DISCLAIMER: THE FOLLOWING "Cost of Freedom Recap" CONTAINS STRONG OPINIONS WHICH ARE NOT A REFLECTION OF THE OPINIONS OF FOX NEWS AND SHOULD NOT BE RELIED UPON AS INVESTMENT ADVICE WHEN MAKING PERSONAL INVESTMENT DECISIONS. IT IS FOX NEWS' POLICY THAT CONTRIBUTORS DISCLOSE POSITIONS THEY HOLD IN STOCKS THEY DISCUSS, THOUGH POSITIONS MAY CHANGE. READERS OF "Cost of Freedom Recap" MUST TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR THEIR OWN INVESTMENT DECISIONS.
Bulls & Bears | Cavuto on Business | Forbes on Fox | Cashin' In
Bulls & Bears
On Saturday, January 30, 2010 Brenda Buttner was joined by Gary B. Smith, Tobin Smith, Pat Dorsey, Eric Bolling and Julian Epstein.
Best Job Creator: Free Market or Big Government?
ERIC BOLLING, FOX BUSINESS NETWORK: We really should be following the Apple or Ford model. These are companies that have developed and produced products people want and cut costs to streamline their businesses wherever they could. They've innovated, changed the way they did business, and do their part to help the economy get better. Ford is doing much better than anyone could have expected.
JULIAN EPSTEIN, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: People on the right always say the only solution to helping the economy is the private sector. People on the left say government is the solution. Both are wrong. At the end of the day, the American people want practicality. There is no question that innovation from the private sector is one of the main drivers for job creation. However, when the economy is contracting, and banks stop lending, and businesses stop hiring, the government steps in for countercyclical purposes. Economic growth was contracting, and millions of jobs were being lost. Now we have positive economic growth, and the number of jobs being lost is significantly diminished.
TOBIN SMITH, NBT MEDIA: Look at what Steve Jobs has done with his job. Apple has grown from 50,000 employees to 125,000 employees. I think President Obama has this whole thing backwards. In capitalism, capitalists go out, take risk, innovate, and because of those people innovating and a market demanding what they're making, jobs are created. The President's approach has been for a small group of people trying to figure out what people want, or what they think the economy needs. And to pay for it, they'll take money from successful people for the so-called greater good. It's totally upside down logic.
GARY B. SMITH, THECHARTMAN.COM: The government not only chooses sectors to support, but it does so inefficiently. Historically, whenever the government steps in and tries to create jobs, they barely budge the unemployment rate. And the money for those programs doesn't just fall from heaven, it's money the government is taking from one group and moving it to another group. There is no actual net job created. You're just using money that could have been spent or invested elsewhere more effectively by the private sector.
PAT DORSEY, MORNINGSTAR.COM: What's unfortunate about the government's latest efforts to create jobs is that the economy is already recovering right now. We're no longer in the middle of an economic crisis. We are seeing fewer job looses, and some job creation in certain sectors. There is upward momentum in the economy right now. Unfortunately, the unemployment rate is often the last thing to recover. This always happens. I'm a skeptic of what politicians can actually do to help or harm the economy. We're just in the midst of a common business cycle, and the economy can recover without the help of the government.
Should Spending Freeze in D.C. Start With Lawmaker Perks?
GARY B. SMITH: This report of Nancy Pelosi racking up over $100,000 in food and alcohol expenses for her plane is ridiculous. If anyone working for a private company tried to put something like this on their expense report, they'd be out of there so fast it'd make their head spin. Government officials get extremely generous pension plans, free child care, etc. I don't mind government officials spending money; it's just that they're not accountable for their actions, and seem to have little ethics or morals guiding what they actually spend money on.
EPSTEIN: After September 11th, President Bush determined the Speaker of House, given their prominence in the line of succession, needed to have access to proper aircraft when traveling. The former speaker, Dennis Hastert, frequently used this privilege. These numbers are grossly inflated. These numbers tabulate all specified travel expenses on Pelosi's office. However, when she travels with other members, they pay-in for the travel costs.
TOBIN SMITH: We can't miss the point here. If you're the CEO of a company you get rid of unnecessary expenditures, like not flying in first class. It would not be a threat or hard for Nancy Pelosi to fly commercial from a security standpoint. All she has to do is fly under an assumed name. That's just about the safest way to fly. And it would send a good signal of lawmakers cutting back on all of their perks.
BOLLING: Either way, these numbers show the frivolous spending that goes on by lawmakers. It doesn't matter if it was bought by Pelosi's office or one of her guests. Did she really need a $53 bottle of Grey Goose? These so-called Congressional delegations are really out of control. They travel around the world, bringing spouses, friends, etc. and claim they're doing government business.
DORSEY: Should a spending freeze start with lawmakers and their perks? No. Where it should start is Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, defense spending, etc. If we're going to make any impact on the budget, or the deficit, somebody on Capitol Hill has to have the political courage to go after these untouchable issues. If you want to move the needle, start with the big stuff.
More Global Warming Reports Based on Sloppy Science; Time to Kill the Energy Bill?
TOBIN SMITH: I hope this latest U.N. climate report that's now proven to be bogus helps kill any climate bill in this country. The raw economics of climate legislation just doesn't work. At this point, I think the results of a WWF wresting match are more real. The fact they used completely sloppy science to try and prove Himalayan glaciers were melting just proves how bogus these climate change plans are.
EPSTEIN: We're still not sure if this U.N. report was sloppy science or not. If that turns out to be the case and completely missed the facts, it should be criticized. But I don't think this undermines the underlying thesis that climate change is happening, and we need to do something to offset its negative effects. Almost all independent scientists agree that global warming is coming, and it will be a major environmental and economic disaster. We need to get smart and move towards a green economy.
BOLLING: Strike three. Is there any solid research that proves there's any major global warming going on a grand basis where the science might not be tainted? Remember back in the 1970s, the huge concern was global cooling. I just don't think we can rely on the data and research out there.