DISCLAIMER: THE FOLLOWING "Cost of Freedom Recap" CONTAINS STRONG OPINIONS WHICH ARE NOT A REFLECTION OF THE OPINIONS OF FOX NEWS AND SHOULD NOT BE RELIED UPON AS INVESTMENT ADVICE WHEN MAKING PERSONAL INVESTMENT DECISIONS. IT IS FOX NEWS' POLICY THAT CONTRIBUTORS DISCLOSE POSITIONS THEY HOLD IN STOCKS THEY DISCUSS, THOUGH POSITIONS MAY CHANGE. READERS OF "Cost of Freedom Recap" MUST TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR THEIR OWN INVESTMENT DECISIONS.
Bulls & Bears | Cavuto on Business | Forbes on FOX | Cashin' In
Bulls & Bears
This past week's Bulls & Bears: Ann Coulter, author of "Godless"; Gary B. Smith, Exemplar Capital managing partner; Pat Dorsey, Morningstar.com director of stock research; Tobin Smith, ChangeWave Research editor; Scott Bleier, HybridInvestors.com president, and Bob Froehlich, DWS Scudder chairman of investor strategy.
Trading Pit: Paris: Proof You Can't Buy Privilege!
Paris can cry for "Mommy" all she wants! But she's back behind bars! Is this proof the rules aren't different for the rich and that money doesn't buy special privilege?
ANN: I am pleasantly surprised to see that America is revolted by Paris Hilton. But I think it is unfair—I haven't heard one lawyer say that anyone else would get this kind of sentence. It is because she is disliked and that isn't how the law is supposed to work. I don't see this as a liberal/conservative issue; I see it as a reality TV show. It is a fact that Paris Hilton is obsessed with attention and that upset the judge and her lawyers. Still it is very different to send Paris Hilton to jail because it disrupts the whole jail. Everyone is trying to take pictures of her and sell them to the National Enquirer—it's totally disruptive.
TOBIN: Judges give tougher sentences to celebrities. The whole issue boils down to how much television time the judge will get. At the end of the day this becomes a way for a judge to get a book deal or some other type of deal. Paris needs to go to jail and do her time!
GARY B: I disagree with Ann that America is revolted by Paris Hilton. When she's on the TV, we can't take our eyes off the screen! I will hand it to Paris. She's built this little conglomerate. But I still find it hard to believe, even though she is going back to jail, that she is being treated equally.
BOB: America thrives on controversy. But the facts in this case are pretty clear. I think the rich should be held to a higher standard. People on this show should be held to a higher standard because we influence people! To think that people of wealth don't run in different circles is false. I don't care if you're an athlete, a schoolteacher, anybody on TV, there are two standards and you have privileges. I think you have to be held to a higher standard.
PAT: She's a controversial figure and there is no doubt she will generate a lot of controversy. I agree with Bob's point. You would hope that people of wealth would see themselves as role models. Sometimes that is the case and sometimes it is not. In Paris' case…maybe not.
SCOTT: The Fort Dix terrorists were arrested for drunk driving many times and never went to jail. Paris is already in jail. Her money and influence would have helped her before she got into the jail system…before she screwed over the judge. The system is the great equalizer, and now her money and power can do nothing.
Will Hillary's 'Take From the Rich' Plan Get Her Elected?
Hillary Clinton wants to make us energy independent and provide universal health care. So how will she pay for it? She said it this week, "…taking things from some people," that's how. Could this "take from the rich" plan get her elected?
ANN: Well since the Democrats have settled that $200,000 is the definition of being rich, they're going to find there are a substantial minority of Americans who make more than $200,000. But my tax plan is to figure out how we only tax rich liberals!
GARY B: I think it's genius in a sort of Lex Luther way. I think Ann made a good point that it is really going to come down to numbers. There are people with salaries over $200,000 who went through twenty years of schooling, worked their butts off for some corporation or started their own business—employing thousands of other people. Under Hillary's plan their reward is giving what they've earned to the less fortunate. And the less fortunate say, "Yeah! Yeah! We don't want to work, we want everything to be given to us."
TOBIN: I can't think of any President that has won a national election by using a platform to socialize medicine by taking away from people who make a middle-class living.
SCOTT: It's absolutely not going to get her into the White House. Anybody who works for a living and makes any money is going to see through her plan easily. She's trying to play to the mass majority but no one is going to listen to her. People who didn't earn it, don't deserve it.
BOB: It worked for Robin Hood. I actually think that many of these people that are technically "rich" don't perceive themselves as rich. So they say, "Yeah, let's go after these rich people," until they realize that they are the rich people.
PAT: We've had progressive taxes for quite a long time. They're not that unpopular or Steve Forbes would be President now. The larger point that was being made, particularly from the energy independence angle, is that if you pursue a goal that benefits everyone equally, the costs are going to be assigned unequally. A higher fuel tax, for example, would hurt the poor more so than it would hurt people driving Mercedes SUVs.