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Bulls & Bears
"Bulls & Bears" host Brenda Buttner was joined by Tobin Smith, ChangeWave.com; Gary B. Smith, TheChartman.com; Eric Bolling, host of FBN's "Happy Hour"; Pat Dorsey, Morningstar.com; Steve Leser, OpEdNews.com
VP Joe Biden Says Stimulus "Saved or Created" up to 1 Million Jobs Despite Rising Jobless Rate: Can He Prove It?
Tobin Smith, ChangeWave Research: Evidently math isn't Vice President Joe Biden's strong suit. Whether it was President Bush's or President Obama's stimulus plan, they just don't save or create jobs. The economy is recovering, but without job growth. We're just throwing money at stuff that never creates jobs. Giving money to states to pay salaries to teachers or firefighters they couldn't afford to employ to begin with is not stimulus.
Steve Leser, Op-Ed News: Even Goldman Sachs says that without the stimulus, we would have had a loss of 3.2 percent in GDP for the second quarter of this year. In the second quarter, we only lost 1 percent. We've had left-leaning and right-leaning organizations saying that half a million jobs have been saved by this stimulus. Recessions don't ever turn around overnight. But I think unemployment will be down to 7.5 percent by August of next year.
Eric Bolling, FOX Business Network: When the Obama administration changed the bar from only jobs created to jobs saved or created, it opened up a can of worms. There's no way to quantify this. There's really no way of saying a job is created or saved. How do you say you're created jobs with 14 million people unemployed and 25 million underemployed? There's very little evidence showing the stimulus to be working.
Gary B. Smith, TheChartman.com: This is the highest unemployment rate we've seen in 26 years. You can claim that all these jobs have been saved, and that it could have been worse. But the fact remains we're continuing to lose jobs at a very high pace. What's ironic about growing unemployment is that the stimulus was supposed to go toward shovel ready jobs. But the areas that continue to lose jobs are construction and manufacturing. The only area that has really grown in all this is government.
Pat Dorsey, Morningstar.com: The bottom line is that it's hard to make a case that the stimulus hurt the economy and caused the recession to become worse. It cushioned things, but to what degree is debatable. But there are numbers coming out that show at least some jobs have been saved as a result of the stimulus.
"Wall Street Tax" to Pay for Government Care: Recovery Killer?
Gary B. Smith: Right now, the proposed tax would take about 1/10 of 1 percent off every dollar of a stock transaction. Companies like Scott Trade or Schwab that manage 401(k) plans for clients take relatively small commissions. When you take away that 1/10 of 1 percent, that significantly eats into the commission and profits those companies get managing 401(k) plans. And the results could be pretty bad for the little guy.
Tobin Smith: Talk about hypocrisy—the AFL-CIO is promoting this Wall Street tax to pay for health care. What should be taxed are health care benefits which really are a type of compensation. This is a tax against risk-taking, and if you impede risk-taking in the market, you impede making money in the market. That's bad for investors. At the end of the day though, I don't see President Obama actually trying to get this new tax passed.
Steve Leser: This will not make a difference. Think about this, 1/10 of 1 percent on a million dollar transaction is $1,000. The effect on financial institutions would be minimal. But I don't think this tax would pass.
Eric Bolling: This tax would drain liquidity from the system, and when major financial players don't want to play due to additional costs, they'll take their business overseas. Just to get involved with a 401(k) will cost more, and when the government continues to take money out of the financial markets, no one is going to want to play in our sandbox anymore.
Pat Dorsey: We shouldn't get our shorts in a knot over this. This will only take commissions costs to where they were four or five years ago. The market had plenty of players then, and it will continue to. I hope this tax doesn't happen, but it's not something to get hyperbolic about.
If White House Czars Go Down, Economy Will Go Up?
Tobin Smith: The idea you can hire dozens of czars who can properly micromanage things just shows the naiveté of the administration. In any successful business there is one or two really great leaders who head up the organization. They're given the power and they keep the business successful. That's not the case with these czars.
Eric Bolling: Get rid of them all—these czars are on their way out. The more of them we get out of the way, the better the economy will get.
Steve Leser: I don't understand the problem people have with these czars. These czars are people who need to get their respective jobs done, and if they don't, we can point to them and hold them accountable.