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.
WHITE HOUSE CALLING FOR $50 BILLION IN STIMULUS SPENDING IN DEBT DEAL
CHARLES PAYNE: My initial reaction was the same as Mitch McConnell's. I mean, you laugh because you want to cry. You know here's the crazy thing. I heard people saying that was just a smart opening statement. I mean, we're thirty days away from the Fiscal Cliff. Are you serious? You want 50 billion in stimulus? It's just nuts and crazy. If this is negotiating or if this is compromise-then we are in a lot of trouble. This is the ultimate power grab. The country is essentially almost completely in half. This is just saying to the other half, forget about you, forget about small businesses, and forget about moderately successful couples who did everything the right way. They're also saying, we're going to crush you and crush the future of anybody who wants to do well in this nation.
SANDRA SMITH: The president's proposal right now that's on the table, as John Boehner detailed this week, said this is not a serious proposal. Here he is asking for more spending. But Neil, what I find most conflicting is-since when does the national conversation become, merely, we raise taxes, or else. And it seems like the president is saying that this is the only option on the table. If nothing else happens, it's the republicans fault if we fall off this cliff and we go into a rescission in the New Year.
CHARLIE GASPARINO: I don't know why anybody is surprised by this. I think this is basically it. I don't think the president is going to budge. I mean, there's a delusional nature of President Obama. He won 50 percent of the vote, yet he thinks he won 90 percent of the vote. And that's how he's acting right now. I will tell you this, and I don't care what anybody else says, there is no rational reason to raise taxes right now. You don't get enough revenue to deal with the deficit; and by the way, we've got 2.7 percent economic growth which the market was jumping and clapping about. That's still pretty lousy.
BEN STEIN: Well, one reason to raise taxes is that we have a $1 trillion deficit, but I agree with Charlie. We have got to cut this nonsense about how we need fifty billion of extra stimulus. Look, we're already running three billion of deficits a day of spending. We don't even know if deficit spending is stimulative. We don't have definitive proof that even that is stimulative. We're already running such a huge deficit. Unless he's a poker player and this is his opening bid to throw us off base-that's not a serious proposal. We're just not dealing seriously with the 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and I think he owes the population a hell of a lot more responsibility than he's showing.
ADAM LASHINSKY: Well of course, unfortunately Neil, the way you're describing it is in fact the way it works. That's how the Christmas tree gets built. Here's the point Neil, you mentioned in the opener and then again that this is about addressing spending. That's not the only thing it's about. Obviously there's two ways to address this. Through spending and through revenue-it's about both those things. The President has said that he's open to entitlement reform no matter what Nancy Pelosi says. So, I think these things are on the table.
MULTIGENERATIONAL HOUSEHOLDS ON THE RISE IN AMERICA
BEN STEIN: Well, the times are very tough. They shouldn't be buying a new house-that's one thing. As a person who has a lot of extended family over at the house a lot of the time, and I'm not a grandfather, I can tell you that the idea of having them live there full time would be enough to make me move out. So, whatever the economic significance of it is, it's a very worrisome upsetting thing emotionally and I want to stay the hell away from it.
SANDRA SMITH: I think a lot of this story is talking about grandpa and grandma moving into the house. I think a lot of this is the college student who can't get a job who wants to move back in with the parents and the parents have to make arrangements for this. The average life expectancy in this country now is approaching 80 years old.
CHARLIE GASPARINO: Well, as somebody whose parents tried to throw him out of house at 15 I can say that what's interesting about this is that it's kind of like what goes on in Italy. This shows you how we're moving towards a European style. They do this because they're unemployed, underemployed, you just want to hang around, and basically get paid your welfare payments and go party every night. It's kind of where we're going.
CHARLES PAYNE: A lot of this point to insecurity. You know, kids going directly from college with the parents. Sometimes they may even have a job. Everyone is so intimidated by this economy. I don't care what the polls say-people are worried about this. We have these Mc-mansions that are now being reconfigured for instead for one couple. But here's the thing, a lot of people are saying, I was going to sell my home, but that's not happening. I think it's really worrisome. I know a guy who's actually charging his parents rent.
ADAM LASHINSKY: Neil, I know you rely on me on this program to express Regan Optimism and I have to say-I think there's something sweet about this. I think you all are missing the point. This gives us the opportunity as a country to get back to this community feeling where families are close to each other and where they share each other's life experiences. I hope my mother-in-law is not watching right now, by the way.
U.N. CALLING ON WEALTHY NATIONS TO PAY FOR "GREEN" FUND
BEN STEIN: This is nonsense. I want a clean Earth as much as everyone else. The idea that they can pin down the cause of a single hurricane or on burning coal is just nonsense. We had a very bad hurricane in New England in the 30s and they didn't blame that on burning coal. There're just a lot of control freaks out there. They'll use something to control people. There are control freaks out there and this time-they're using the environment.
SANDRA SMITH: Have you ever noticed how, even in your intro, you hear them citing one scientist. It's never a collection of scientist. It's always the referencing of one particular scientist.
ADAM LASHINSKY: It almost always is a consensus of scientists Sandra. In this case it's one person they were quoting. You know with all due respect to you Ben, as you like to say-I'll go with the scientist over your opinion on global warming. This is someone who studies it for a living. I think we should pay attention.
CHARLIE GASPARINO: Now, I don't what to be the outsider here but, I do think there is a consensus and there is such a thing as global warming. I don't think you can do much about it. Unless you want to de-industrialize China, India, and all other developing countries.
CHARLES PAYNE: You've got two things going on here. You have a progressive movement that only knows how to use fear to get across what they want. It's always fear. Since the end of World War II western nations have given poor people around this world $2 trillion. It doesn't stop the UN, it doesn't stop phonies Bono, and it doesn't stop government organizations going out there and trying to shame western nations into giving this money. By the way, these poor nations never really get it. Someone puts in their pocket. I hope people in Africa and these other countries resisted because they're starting to embrace capitalism. I hope they don't accept victimization.
EV ENERGY PARTNERS (EVEP)
CHARLES PAYNE: EVEP, an oil and gas play and I think it has upside potential to go along with a 5 percent dividend yield.
ADAM LASHINSKY: Obviously a very good dividend yield Charles but also extremely expensive. So I would be concerned about that price.
WASTE MANAGEMENT (WM)
ADAM LASHINSKY: Waste Management Neil. We're always going to have garbage. This is slightly more than 4 percent dividend yield and an extremely inexpensive stock for a very well run company.
BEN STEIN: Not trash at all. Waste Management is an astonishingly well run company and has some of the best management of any company in America and it has for a long time.
WASHINGTON REAL ESTATE TRUST (WRE)
BEN STEIN: What I like a lot is WRE. I inherited it from my mother and I keep on buying it for myself. Great company specializing in commercial real estate in the Baltimore Washington area.
CHARLES PAYNE: I'm not sure on what's going to happen with tax treatment on that kind of stuff. Otherwise I love the idea. Particularly for long term portfolios.