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Bulls & Bears
On Saturday, Feb. 6, 2010, Liz Claman was in for Brenda Buttner. Liz was joined by Gary B. Smith, Tobin Smith, Eric Bolling, Dr. Bob Froehlich and Mike Papantonio
Senator Scott Brown: Cut Taxes for All to Create Jobs; Is He Right?
ERIC BOLLING, FOX BUSINESS NETWORK: If you want to spur job growth, you just have to cut taxes. The National Federation of Independent Businesses is saying to cut payroll taxes, not one of these $5,000 tax credits for every new hire. It'd be too easy to game the system with tax credits and wouldn't result in any real sustainable job growth. Make tax cuts permanent, and that's the way to bring back high employment levels.
MIKE PAPANTONIO, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: This sounds like the old trickle-down theory. Look at the tax cuts we've had, and yet we still have a major problem with unemployment. The only way to solve employment problems is to inject money into small, mom and pop type businesses. We've been trying these across the board tax cuts that primarily benefit the rich for the past eight years, and it has worked out horribly. Why continue policies that clearly don't work?
TOBIN SMITH, NBT MEDIA: Entrepreneurs are the key to job growth, and they're more aggressive when they think that they're going to be able to keep or earn more money long-term. These job creation programs are very slow in terms of created job growth. When entrepreneurs invest their own dollars to create jobs, they do it far faster and more efficiently than any involvement by the government.
DR. BOB FROEHLICH, THE HARTFORD: This isn't as complicated as some people make it seem. Across the board tax cuts strengthen the economy, and when that happens, we see tremendous job growth. This happens every time the government lowers tax rates. We have to do everything in our power to stimulate the economy. It comes down to confidence in the business cycle, and businesses having the confidence they're going to see long term growth and profits. A temporary jobs program will not have any beneficial long term effects.
GARY B. SMITH, THECHARTMAN.COM: The greatest period of growth took place from 1983 to 2007. There was low unemployment, the stock market grew tremendously, and there were relatively low tax rates. Do you want to go back to the tax rates of the 1970s? This jobs bill President Obama is putting together is Cash for Clunkers on steroids. Tax cuts go directly to decreasing costs. You shouldn't just throw money at a company that was probably going to hire somebody to begin with.
Real Health Care Problem: Government-run Care Is Already Here?
T. SMITH: D.C. and state governments are the problem here. New York said it was going to involve itself in how health care was distributed in the state to save money. Now, New York is twice as expensive as the average state in terms of delivering health care to people. California, which largely got out of the way, is one of the cheapest states to deliver health care services. When government comes in, costs go up because it's just so inefficient at managing and distributing health care.
BOLLING: The most concerning aspect of this study is that government is spending about 40 percent of every health care dollar, and at a growth rate three times faster than the private sector. Government is going to spend a greater share of the country's health care expenses than the private sector in the next few years, and that's a scary prospect considering how poorly the government spends on and manages health care.
PAPANTONIO: There's already a high level of failure by private health care providers in this country. Right now, the government should be running things because it can do it better. The health care industry has raised rates by 400 percent for small businesses. You know why? It's not being run correctly. There are plenty of examples of fraud and manipulation by private health care insurance companies that show the private sector is not well suited to be running our nation's health care system.
G. B. SMITH: Private health insurance companies make relatively very little on the dollar. Their margins are often slightly better than supermarkets. Some complain about all the outrageous profits these insurance companies are making, but it's just not true relative to the amount they have to spend.
FROEHLICH: What are we getting for the money being spent? Are we getting better life expectancy compared to other developed nations? Are we a healthy country? No. Government involvement in health care only exacerbates the problem. Medicare and Medicaid are the two things that have to be reformed before anything else, and nobody is really proposing any solutions that will truly solve the problem.
Linking Debt to National Security; Scare Tactic for Tax Hikes?
G. B. SMITH: It's amazing what government officials will do to increase government spending. This is just a way to continue to add the nation's tax burden to the so-called wealthy. You really want to lower the debt? Get rid of wasteful government sectors like the Department of Education, or dropping agricultural subsidies. It's time for the government to face the facts, batten down the hatches and start getting rid of wasteful government spending.
PAPANTONIO: The people with the gold make all the rules. We're paying for two wars, bailing out banks, etc., that continue to add massive debt burdens to the country. We owe tremendous amounts of money to the Chinese, Japanese, Saudis and other foreign countries. We have to get this under control.
FROEHLICH: This is so simple. This is a basic scare tactic. We just need to prioritize our spending. At the top is national security related spending. At the bottom? Temporary tax credits for hiring people. This is classic scare tactics, just like when local governments tell people they'll cut fire or police services unless voters support tax hikes. Start cutting taxes, and you'll see our debt reduced long term.