Rick Santelli And Thomas Friedman Call Each Other ‘Idiotic’ In Heated Social Security Exchange


On Thursday’s edition of Squawk Box, New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman and CNBC’s Rick Santelli traded epithets over whether Social Security was a Ponzi scheme as Governor Rick Perry has argued.

“Your question is idiotic,” fumed Friedman, when asked whether Social Security was a type of pyramid scheme. “You’re idiotic!” responded Santelli.

The heated on-air exchange began as Santelli questioned Friedman directly whether there was any legitimacy to Perry’s suggestion.

“It’s a program that made promises that it cannot keep in full and it needs to be fixed and reformed,” answered Friedman. Santelli returned fire: “Isn’t that exactly what a Ponzi pyramid is?” Soon after, the discussion devolved into namecalling.

FRIEDMAN: It is pay as we go. Ronald Reagan fixed it. Why can’t we fix it?

SANTELLI: What does Ronald Reagan have to do with my question?

FRIEDMAN: What does your question have to do with reality?


SANTELLI: You can’t decide that more people is the only thing made Social Security work. We have a real issue because many people in government seem to like to read your work.

FRIEDMAN: What makes Social Security work is fixing Social Security in terms of the population demands.

SANTELLI: I didn’t ask if we should fix it or not. I asked if it’s a pyramid scheme.

FRIEDMAN: Your question is idiotic. That’s what you asked.

SANTELLI: You’re idiotic. I’m done. I feel good.


Watch the fracas below, courtesy of CNBC:

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