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Rick Santelli: You Can't Cut Money You're Not Spending

Rick Santelli argues for "real" spending cuts in the "fiscal cliff" negotiations.

Santelli: You know, ‘tis the season. You see the holidays all around us, but, there’s a lot of seasons. You know, some people have alarm clocks, Carl, that wake them up with birds. Some people have alarm clocks that wake them up with outdoor sounds. Here’s the sound I listen to when I wake up. You hear that? You know what that is? That’s the scissors. I think that Edward Scissorhands ought to be sent on video tape or CD to every Republican and Democrat, and the President so they can learn what cutting is all about. Let me get this straight, if we’re gonna spend one of these, if we’re gonna try to project how much we’re going to spend. If we do this and you cut it up, that’s a real spending cut. And that’s what we need to do. We need to take Ben Franklins, and when we’re taking trillions, there’s a lot of Bens. There’s a lot of them, and we need to cut them. Hear how that sounds? But here’s the problem that I see. We look at issues and then we talk about savings, then we go to the camera and we, we being all politicians, talk about the ten-year savings. We spend about 80 billion of these -- 800 billion dollars -- on two wars, and for the most part, other than how many troops are going to stay in Afghanistan, those are over. So if you’re spending about $80 billion a year on two wars, and they end, you’re not spending $80 billion dollars a year. So should you say you are cutting the deficit $800 billion? There have been many discussions about this in varying forms, but the real issue is this: If you’re going to get serious about negotiating, ok, we can’t have programs that aren’t on the books anymore, or spending that isn’t on the books any more, and then look at a ten-year projection and say how much we’re saving. Now I understand that we’re not spending that money, but when you come to the table, to rise above for a compromise, don’t bring me air and say, “see, I’m not spending this, so it’s a savings.” Sure. You’re not spending it, but it isn’t savings. It’s only a saving when you hear the scissors cutting through it. So people need to get real on both sides of the isle and address real, not baseline, real savings by cutting spending.

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