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.
GOV. ROMNEY'S '47 percent' COMMENT SPARKS NEW DEBATE OVER TAXES
GARY KALTBAUM: There's actually a pretty simple way to go about this. If you're getting food stamps, unemployment benefits or the government is giving you money it all adds to the deficit. If we can get you off food stamps and into a job not only is the government not spending that money-you're actually contributing to the economy. If the economy is getting better, the government receives higher amount of money in taxes. We're just going the wrong way. The April and June numbers that just came out by the government-more than double of the people that got jobs went on disability and food stamps. If that continues, there's no way back.
BEN STEIN: We've got to this point because we cut taxes on the rich. We also said we're going to simply eliminate taxes on the poor and the lower middle class. A government giveaway trying to buy votes was probably a bad idea. I'm afraid that there is no way around the fact that we're going to have to raise taxes drastically.
CHARLIE GASPARINO: It's really people of families that live in California, that live in New York that make a combined income of $200,000 a year who maybe have five kids and will have to put them through school who are considered by this President and the people who want to raise taxes as greedy millionaires and billionaires. That's the sort of hypocrisy of the whole notion and the tax debate we're having now. When you talk about raising taxes, you are not talking about raising it on the super rich. You're talking about raising taxes on the people who live on the coasts that are living incredibly middle class lives.
ADAM LASHINSKY: Charlie is changing the subject. Mitt Romney was talking about was federal income tax. Of course we would like to lower that 47 percent figure-everyone would like to lower that. But we should remind people of two things. One, everybody pays the treasury in one form or another. Whether it's buying a gallon of gasoline or other fees or even going to a national park. The other thing is we all agreed that the tax code needs to be simplified. There are a lot of republicans and bi partisan tax credits in there that cause people to not pay income tax that have contributed to this.
DAGEN McDOWELL: When you have nearly half of the country not paying a dime in federal income taxes, you have a disconnection with themselves, their homes, their families and the cost of government. Also, I do think there's something wrong that we have that much of the country not paying a dime for out national defense. And not paying a dime, not even a penny, to pay for our soldiers and to pay for their families. I think that's a problem.
GOVERNMENT REPORT: STIMULUS USED TO BUY SOLAR PANELS FROM CHINA
BEN STEIN: Obama's a politician an unbelievably good politician. Politicians say anything it takes to be elected. He's a very smooth liar. I like him a lot, but again, he's a very smooth liar. And of course, that industry has gotten away most totally. The government is trying to make solar power the way of the future. But that's just a giant gift to China.
ADAM LASHINSKY: President Obama was completely wrong. We got our butts kicked in the solar panel market. China won-we lost. But that does not make him a liar. If you want to buy solar panels right now, you have to buy them from China essentially unless you want to pay more.
GARY KALTBAUM: It's a matter of no accountability. We're taking a million or $2 million here. But it's just a matter of there are no watch dogs-no one is watching over things because our taxpayers base is just a slush fund.
CHARLIE GASPARINO: When I was listening to the President before, I felt a tingle going down my leg because I was laughing so hard. But my point is the thing that should disqualify him for another four years is clearly the stimulus program. This all goes back to the stimulus program being the most poorly administered thing in the world. It was suppose to get our country back on track. He was supposed to spend money going back to debt to get the economy going-but it didn't happen.
DAGEN McDOWELL: It is ridiculous the tax breaks you can get by putting solar panels on your homes to this day. Depending on the state you live in, two-thirds of the project cost can get covered by a tax break. So there are still plenty of incentives for people to buy stuff from China on the taxpayer's time.
ENERGY PRICES FALLING AS SAUDIS PUMP OUT MORE OIL
GARY KALTBAUM: I think the Saudi royal family probably has box seats to probably all the Washington Redskins games this year at this point in time. Look, I'm a cynic. I believed Ben Bernanke fifty some odd days before the election-printing money to get the markets higher. I think something's given here. I've never seen the Saudi's want oil prices lower, and all of the sudden they want to produce more to bring it down. That's good news for the consumer-but something's up.
BEN STEIN: First of all, the Saudis often do pump more oil to lower prices. They want to keep it at a stable price. It's not going to bring on a worldwide recession. But may I add, Governor Romney saying that we're going to become energy efficient in ten years-boy have I heard that before and boy is that a smooth lie.
CHARLIE GASPARINO: I don't buy the Ben Bernanke conspiracy theory. But this one really isn't a conspiracy theory that the Saudis would like Obama to stay in office.
DAGEN McDOWELL: I predict record gas prices on Election Day. They've got to drop forty cents a gallon to at least tie the previous record on Election Day last year. No going to happen-not even with the Saudis in your pocket.
ADAM LASHINSKY: Ben already explained it. The Saudis act to stabilize the oil global prices. They don't care between Romney and Obama I promise you.
SEAGATE TECHNOLOGY (STX)
ADAM LASHINSKY: It's a disk drive maker; not a very sexy product but extraordinarily cheap and a 4 percent plus dividend.
GARY KALTBAUM: I don't like it. First off, the CEO and CFO were selling tons of stock and if the market starts to go down; the last thing I want to own is a cyclical tech stock. Seagate has its booms and busts.
GARY KALTBAUM: When the market gets in trouble own low beta high yielding dividend stocks-and Merck fits the bill. They're actually growing their earnings again pretty decently and its trading at ten times earnings. It's acting very well in this market.
BEN STEIN: I love Merck and I love the low beta, high dividend strategy. Works well in all kinds of markets, works incredibly well in the long term, and Merck is an amazingly well run company.
SPDR S&P DIVIDEND (SPY)
BEN STEIN: I like the indexes. I will take the SPY which is the higher dividend yielding stocks of the SMP. I'll take it and run.
ADAM LASHINSKY: Well I like my pick. But frankly I like Ben's more because I agree-that's the way the average investors should play dividends-through an index fund like this.