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BIDEN: MIDDLE-CLASS HAS BEEN BURIED FOR THE PAST 4 YEARS; PAUL RYAN SAYS GETTING BURIED BY GOV'T REGULATIONS IS A BIG REASON
TRACY BYRNES: There are so many ancillary taxes that we pay that we never paid before. Look, the middle class gets slammed by that federal excise tobacco tax. There's a tax on manufacturers of drug companies, which inevitably gets passed on down to us. Corporate taxes that have increased again have come down to products we purchase and laugh about the tanning tax, but that is also something that comes out of the wallets of the middle class; Jersey maybe more so than most states, but that's okay. It is still money that I don't have at the end of the day.
JONATHAN HOENIG: Well first of all Cheryl, I reject this whole notion that it's government's role to help the middle class or any class for that matter. In fact, Joe Biden came in years ago now, with the middle class tax force. It's been by his own admission, terribly ineffective not to mention in my opinion, terribly offensive. To Tracy's point, taxes are force; always destructive whether you raise them on the upper or any class. That's destructive. That's government waste. That's a violation of people's rights. That's why it's lead to exactly what Vice Presidential nominee Paul Ryan said; a growth stagnation and wealth destruction in this economy and they're going to go after everyone come January, despite what the President and his cronies would have you believe.
IMOGEN LLOYD WEBBER: Well absolutely they're being buried at the moment (Britain), but that's because of austerity at the measures and dealing with deficit reduction and so forth. I actually think that Biden and Ryan are agreeing on some levels here. Fundamentally, Obama hasn't gotten the middle classes out of the hole that happened under George Bush's watch and all those policies that happened under George W. Bush. However, when you're looking at it, say independent reviews like PolitiFact, they all say that broadly Obama has pursued policies to decrease taxes on the middle classes; I believe up to 16 taxes being decreased on small businesses, the payroll tax and so forth. I think it's $3,600 worth of tax cuts for all the middle classes that have been done underneath this president.
WAYNE ROGERS: The regulation is much more the issue. You know, we still get the Bush Tax Cuts in effect and this idea that the last four years you've had massive taxes. No, the taxes are yet to come; the mandate for non-compliance in 2014; you've got the Cadillac tax in 2018; the special kids tax in 2013. These weren't taxes of the last four years. These are taxes of the future. What you've had in the last four years is massive regulations with executive orders coming out of the federal government essentially eviscerating the congressional mandate and letting bureaucracy run the country. I mean the lists I could give you down here of all the 900 executive orders where you're abdicating the responsibility to the congress and the legislature and giving it to the bureaucrats to run the country. It's outrageous.
IS GRIDLOCK OR "ONE-PARTY RULE" BETTER FOR THE ECONOMY?
JONATHAN HOENIG: The Democrats are proudly re-distributionists. They were it on their lapels. They are proud of it. So they believe in more control, more taxes, more government intervention and less property rights. Any obstacle to that is a positive. Any obstacle to Socialism, which is what it is, benefits the economy. What we need for a stronger economy is economic freedom. So if we have one party that actually advocates that, that would be the ultimate benefit. To the GOP's detriment; they want to grow the government at a slower rate. Even that would be a major benefit versus the Democrats right now.
WAYNE ROGERS: Jonathan is saying something that I think is fundamental and that is, the ridiculous thing would be if you have a totalitarian government. If you have one party in power all the time so they can pass whatever legislation they want to, why not just get rid of them all together and have a dictator? Might as well do that. The congress, you've got to understand that the constitution was drafted by men who were afraid of the government. They were trying to protect the people from their own government, not giving the government positive power to do something, but those powers that are in the constitution are negative to the government. So the people will have, as Jonathan says, the freedom to do what they want to do and in an economic way, competition is the natural regulator. You don't need all of this other stuff to do that.
IMOGEN LLOYD WEBBER: No, I think actually not. I'm agreeing fundamentally with Jonathan Hoenig, which is really, really frightening me right now. In Britain we've obviously got the parliamentary system where it's possible to force legislation through. That's happened recently with austerity measures in the UK. We've had too much too soon; we're now in a double-dip recession. America you're brilliant. You've got all those checks and balances in place. It is the responsibility of politicians and the media to make sure that compromise is not a dirty word and people like Norquist are not allowed to run riot as it were and that compromise is allowed, but fundamentally your system is fantastic.
TRACY BYRNES: Over the course of my financial journalism career, everything has changed in the last four years. We don't use fundamental analysis anymore to look at the stock market and unfortunately, a two-party government system; all it does is promote gridlock and uncertainty and this market is so fed up with uncertainty. I've been hearing and Cheryl you've been hearing the same thing from market pundits; once the certainty goes away, we'll all get back to the races. We've been hearing this for years now. Unfortunately you have one party in the congress and another in the white house and nothing will get done and all we will be doing is sitting and waiting again.
WILL AN EPA FRACKING CRACKDOWN CAUSE HEATING BILLS TO RISE?
JONATHAN HOENIG: The reason why oil prices have gone up, while natural gas prices have gone down is because of technology like fracking. In fact, it's saved American consumers about $16 billion last year alone and of course it's lead to economic booms in places like North Dakota where there is three percent unemployment rate because of the jobs created by that. Look, fracking has been proven to be safe over decades. If someone's rights have been harmed, God knows we have an army of lawyers and courts who are able to address any grievances they might have. Any regulation on fracking hurts mankind and it hurts them in the wallet especially with the winter on its way.
WAYNE ROGERS: Well of course it will hurt utility bills, but Jonathan happens to be wrong here. You've got to have some rules and regulations like a football game. You can't just let everyone run berserk. You've got to have some kind of rules and rules that protect the people from their drinking water. If you're infecting my drinking water, you're infringing on my rights. So there should be some rules and regulations about that and they should be enforced.
TRACY BYRNES: I mean let's get bigger picture here. Again we come back to this energy policy. Wayne and John Layfield mention it all the time. I mean, Syria and Turkey are fighting so oil goes up. That's the bottom line there. We have so many international issues affecting our oil prices. The Obama administration has singlehandedly destroyed the coal industry. So as a result, many companies are turning to natural gas, but has anyone seen the price of natural gas lately, besides dorks like Cheryl and I, it's gone up. So natural gas is already going up. Not to mention they're saying we're going to have a wicked, snowy winter, which makes me want to cry. Our prices are going up no matter which way you slice it.
IMOGEN LLOYD WEBBER: You have to have strict regulation about drinking water. Fundamentally, fracking is here to stay. I'm not worried about that. It's too important to the American economy, but you've got to make sure that it's safe.
WHAT DO I NEED TO KNOW?
TRACY BYRNES: CA putting parents in jail for kids missing too much school.
WAYNE ROGERS: Store up profits with computer storage companies and (STX).
JONATHAN HOENIG: Protect profits in "risky" stock market with (BSL).