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Bulls & Bears
This past week's Bulls & Bears: Gary B. Smith, Exemplar Capital; Tobin Smith, ChangeWave Research; Eric Bolling, FOX Business News; Pat Dorsey, Morningstar.com, and Mike Papantonio, radio talk show host.
New Aid for Jobless; Will It Keep Unemployment Rate High?
Gary B. Smith, Exemplar Capital: This is a terrible idea! Of course, this is bad for the economy as we've reinforced the notion of sitting on your butt, but that's another story. It will actually help: by increasing benefits, those who would normally have to go look for work, won't. That means more jobs for those who WANT to work.
Eric Bolling, FOX Business Network: Gimme a break... now we are giving people an additional 26 weeks of benefits if they go get job training or apply to school? Just another example of the Nanny state sprawl. Where is the incentive to go get a job? This will allow people to stay on the Nanny teat longer.
Tobin Smith, ChangeWave Research: Extending jobless benefits actually helps job market in short term; we'll have more retail demand and higher GDP.
Pat Dorsey, Morningstar.com: Extending jobless benefits won't affect things.
Mike Papantonio, radio talk show host: It will help the job market! Have we really become so callous and shrill that we believe a man supporting four children, scared to death that he can't pay rent, terrified that he can't feed his family, likely to lose his car, likely to have no safety net for health coverage if a baby gets sick — or he becomes ill? Have we really adopted such a conservative callousness that we are unwilling to take care of that neighbor by giving him every chance? This extension pushes them toward retraining and learning new job skills.
Should Freed Gitmo Detainees Receive U.S. Welfare?
Tobin Smith: We free terrorists into the U.S. and provided them with paychecks but we send an American soldier, Lieutenant Michael Behenna, to prison for 25 years for killing a known Al Qaeda operative while serving in Iraq? Basic humanity suggests that if we took an innocent person and kept him at Gitmo for years, then I think we owe them a ticket back to where they came from and some sort of settlement for false imprisonment… but that's it, period.
Mike Papantonio: Yes they deserve some taxpayer assistance! Answer to this issue begins when we understand that out of the 800 prisoners at Gitmo only two have been convicted since 2002. Only 23 have even been charged with actual crimes. A majority of them are there because people collected bounties for every person they handed over — Al Qaeda or not. Sixty have been completely cleared for release because the government said they are there by mistake - zero evidence against them for any crime. I know this is a financial centered show - but sometimes even Wall Street has to answer the question — even the irrelevant, dying leadership of the GOP has to answer the question: what have we become?
Gary B Smith: This has to be a joke, right? I am moving to France if I end up paying for assistance for enemies of our country.
Eric Bolling: Did you see "60 Minutes"? Turns out the Saudis released from Gitmo are given the royal treatment.... Ridiculous. These are criminals, terrorists... they lost their liberties when they chose to try and kill us. How about giving them a choice: waterboard or manual labor. Bet most would choose the spritz over the shvitz.
Pat Dorsey: Are "regular" parolees and former inmates allowed welfare? If so, that's the precedent we should follow — especially since may of the Gitmo folks were never even formally charged or tried.
Legalizing and Taxing Sin: Right Fix?
Video: Click here to watch the segment
Gary B Smith: This is yet another tax gambit which will only increase the use of things harmful to society. It's very simple: if things are easier to get, then use goes up. (Think of it as having a tax on getting them removed.) Why condone and in fact, why encourage things harmful to society?
Mike Papantonio: Before legalized gambling, the only people making money gambling was the mob. Today, Vegas collects $80 million a month of gambling revenue. Atlantic City collects about $20 million per month. They live by that old W.C. Fields philosophy that it's morally wrong to let a real sucker keep his own money. How can stockbroker types ever be critical of gambling? What bigger gambles take place than the stock market? Gambling generates huge taxable revenue; some recent research from Price Waterhouse shows that 40 billion dollars in revenues could be generated over the next 10 years. And medicinal marijuana alone has hit 14 billion dollars a year in sales. Here's what they figured out: the sale of Marijuana is no worse from a health/safety standpoint than tobacco or alcohol.