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Bulls & Bears
On Saturday, May 30, Brenda Buttner was joined by Gary B. Smith, Pat Dorsey, Eric Bolling, Tobin Smith and Steve Leser.
National Sales Tax for All: Worst Thing for Economy?
Eric Bolling, FOX Business Network: This is a horrible idea. Why try and emulate Europe: a continent ridden with chronic unemployment and stagnant economic growth. It doesn't work there, and it won't work in the U.S. It'll only bleed the consumer dry and tax rich people, not to mention poor people too. This would be an economic killer.
Tobin Smith, ChangeWave Research: If we did a national sales tax in the U.S., the bottom 70 percent of taxpayers would start to pay for their fair share, as opposed to the top 3 percent paying a huge portion of tax revenues. If we got rid of the income tax, and replaced it with a national sales tax, then you may be on to something. But on top of all the taxes we already have in this country? Absolutely not.
Steve Leser, OpEdNews.com: Everything needs to be on the table to take care of and pay down the deficit. Standard and Poor's recently said they may lower the credit rating on U.S. Treasury Bonds. A national sales tax could potentially pay for more than health care reform or other programs. A huge portion of it could be used pay down the deficit. There are a lot of good things you could do with that new revenue.
Pat Dorsey, Morningstar.com: If you impose a national sales tax, but lower others like corporate taxes, there could be a net benefit to the economy. But any type of sales tax is highly regressive. It would hit poor people far harder than wealthy people. In general, I think it would be a wash, and we'd still be in bad economic shape either way.
Gary B. Smith, Exemplar Capital: This would be an added tax, not a replacement for any other tax. Discretionary spending would plummet with a 25 percent tax added on to anything. Trips, auto purchases, etc. all would go out the window. People, especially given the economic climate right now, would have to start getting by on the bare minimum.
Unions Love Supreme Court Pick: Bad News for Jobs?
Tobin Smith: Judge Sotomayor is all about empathy. If you're weak and powerless in a court of law, you should get favorable judgment over the people who are powerful. Her decisions constantly fall into the classification of "judicial realism"—they are based more on empathy, not sound legal decisions.
Steve Leser: It was Sotomayor's decision with the Major League Baseball case that caused a cooling out-period for management and the union. It helped enable a settlement, and it has resulted in 14 years of labor dispute-free baseball. She ruled in favor of the union, and ultimately it proved to be the right decision.
Eric Bolling: I don't think you can take two cases out of 3,700 decisions she has made to prove that she's devoutly pro-union. She's not going to change the bench at all. Whatever she is, I'm all for her. She pulled herself up from the wrong side of the tracks all the way to the Supreme Court.
Gary B. Smith: The fact of the matter is that unions keep wages artificially high. They think they're protecting the worker, but in fact hurt the countless other workers out there who are not, or cannot get, into the union. Companies are hurt by reductions in profits, and in turn inhibit their ability to hire more workers. Sotomayor's decisions like the Major League Baseball case show she's for empowering unions.
Handouts for Down Payments on Homes: Here We Go Again?
Gary B. Smith: It just gets goofier and goofier. I'm getting past the point of irritation to just insanity. This would be like giving $8,000 to someone in 2001 to go buy a dot-com stock. This is another way we're going to artificially rein late the housing bubble. Where's this $8,000 coming from? It's from you and I on top of the trillions the government is already spending.
Tobin Smith: Houses are down 40 percent to 50 percent in major markets. Depending on circumstances, purchasing a home is actually cheaper than renting. But just giving money out to people to buy a home is what created the whole bubble in the first place. However, market conditions have changed so that people have to put 20 to 25 percent down on a home purchase, and so naturally you're going to get more responsible buyers.
Steve Leser: Nobody gets a loan now unless you have perfect credit, and enough money to pay for a large down payment on the house. The housing market has changed, and these loans would go to much more responsible potential homeowners.
Eric Bolling: I actually like this program. A lot of renters felt like they've missed the American dream. This loan program makes home ownership a possibility for a lot of Americans. Rather than getting a tax credit at the tail end of home ownership, people would essentially be getting this major benefit up front.