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Bulls & Bears
This past week’s Bulls & Bears: Gary B. Smith, Exemplar Capital managing partner; Tobin Smith, ChangeWave Research editor; Scott Bleier, HybridInvestors.com president; Bob Froehlich, DWS Scudder chairman of investor strategy; Cheryl Casone, FOX Business correspondent and host of “FOX Business Now” on Yahoo! Finance; Gary Kaltbaum, Kaltbaum & Associates president
Trading Pit: Wall Street Worried Top Dem Wants to Dismantle Homeland Security
New terror plots uncovered this week. The target: Fort Dix here in America and a separate threat against Americans in Germany.
These threats coming to light the very same week Senator Chuck Schumer, D-NY, says we should get rid of the Department of Homeland Security.
Wall Street was the target on 9/11. Homeland Security was created because of 9/11. Is dismantling this department a concern on Wall and Broad?
GARY B: Wall Street is concerned about Chuck Schumer. He’s like the nutty uncle that always comes around, and just won’t go home! The Department of Homeland Security is not as efficient as it could be, but then again what branch or part of government is? The department was created because different agencies weren’t talking to each other. We’re fighting a war and need the Department of Homeland Security because it’s our all-important coordinated central command.
TOBIN: This is the one time you’ll ever get me to agree with Chuck Schumer. The fact of the matter is the Department of Homeland Security isn’t put together. They don’t have their own offices, they’re in different locations, and are on different computer systems. People in the agencies are mad as hell because the department is not together. So to say that we’re going to take apart the Department is a misnomer because it’s not together in the first place!
GARY K: I don’t know what Chuck Schumer is thinking! I go with results! The bottom line is that we have not been attacked since 9-11 and I am sure that the Department of Homeland Security has prevented attacks. Since taking Congress, the Democrats haven’t put through any plans to try and dismantle the department. This is just another example of Schumer getting bored and going after something. Wall Street is not going to be happy with his plan. We need to leave things alone when they are working.
CHERYL: Anytime companies merge, there is an overlap of people doing same job. This is what has happened with the Department of Homeland Security. They have to start making some cuts and run it more like a business. They can make it work and they’re all in it for the same goal: to make America safe! However, there are too many people doing the same thing.
BOB: If Chuck Schumer really thinks there’s a problem, why would he air it publicly? If he thinks the program should be dismantled, in essence, he’s letting terrorists around the world know that he thinks we’re not doing things right. So if terrorists do want to act, he’s giving them a road map. What he said is extremely political and way out of line! Every government agency can be run more efficiently, but this is not the way to do it.
SCOTT: The Department of Homeland Security is a work in progress, but the alternative is much worse. Schumer wants less government, but the alternative is a bunch of different agencies doing what one agency does. It may be fragmented right now, but if you break it up, it will only create more government, more inefficiency, and more waste. What we need is better management.
Will Health Care Decide 2008 Election?
Is America’s choice for president in 2008 going to come down to who believes we should have socialized medicine in America…and who doesn't?
GARY B: The candidate most in favor of nationalized health care will be the loser. Americans don’t want socialized health care; we just want cheap, affordable health care. We want to buy health care a-la-carte, like how we buy groceries at the supermarket. But this doesn’t mean that the government should take it over! To make something efficient and effective you don’t hand it over to the government, which has proven over centuries to be extremely inefficient. It just doesn’t make any sense.
BOB: Health care is an important issue, but it’s just one of them. It’s not going to resonate as much as creating jobs, international trade, and the tax code. There are just a lot of other issues that are much more important to people’s bottom line than health care.
CHERYL: I disagree! Health care will be the deciding factor in the upcoming presidential election. Health care in such disarray that it’s awful. This is why companies like Wal- Mart are coming in and making drug stores within its stores. You get your head of lettuce, your get the prescription for your ear infection, and you’re out the door.
TOBIN: The market will provide the solution for this problem. If you have to wait too long for your health care service, you will go to Wal-Mart. This whole idea of socialized medicine is going to blow up in the Democrats face. If you look at Bill and Hillary Clintons try, it told us one thing: it sounds good for about the first five seconds!