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Bulls & Bears
On Saturday July 4, 2009 on "Bulls & Bears," Brenda Buttner was joined by Gary B. Smith, Pat Dorsey, Eric Bolling, Tobin Smith and Julia Piscitelli.
Sarah Palin Resigns as Alaska Governor: Great News for U.S. Economy?
Tobin Smith: Our economy and our market is getting more scared to death every day about spending $1 trillion a year that we don't have, about creating a nanny state and about creating a health care plan that we can't afford. The market is saying, ‘wait a minute, how are we going to pay for it?' And if Sarah Palin can get traction to fight back and give a voice to millions of Americans who are now waking up every day to this idea that we can't spend our way to prosperity and stock markets will fail if we do, I say mazel tov, girl! You go!
Eric Bolling: Look at what Sarah Palin represents. She represents individual liberty, smaller government, less spending. A couple of the important issues on the table right now are national health care and cap and trade. These things are going to cost a lot of money that really could torpedo the economy. When I say the economy, you're talking the stock market, labor market and housing market. The stock market is fine right now, but look at the labor market. 14 million people are out of work right now, 9.5 percent unemployment. So there are other parts of the economy that would help with smaller government, smaller taxes and smaller spending.
Julia Piscitelli: If she can become an effective voice, I think that that's a very big "if," but she could have some effect. Being a woman, going through what she has just been through on a very national stage, I think it is possible. But on the other hand we could be overestimating Sarah Palin's effectiveness as a spokesperson and the effectiveness she could have on changing the markets.
Gary B. Smith: Look, let's just stipulate that everything comes true and she becomes this national voice, yes absolutely! You really have a choice here. If you think Obama's policies are good for the economy then her message is the wrong one. If you disagree, then her message is spot on, and the fact of the matter is we're king of leaving it to the Republican congress and there doesn't seem to be any one effective unifying voice. So there is definitely a void and need there and if she can get that point across and turn the tide back then yeah, I'm on her side obviously.
Pat Dorsey: These "ifs" are fairly large here folks, lets not deny that. In terms of the question "what's the effect of the market" I think it's really quite minimal because the market is struggling with the highest structural unemployment in 50 years. We lost 5.5 million jobs in the last six months and there is a very good chance that we just have a structurally higher rate of unemployment, upwards of 9 percent for a while, as we structure from a highly leveraged consumer-led economy to something more appropriate for the next 20 years. That takes time and is difficult, and I think it's a bigger than whichever voice is leading the left or the right.
President Obama: Stimulus Has "Done Its Job"; Time to Give It Back?
Eric Bolling: Yeah, sure, give it back if it's working. The problem is that it's not working! We saw 9.5 percent unemployment, 14 million people out of work. We see states wondering, how are we going to balance this budget? We have to lay off teachers and firemen. The exact people who he said we weren't going to have to lay off, down the line, we're going to have to lay off to balance the budget. It is not working!
Tobin Smith: Stimulus doesn't work! Look if we wanted this to work, we would do a 3 year, maybe a 5 year moratorium on capital gains that people invested in new business and old business. If we did that, we would have so many jobs created. People would then be protesting that there are too many jobs.
Julia Piscitelli: Well first of all, we haven't taken the money yet. We've taken the money from China that we would have to pay back at some point. But only 10 percent of the stimulus money has been sent out to the states at this point. What they have done, is they did use this money to cover their budget shortfalls which is meant that the states and localities have not had to lay off critical workers like 911 operators and firefighters.
Gary B: Well I don't see how you can have any choice to give the money back no matter which way you look at it. If it is working, I would say great then don't spend anymore and stoke the flames of inflation. If it isn't working, and I think by all accounts it's not working, then I would say, well why do you want to throw good money after bad? It started back with Bush and Pelosi, you've spent already billions, and I say well it's not working. So let's spend more?
Pat Dorsey: We tried this sort of send checks directly to people last spring, and as we saw, a fair amount of it got saved. Now think about what's happened with the economy in terms of job losses and the stock market going down and real estate prices going down. People are more scared about their financial future today than they were a year ago. That means that their propensity to save, the odds that they save extra income, is probably even higher today. So if you gave people direct checks, it would just fatten up the saving rate more. Long term, that's a good thing but it doesn't do much to crate jobs or get the economy going.
Lawmakers Taking Lavish Trips as Americans Cut Vacations
Gary B: This is the definition of a boondoggle! Every person in the United States seems to be battening down the hatches, pulling up our shoestrings, and these guys are spending like there's no tomorrow. I tell you what, I'd throw out every one of them and start afresh.
Eric Bolling: These same guys grill CEOs of companies for flying private jets, they grill them for spa treatments on the west coast, but they're doing the exact same thing, only it's not the west coast. It's Jamaica, Caiman Islands, and Galapagos, unbelievable! They are spending your money, tell them to stop! Or, change them in 2010.
Julia Piscitelli: Pelosi was visiting an air force base; that trip was a bipartisan trip, as most of these trips are. It is both sides of the aisle, and since 2005 when the new ban on lobbyist paid trips went into effect, they continued taking the trips but they were paid by the taxpayers, which frankly I'd prefer the taxpayers influencing the lawmakers than the lobbyists.