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Bulls & Bears
Economy's Message to President Obama: No "Additional" Spending Needed?
Gary B. Smith, Exemplar Capital: This idea of additional government spending just gets dumber and dumber by the day. The dollars we've put up for the stimulus haven't even begun to trickle into the economy yet. At least let that money start to work. Eventually, we're going to wake up with a big hangover in the form of stimulus. Deficit spending didn't work for this country in the 1930s. It wasted our money and saddled our children with huge debts.
Mike Papantonio, radio talk show host: If it hadn't been for stimulus spending in the 1930s, we would have never pulled out of the depression. When FDR first tried to stop spending money, it increased unemployment, dried up consumer spending and extended the suffering of the Depression. If we stopped spending right now, our economy would go into a tailspin.
Tobin Smith, Changewave Research: Right now, the bigger issue is putting out rules and standards for what we're already doing. We shouldn't do more until we figure out what we're doing right now. This is like redoing your home, repainting the walls, and putting on a new roof all at the same time.
Eric Bolling, FOX Business Network: If the house is on fire, it's like we've been shooting a fire hose down every block. Stimulus doesn't work. People don't spend the money--they put it in their pockets. Enough is enough. Things will get better. Home prices have started to level out. Sales are up, data points are ticking upwards. There will be bumps in the road, but things are getting better.
Joe Battipaglia, Stifel Nicolaus: Rahm Emanuel said we can't let a good crisis go to waste. The Obama administration is a very progressive group. They want to change direction, so they're using the crisis as an opportunity to redirect traffic for the business community and it's dangerous. The administration is going to keep going, pushing their programs and initiatives forward, and keep spending even more money--putting us all in a bigger hole as a consequence.
Can We Afford Paying Government Workers 40 Percent More Than Private Workers?
Eric Bolling: The biggest growth driver in the economy right now is government. This is absolute insanity. For years I told my son to go to Wall Street, trade, and make a lot of money when he grows up. But after the last six months, he should forget Wall Street and go into politics. That's where the jobs are going to be.
Mike Papantonio: I love to hear this arrogant, pompous attack on government workers. What about firefighters, police officers, teachers, or social workers. Is it too much to pay these people good wages?
Joe Battipaglia: Unlike the private sector that pulls back during a recession, government employee pay and benefits stay to same, or get even better. It sucks air out of the economy, and government spending continues to become a bigger share of U.S. GDP. In some states the only place there is job growth is in government hiring, such as New Jersey.
Tobin Smith: This difference in pay between government and private sector jobs has gone on for decades. But there's no pulling back because these workers get raises on an inflation-adjusted basis. The interest payments we're going to have to make on all this money we're going to be borrowing will be bigger than our annual defense budget. The government should be pulling back on these wages and benefits, but we've got bigger problems out there.
Gary B. Smith: The reason so many state and local governments are in trouble is from these high wages and benefits government workers receive. The most unionized sector of the economy is the government. Governments are beholden to these unions and have to pay these high wages -- the unions have a monopoly on them.
Best Bang for Your Buck Right Now: Stocks or Homes?
Video: Click here to watch the segment
Eric Bolling: This is the best time in decades to buy a house. Home affordability rates are at their all time high along with inventory levels. With a 4.5 percent mortgage rate and an $8,000 credit, you can do it.
Joe Battipaglia: I think house prizes are still too high and they could drop by another 20 percent. Stocks are a better opportunity because any rebound will show up there first as opposed to the housing market.
Tobin Smith: Homes are selling for 50 percent beneath their replacement cost with low mortgages to carry. I'd go to homes right now. It's a special situation right now. If you're in the right location and get a good deal, take advantage of it.