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    Bulls & Bears

    On Saturday January 9, Brenda Buttner was joined by Gary B. Smith, Tobin Smith, Pat Dorsey, Eric Bolling and Mike Papantonio.

    President's New "Green Jobs" Push: Helping or Hurting Job Market?

    Eric Bolling, Fox Business Network: No matter how many times the government tries job programs like this, they never work. When the government money funding the job goes away, so does the job. You can't create long-term jobs through stimulus. Supposedly, the stimulus has created or saved about 640,000 jobs, and about $257 billion of the stimulus has been spent. That's $401,000 per job created or saved. Does this make sense?

    Mike Papantonio, radio talk show host: We're coming out of the worst recession in recent history. We've lost manufacturing jobs, companies are putting very little money into research and development, corporations aren't spending, and too many college grads don't have disciplines ins science and technology. We have to adjust and become a pioneer for new, modern technologies, and the government should take a role in helping this take place.

    Tobin Smith, NBT Media: We've been losing jobs in sectors like manufacturing for years. That's nothing new. The idea that from high, the governments can somehow preordain the creation and success of a green energy sector doesn't work. Spain is a good example of what happens when the government tries to create green jobs—it ended up costing them $750,000 per job. Now, the Spanish government is cutting funding because it's just too expensive. I think we'd see a very similar result in the U.S.

    Gary B. Smith, Exemplar Capital: I'm not against innovation in any way. What bothers me is the government operating under the assumption that it can help successfully innovate new industries. Look at Intel, Google, or Microsoft—they got along just fine without taking any government subsidies. And they still managed to build up the internet, Windows operating systems, the iPhone, etc. The government does not drive innovation—the private sector does. When private business or industry gets things wrong, they go out of business, and it doesn't cost taxpayers extraordinary amounts of money. When the government gets things wrong, it doesn't matter because it can keep taking money from taxpayers to fund it.

    Pat Dorsey, Morningstar.com: There is a case to be made for subsidies in some case, such as solar power, where you subsidize a technology to get it on good parity and a scale where it becomes cost efficient. But that should take a minimal level of subsidies. You don't want to subsidies a business that's already reasonably cost efficient. Unfortunately, the government has a pretty poor track record of successfully picking which businesses or industries to subsidize.

    Did "Underwear Bomber" Instill Fear in U.S. Economy?

    Tobin Smith: This attempted airplane bombing is not instilling fear in the economy. In fact, it could even help the economy. I guarantee we're going to spend more money to find the guys that plotted this thing, and of course that'll help create more jobs.

    Eric Bolling: I think the guys who tried to pull this off won this little battle. Small businesses have a lot on their plate right now. When something like this takes place, it shakes people's confidence a bit, and makes them wonder what could be coming next. It may make consumers and businesses think twice about spending money. And what we can't do is take our eye of the ball on this stuff, or pretend like it's not a serious, ongoing threat.

    Mike Papantonio: After 9/11, Americans' fear tolerance grew tremendously. The day after the attempted Christmas day attack, most Americans said they believed another attempt was going to take place. Nevertheless, they still showed up on their plane, went to visit their families, and really went around their normal business. An event like this isn't going to shake Americans to the point the economy is going to get hurt, and that's what makes this country great.

    Gary B. Smith: I think in the short term, this is an out of sight, out of mind issue for most people. After all, it didn't happen on their flight. We spend billions a year on intelligence, and yet one whack job with a bomb in his underwear made it past security. The main problem was our intelligence agencies weren't talking to one another. And that allowed this guy to almost blow up this plane. We got lucky, but if these guys actually pull something off successfully, then our economy will absolutely suffer.

    Pat Dorsey: Hurricanes hit Florida and people still live in Florida. It's the same analogy with terrorism. It's something that happens, and it's just something people have to deal with and be prepared for. All we can do is try to reduce the chance of an attack occurring. But people adjust; they don't fundamentally change their lives as a result of terrorism. So I don't see this having any significant effect on the economy.

    What Will Dems Give Unions to Support Health Care Reform?

    Gary B. Smith: This is going to be a lose-lose situation for everybody. Congress is looking for any kind of revenue to pay off this idiotic health care plan, so they want to go after these "Cadillac plans." In a short time, I think we'll see the definition of a Cadillac plan come to anyone with a company health plan. The middle class and everyone else are going to get killed with new taxes. No one will come out ahead in this.

    Mike Papantonio: This is a great hold-out piece for unions in terms of card check legislation. Unions have one goal at the end of the day—to build their numbers up. The number of unionized workers in this country has been on the decline for decades, so card check allows unions to potentially get their numbers up. It's very likely the unions will relent on taxing Cadillac insurance policies, provided Congress gives them card check. This will be a major negotiation.

    Eric Bolling: I'd rather have people get off the hook on taxing Cadillac plans. Who cares what unions want? We're all in this together, and everyone is going to have to pay for this. Suddenly, when unions find out their Cadillac plans are getting taxed to pay for health care reform, they're against the legislation and demand this type of taxation gets taken out of it. Typical politics.