stand up to the bully and beat his ass into submission and you will eat in peace during lunch it?

DOT's picture

Great Comment !

Sometimes you just have to take a few knocks while the bully is showing off.

Just make sure the bully pays a good price for the opportunity to wail on you.

The next time another mark will be found.  Price discovery can be a bitch.

Mercury's picture

Actually, Tony Robbins (of all people!) does an even better (more extensive) job of illustrating this using an argument from the Iowahawk blog:

Mercury's picture

Well of course but that would be swimming directly against the current of Johnson’s Great Society, every Democratic (and some GOP/bi-partisan) effort(s) in the last 40 years to make the government your mommy and daddy and probably whatever feminism stands for…today.


The success of your plan would inevitably mean less tax revenue and smaller government and that is exactly the last thing the government wants to happen. 

johnnymustardseed's picture

Rick is such a cry baby asshole who wouldn't have a job it GE had not been bailed out.... Shut the fuck up hypocrite!!...  GE is the parent company of CNBC in case you didn't know

General Electric said Wednesday that the federal government had agreed to insure as much as $139 billion in debt for its lending subsidiary, GE Capital. This is the second time in a month that G.E. has turned to a federal program aimed at helping companies during the global credit crisis.

GE Capital is not a bank, but granting it access to a new program from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation may reassure investors and help the lender compete with banks that already have government-protected debt, a G.E. spokesman, Russell Wilkerson, told Bloomberg News.

jayman21's picture

"GE is the parent company of CNBC in case you didn't know"


I thought it was Kabeltown

topshelfstuff's picture


General Electric Paid No Federal Taxes in 2010 - ABC News › Politics

Mar 25, 2011 – U.S. President Barack Obama, right, listens as Jeffrey Immelt, chief executive officer of General Electric Co., speaks during a President?s .

For those unaccustomed to the loopholes and shelters of the corporate tax code, GE's success at avoiding taxes is nothing short of extraordinary. The company, led by Immelt, earned $14.2 billion in profits in 2010, but it paid not a penny in taxes because the bulk of those profits, some $9 billion, were offshore. In fact, GE got a $3.2 billion tax benefit.

2010 was the second year in a row that GE recorded billions in profits and paid no taxes.

During that same period, Immelt has been a close advisor to the president on the business community, a relationship that rubs some the wrong way. Immelt serves as the chairman of Obama's Council on Jobs and Competitiveness.



The latest update estimates that all but four of the 30 Fortune 500 companies that paid an average negative federal income tax rate from 2008 to 2010 continued to do so for 2011. Among the companies listed are Pepco Holdings and General Electric.



Dozens of big U.S. firms pay no income taxes, study finds - Los ...

Dozens of big U.S. firms pay no income taxes, study finds ... November 04, 2011|By Tiffany Hsu, Los Angeles Times ... General Electric Co., which according to the study averaged a negative 45.3% tax rate over three years due in part to nearly ...

[[ lot of DOW stocks & all in SP500 ]]

Top ten list: Tax evaders' wall of shame


The Outrageous Top Ten in Alphabetical Order

 1. Bank of America took $336 billion in bailouts in 2009, but in 2010, flush with $4.4 billion in profits, it paid no taxes. Even Forbes magazine asked, how is that possible? Probably thanks to their 115 offshore tax havens.


""Don’t you wish you could stay where you live now but declare your income in Bermuda or the Grand Cayman Islands? Then you could go visit your money and write it off as a business trip.

The GAO (the Government Accountability Office) found that 18,857 US companies keep a post office box in one five-storey building in the Cayman Islands.

In fact, 80 percent of the largest US corporations use offshore tax havens. Little wonder 57 percent of these companies paid no federal income taxes for at least one year from 1998 to 2005.""

LawsofPhysics's picture

I agree,  

Hey Rick, what about the Debt that was placed onto the government books (and taxpayer) as a result of bailouts for private companies?  Can you say socialization of losses?  

You stupid mother fuckers, what we have now is fascism (corporate welfare)

Bring back true capitalism, where the debt of a company had to be covered by the leadership and shareholders of that fucking company, NOT THE TAXPAYER.

Stupid fucking mother fucking morons, all of you.

Silver Dreamer's picture

Both corporate and individual welfare needs to end.  If they did there would be no revenue problem to "fix" via any tax.

AchtungAffen's picture

"We cannot collect enough taxes to catch up with spending"

Which doesn't mean the rich shouldn't pay their fair share in taxes when compared to the "little people".

Fedwatcher's picture

I am not a fan of Sick Rantelli, nor should anyone else be unless they are both

a) in possession of more than $ 15 million in liquid assets, and

b) an incredibly greedy, ignorant, self-seeking individual.

The Buffett rule is a more than reasonable proposal.  If we are serious about dealing with our national debt, there will be many more "Buffet rule" types of proposals to come.

ich1baN's picture

There are some loopholes that can be eliminated but in general taxes are an illegitimate proprosal in the first place. It takes possession of something that belongs to you and gives it to a fund or a person that does not deserve it. By definition it is immoral. 

You can't solve today's deficit or debt by raising taxes. That is an absolutely preposterous claim that you made. The only time the budget was ever balanced was in the 99-00 year with Clinton (The only time ever). Your data with Bush senior is wrong, he never had a balanced budget. And to say that is some sort of monumental feat done in the name of raising taxes is not only funny but quite a neophyte remark. We were in the middle of the biggest boom of productivity, peace, and innovation in the history of America. There were more natural tax payers in light of rising incomes.... not b/c taxes were marginally 5-10% higher. 



Chappy's picture

How are taxes immoral?  If the gov't didn't collect taxes then your employer would likely pay you much less.  Also, do you plan to build your own roads to drive to work? 

Zero Govt's picture

Chappy "If the gov't didn't collect taxes then your employer would likely pay you much less"

it's like a fuking kindergarten around here today! How the hell did you work that crap out??? 

"Also, do you plan to build your own roads to drive to work? "

the private sector builds roads mate, not the Govt... they developed all global merchant routes for trade, built all the train tracks (before Govt funding and after it) and built all air transport...

why do you think anyone needs a bunch of ignorant jobsworths behind Govt desks who are good at nothing, skilled at nothing, build nothing (because it would be garbage) and who couldn't organise a piss-up in a Budweiser factory??

...hence traffic jams and congestion in EVERY CITY on the planet.. because the Govt are garbage at everything they (mis)manage

Govt knows jack shit. Period.

Silver Dreamer's picture

Chappy, how did the government manage to pay its bills prior to the income tax?  Imagine a federal government that has no empire to support and has no welfare to support.  There'd be plenty of money for infrastructure without an income tax.  Infrastructure is not the problem.  It's the welfare programs and MIC.

xtop23's picture

The federal government does have a purpose. But, the truth is it has grown to leviathan proportions and the excuse that we would be going without infrastructure if we didn't pay upwards of 50% taxes is ludicrous.

I personally do not have a problem paying a small amount of taxes to subsidize the contruction of bridges, roadways, waterways, a social safety net for people that actually need it i.e. the mentally retarded and insane or the legitimately physically incapable ( not someone with a bad disc or carpal tunnel ), and providing for the national defense ( as in defense not offense ).

That being said; taxes in and of themselves can be moral but the way our current tax structure is being implemented is immoral and EXTREMELY ineffective.

Secondly, lets diagnose your comment ," If the government didnt collect taxes then your employer would likely pay you much less."

If I was paying less in taxes I wouldnt require as high an income genius.


Zero Govt's picture

xtop23  -- no the Govt does not have a purpose... i've spent my entire life without ANY Govt support or need for politicians.. everything i need i can get private sector and i'd get a massive amount more if Govt wasn't

1). theiving from my pocket (tax) 

2). regulating to strangle/destroy the free market

3). fuking up every sector from education to housing to energy 

4). waging false illegal wars all over the planet

politicians are worthless, in fact they're expensive jokes ...Govt has no purpose whatsoever anyone needs aaprtt from parasites (crony bankers, familes, business, unions and welfare spoungers) 

xtop23's picture

@Zero Govt

3 of the 4 things that you mention are exactly the excesses of government that I despise as well.

As I stated in my earlier post, I do see some value in small amounts of tax ( perhaps based on consumption or a low flat rate ) for the purposes of infrastructure maintenance and domestic defense.

That being said, Im not what you'd call a sovereign citizen, I believe government does have a place in society.

BUT, a damn sight smaller than its current incarnation.

Fedwatcher's picture

It was not "data" or a claim that the budget balanced under HW Bush.  I was merely crediting his 90 budget with its increases to the highest tax rate as part of what eventually brought the budget into balance.  Secondly, you seem so obsessed by the immorality of raising taxes that you ignore that I referenced caps on spending in the post.




Zero Govt's picture

you're obviously not listening, you can't do maths, you're a fuking moron

Rickeys point is there aren't enough taxpayers to repay the debt of make-up the budget deficit. 

The point is it's a Govt spending problem, not a taxpayer problem

Have you got it now shit for brains??

Fedwatcher's picture

Sorry, Zero, but it is you, not me who is the "fuking moron."  Please explain to us how collecting more money will not help make ends meet.  Why would less spending combined with more revenues not be a remedy to our debt problem. 

And please feel free to use "maths" if you fuking feel like it genius.

jcaz's picture

If we really have to explain to you why collecting more taxes in order to support more government spending is a bad idea, you're on the wrong forum-  Try the guys-  they're a lot of fun, I hear......

Fedwatcher's picture

Actually, Clinton and HW Bush managed to bring the budget into balance by raising taxes on the highest income earners, combined with mandatory caps on spending, which were obliterated by W and his Medicare drug plan and unnecessary war in Iraq. 


Maybe next time, you should learn your history first, before you try to "explain" things to people.






Lednbrass's picture

History indeed. Look at the monthly Treasury reports and tell me in which fiscal year was the budget balanced.

Find one report for September (end of each Federal fiscal year) where the debt total is lower then the previous one. You will not, for the simple reason that what you claim did not occur.  It is a hoax, a ruse, a charade, a steaming pile of processed cow food. What you claim was a balanced budget was nothing but accounting, political posturing, and calendar gimmickry that allowed shifting of numbers, meanwhile the reality of the debt climbed inexorably upward every year.

In some years it definitely moved less for reasons that are entirely arguable, but there has been no balance.

Of course, you are free to explain how the budget was truly balanced and yet debt still increased.

ljag's picture

Into 'balance' you say? You really DO need to brush up on your history before 'explaining' stuff to old time ZHers. Rubin was a genius at hiding numbers so you might want to look into those stats before you open mouth.

Zero Govt's picture

Fedwatcher -  obviously news to you (what isn't) Clinton didn't balance the budget, he cooked the books

just to repeat very slowly, the PROBLEM is NOT with abused taxpayers not being robbed enough of their money, it's POLITICIANS SPENDING TOO MUCH.. neither taxpayers nor finance are willing to lend to the stone cold broke US Govt

and to underline this simple maths, the politicos are spending so much Bubble Ben is now printing his midget arse off to buy up the entire long end 10-30 year of US Treasuries

Have we GOT IT now economic moron?

Fedwatcher's picture

From A Few Good Men, written by Aaron Sorkin:

Oh, now I see what you're saying. It had to be Professor Plum in the Library with the candlestick.

Read more <a href="">movie news</a> at:
Fedwatcher's picture

From A Few Good Men: written by Aaron Sorkin:

Oh, now I see what you're saying. It had to be Professor Plum in the Library with the candlestick.

Read more <a href="">movie news</a> at:
DeltaDawn's picture

Watch the Tony Robbin's video above and you will see why it barely helps to increase taxes.

Ghordius's picture

I'd say it's a 25% problem on the taxing side and 75% problem on the spending side, so in general I agree with you.

goodrich4bk's picture

It IS the spending, but that's why Rick is wrong.

Congress is the only branch that spends.  And within Congress, every spending bill MUST start in the House.  Republicans control the House, and the rich control Republicans.  So, if Rick wants to reduce spending, he must make the rich feel the pain.

THAT is the reason for the Buffett Rule.  It is not that the nominal increase in revenue will pay for the deficit.  It's that the increased PAIN in a rich person's wallet will make him re-think the value of all that government spending he is presently ignoring.  And because he, unlike me, controls the House, that suits me just fine.

Bartanist's picture

I have a bridge to sell you.

Congress is also the only one that can declare war .... ROFLMAO.

The elititists want the wars. The middle class surely does not. If they want the wars then they should be paying for them both monetarily and with their blood. The elitists want their propaganda pushing, dumbing down education system, the middle class certainly does not ... etc.

Ever hear of these things called "Executive Orders"? We are in a time of war don't-cha-know and the executive has all these unconstitutional powers given to him under the War Powers Act. ToTUS can commit the US to all sorts of treaties that cost us money without the approval of Congress because don't-cha-know the "Constitutional Lawyer" does not believe in the Constitution. It is International Law that is important ... just ask Elena Kagan and his other treasonous appointees.

Over history the top tax rate has always varied. There probably was always a bunch of whining from those who benefitted the most from the financial fraud and unearned salary crowd. Instead of hiring lawyers and lobbyists, maybe they should just SHUTTHEFUP and pay their taxes ... regardless of how unfair and unconstitutional they are... unless they are willing the change the whole system so that the middle class does not have to pay as well.

q99x2's picture

It's about flow not balances. Got flow? You're good to go.

Nobody is going to balance anything ever again. It's over. You put your money in a bank. They are going to take it. If you get out ahead of time. Consider yourself lucky with whatever you get out.

The old system does not exist and neither are arguements based in the old system relevant.

Buy guns, night vision scopes and canned tuna.

Nukular Freedum's picture

Until we throw out the current tax evasion code and replace it with a One page flat income/capital gains and/or a flat consumption tax, with NO exemptions (and no additional taxes)
And until we mandate a balanced budget (which I believe is constitutional) with all that implies we have no hope of making progress to sustainability as a nation.
We also need to secure the money supply at near zero inflation as a final point.

But this is unlikely to ever happen due to political inertia. As Santelli opines things like the Buffett rule are just a bait and switch designed to distract us from the wholesale reform that is needed, reform which neither benefits the rich nor the political elite that serve them.

I also recommend this again:

ItsDanger's picture

What is Rick's alternative?  Cut spending?  Not good enough.  I still think you need to hit rock bottom before meaningful change can take place.  Want an example?  Apple is sitting on a ton of cash and doing nothing with it.  If that money was circulating through the domestic economy, it would actually have a positive economic benefit.  As it sits, it provides nothing except a big target.

Zero Govt's picture

ItsDanger -  "What is Rick's alternative?  Cut spending?  Not good enough."

Yes it's good enough... the spending is the problem dipshit... and how is all this bloated largesse helping the economy now at record levels? Not a sausage of productivity, not a digit of extra GDP or jobs... worthless.

"Apple is sitting on a ton of cash and doing nothing with it. "

Ah a socialist scumbag reveals himself.. grab other peoples money... GF yourself

ItsDanger's picture

What s your IQ exactly?  You dont understand the problem at hand.  You cant just cut spending enough to fix this problem.  Spending is way too high and is massively UNDER-reported while taxes arent.   Not possible unless the majority of the population takes a massive hit.  You need to cut spending, raise taxes, reform pensions, reform healthcare, enhance small businesses, etc.  My Apple example is that a successful company can extract a ton of money from the economy right now and do nothing with it.  You think this is good from an economic standpoint?  You're an idiot pure and simple.  Its not much different than high oil prices going back to Saudi Arabia.  When the money is working through the domestic economy constantly it can provide mulitlpe benefits.  As it is,  A successful business can make money but its preferred that money is somehow reinjected into the economy.  If its just taken out, that hurts the economy permanently.  This has nothing to do with socialism but economics.  If you think cutting some spending witll fix everything you dont have a fuckin clue.

oleander garch's picture

It seems to me that Apple is sitting on all that cash thanks to the well honed coercive power provided by a self proclaimed Communist government in China.  All those happy workers in barracks working round the clock enable Apple and the powers that be in China - a tiny group (dare I say, the one tenth of one percent) and all of whom are communist party members - to rake in wealth.

P.S., The Founding Fathers established 'a government" not a hedge fund or a corporation.  Whose tea went into the harbor in Boston?  Was it the tea of America's independent shippers?  No.  It was the tea of the mutinational East India Company.  The Tea Party was a revolt against the economic privileges awarded to the well connected by a corrupt Parliament and King.  Those crazy Founders actually resented the East India Company avoiding taxes and getting a stranglehold on trade through special provisions that the corporation had placed into law   And the pro government scumbags grabbed other people's money and threw it in the harbor.

Now, who is the East India Company today?  GE, JP Morgan, Halliburton, Apple to name a few.

Nukular Freedum's picture

Want to expropriate it do you? Never heard of the savings-investment equality have you?

Moon Pie's picture

Here's the wager:  The Federal Govt, The FED, the TBTF Banks and Investment houses are "betting" that YOU won't go out in the street...that YOU will not demand the perverse merry-go-round must stop....

Basically...just like the radical muslims surmised....they all think we are fat, dumb and stupid, flaccid, weak and not-principled or have courage of conviction.

Until they are proven wrong, the show will continue on and we will be further exploited and stomped on.  $16+ Trillion (and more coming) is a pretty hefty wager.  They are betting your backs, your bones, your sweat and ignorance.

So far their money looks pretty good, sad to say.  We rely on "justice" of the courts, etc.  Any of that that may still be around is quickly being eroded.


TheDavidRicardo's picture


Such truthiness in the above post and I am part of the problem.

Of course owning PMs can and eventually will shield you personally, from the coming shit storm.  But there is actually is one thing everyone in the US can do legally and without going "Rambo."

Put yours FRNs under the mattress.  Yes, take out perhaps 5% from every paycheck and convert it into cold hard cash.

How and why would this work?  First, you would deny banks access to base monies and nullify any future fractional reserve potential of said bank.  Now, I know that you are going to say, that the FED can debase this money through the printing press and you would be right.  But, since banks basically pay you no interest on storing your cash in their vaults already, you are really only giving up .25-1.00% a year. An opportunity cost much cheaper then having a shoot out with the local police or running from the tax man.  It also would not stop you from investing in PMs.

Of course, you next could point out that gold and silver do much the same thing, and you would be right.  Except for a couple of cavaets.  If the entire population kept physical dollars under the mattress, it would put stress on two major points of the corrupt banking system.  First, as stated before, holding hard cash would put pressure on the reserve requirements of the banks, which would be good.  And second, it would have the odd effect of putting pressure on the FED to print more ACTUAL dollars/FRNs.  If the majority of the population where motivated to move in the same direction, the increase in ACTUAL dollars would increase the amount of base money without the inflationary side effects.  (It would actually deflationary as less credit = deflation)  This would have the positive side effect of forcing the banks to actually offer a higher interest rate to attract your capital. (The REAL reason that banks exist)

You see, the money = debt paradigm is not actually 100% true.  If the whole world fell into the liquidity trap hell-hole and all the debt man ever created was whiped out, ACTUAL dollars would still retain and/or increase their value. 

Not using a bank and hoarding cash, is a legal, blood free and honest option without the side effects of bullet holes and tears gas.  Easy, it is not!

What do you think?

D-Man's picture

I like it! Of course the risk with this approach is that someone breaks in and steals your cash or your house catches fire and it's all gone. That said, I'm going to add to my cash holdings in addition to my PM holdings shortly.

TheDavidRicardo's picture

Thanks man!  I glad you pointed out a couple of risks.

I got the idea from the stories of safes stuffed full of Yen washing up on the shore after Fukushima.

The more the Diet/BOJ (really the same thing in the end) pushed on the string of monetary and fiscal easying, the harder the Japanese people pushed back by saving Yen notes.  This caused of course caused the lost decades, but the Japanese citizens who held Yen saw their purchasing power increase. 

I'm not sure (actually almost 100% sure) that US dollars will lose some of their purchasing power, so diversification into other investments is a must.

PS  From what I have read in a SHTF scenario, cash is a must (even as it loses purchasing power) as electronic forms of money can fail, ATMs dry up and banks go on holiday.  A quick example is in Argentina where even foreign banks with deposits "supposedly" linked to the dollar where allowed, under government decree, to be revalued/exchanged (Not quite sure this is the correct phrasing) into the Arg. Pesos.  Long story short, deposits (which you could not access) lost 75% of their value over night.