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GAS PRICES REMAIN AT RECORD LEVELS FOR THIS TIME OF YEAR
CHARLES PAYNE: You know the jobs number is what it is. I think we've been conditioned; we've gone over this before. But $4 gas and going higher it's a warning. Also, I think with the jobs report real wages are not moving... in fact adjusted for inflation, they are plummeting. I think that's the scary thing. I don't hear anybody on the street talking about GDP north of 1.5, so, this is very tepid news we got this week and the danger signs are there.
DAGEN MCDOWELL: I think gas prices are a threat, inflation overall is a threat. I am surprised it's not more of an issue on the campaign trail. What we have to worry about in the long run is we are seeing higher highs and lower lows in terms of gas prices. Luckily, this country we can adapt but demand has pulled back to the lowest level in more than 10 years, so my worry is people don't have that much more room to adjust to these higher prices. How much less can they drive? I would say not much less than they are already dealing with. How much more fuel efficient can the cars get for them, not much more. So, they don't have the wiggle room to cope with gas, which nationwide could hit $4 and go higher in a matter of weeks.
CHARLIE GASPARINO: He is saying resonate from a political standpoint in terms of votes. In terms of the economy I think it's going to have an impact when it gets above $4.50. Here is the real thing though; these jobs numbers are really good. I always thought this was going to happen last year. It's been delayed a year, I mean last year going into 2011, you know after 2010, it looked like we were going to have a pretty good recovery. We didn't. But I think a lot of reasons including Obamacare, businesses being scared because of higher taxes. This is pretty good and I'll tell you it's a political problem for Republicans because I think it's going to keep getting better.
ADAM LASHINSKY: It's wonderful to hear Charlie's thoughtful analysis on this because he's right. These job numbers are good. You can see how pained Charles is to acknowledge that there are anything good in these job numbers. Let's be clear there is nothing good about $4 gallon of gas unless you're selling gas of course. But the question is, which is more important? I think the job recovery is more important. The most threatening thing to the economy right now, is negativity. So, the more we talk about high gas prices it hurts people's confidence. Right now Americans are fairly confident about the economy.
BEN STEIN: Well about 4.3 or 4.4 is considered full employment. We are roughly double the level of unemployment that would be considered full employment. So, we are a long, long way from prosperity. On the issue of gas prices, most American families spend quite a small percentage of their monthly or weekly income on gasoline so even if it rises by 10, 20, 30 cents it's a very small addition to their total consumption expense. I think the only historical data we have on rapid gasoline prices slowing down the economy would be after the Arab oil embargo almost four years ago. The data is very clear that it's a very small part of most household expenses. It's a very small change and it's not going to derail the economy.
NEW HEALTH QUESTIONS RAISED AFTER REPORT ON TSA SCANNERS
CHARLES PAYNE: By the way, this is a microcosm of what is really going on. The big picture, the president, the executive branch who's usurping power from Congress. Congress can't ask the TSA for information, the czars run over them; everyone is running over the president. By the way, they have branded this saying we can't wait. They've actually branded this to get the public to buy into the notion that the three branches of government don't work anymore, make me the true executive of this whole thing.
DAGEN MCDOWELL: I think there is something from the request to the TSA for a deeper study. I think though, given our government and given the fact that we have both Republicans and Democrats ... a Republican-controlled House there is something they can eventually do with that. I will say you can opt out of these scanners. The American people should know that, you do not have to go through them. You can have the full body pat down, which I personally prefer but you don't have to go through them if you're worried about radiation.
ADAM LASKINSKY: Did she say, she prefers the pat down? I just wanted to say that Charles seems to be implying instead of the government doing this Neil, that it should be privatized. Charles, do you honestly believe that a private contractor would be more responsive to Congress than another arm of the United States government?
BEN STEIN: If in fact these scanners are conceivably harmful, it is a thorough outrage that the TSA is not turning over all the data that they have about it. I don't understand why they would conceivably not want to do that that is just mystifying. The point that our good friend in San Francisco raised I think a private cooperation would not dare thumb its nose in Congress. Only a branch that the executive would dare thumb its nose at Congress probably a private company doing these tests would be terrified would immediately rush to do more tests. Only the executive branch can really be disdained from Congress.
CHARLIES GASPARINO: This is a fascinating intellectual exercise - the notion that the TSA can say "screw you" to the Congress and the Congress and subpoena them.
WHAT DC CAN LEARN FROM APPLE ABOUT RUNNING THE GOVERNMENT
Charles Payne: Apple acts like a democracy. It makes products that will serve everyone, where government makes policies that serve just the people they like. If the government made an iPad it would only be for right-handed people.
Charlie Gasparino: I can't believe I'm saying this, but I would rather listen to Obama than that guy from Apple. I thought he was incredibly boring.
Dagen McDowell: Anyone who has a lot of gumption and a great idea is not going to go work for the government. It's bloated and you're not going to make that much money.
Ben Stein: I worked for the government for a long time. We worked very hard and were very creative. There were a lot of wonderful, creative people who worked for the government.
Adam Lashinsky: I think it's a perilous comparison to compare Apple with the United States government. Apple is not a democracy and our government is. We expect our representatives to tell us and seek our opinion on things. Apple doesn't do business that way.
CHARLES PAYNE'S STOCKS THAT WILL DOUBLE
Charles Payne's picks: Molycorp (MCP) and Deckers Outdoor (DECK)