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.
PRIVATE COMPANIES HIRING AGAIN AS STATES TAKE ON PUBLIC UNIONS
Eric Bolling: Absolutely, Brenda. You're giving businesses clarity. You're saying, you know what you're going to get your fiscal house in order, states, and individual states, cut the unions. Break those union rolls. We should be doing it, too. They'll start to hire people as the government says, look, you're not going to have that strangle hold on businesses. 100 times on this show I've said, unions have out priced themselves. They priced themselves out of the job market. So when they demand a wage here in the free market says it should be here, and you break that, guess what? You give businesses the opportunity to hire again. That is great news.
Jehmu Greene: I think it's a bit of hogwash to say that taking away hard working Americans' right to negotiate has anything to do with budget deficits or stimulating job growth. I know none of the fellows are going to do it, but can we give credit where credit is due? Can we give a round of applause for the tireless work that the Obama administration has been doing for the past two years.
Jonas Max Ferris: Unions have been in decline for like 40 years straight. So it's hard to really say recent changes in this long climb where they eventually will not exist is a reason why unemployment is doing well. I will say, though, the existence of unions in general keeps unemployment rate artificially high because what the unions basically do is raise wages for the workers. If you're a worker in a union, that's pretty good. If you want to get a job and you're not in the union, it's not good. In general, if there were no unions out there, we probably would have a lower unemployment rate, but also a lower wage rate for the people that were in unions, so it depends where you stand in the pecking order whether that's good or bad.
Gary B. Smith: Well, I think the link is tenuous at best between the decline of the unions and the unemployment rate. Now, that said, I did want to applaud Jehmu for somehow working this discussion around to an Obama commercial. I mean, I don't know how you did it, but it turned out great for you. But I think Jonas hit on the key point. Unions, just by definition, are a monopoly. They keep wages artificially high. That's the whole point of having the unions, to keep the wages artificially high and to keep people out. By thwarting the unions like they're trying to do in Wisconsin, that is, though, kind of back to Eric's point, that is kind of good for the job market. For example, the unions mandate that they make $30,000 a year; but they can only hire so many teachers. If all of a sudden that mandated rate goes away, then the municipalities' governments can hire more teachers because there is a lot more demand, take it from me as a father of a teacher, demand for teaching jobs than there is teaching jobs available. So Eric is kind of on the right point. Bottom line, Jonas has it right, less union's is better for our employment.
FEARS MOUNT OF MORE PRICE SPIKES IF DC DOESN'T SLASH SPENDING
Eric Bolling: Exactly. Let's follow the money here a little bit. The budget is too high. We're going to add a $1.5 trillion onto the deficit on an already $14 trillion. All you can possibly do is print more money; throw more money into the system. Prices on everything go up. Look at the rise in gas and cotton and all food prices before Egypt erupted or Libya erupted. Prices are going up because of the cheap free money going into the economy.
Jehmu Greene: You know what? I agree with Eric. We have to get our deficit in order. We have to get our budget in order. We have to deal with the deficit. I don't think politicians on both sides of the aisle are having as honest a conversation as they can when it comes to entitlements. What's going on right now, the budget cuts on the table are all about social programs. I think we'll have to raise the retirement age. I think clearly with the Affordable Care Act and the impact that that has on Medicare and Medicaid, we're going to see some benefits there, but we have to have a serious conversation about entitlements. It's not happening right now. But we can't, we can't stop investing in the future.
Jonas Max Ferris: If we had inflation that was a problem, that would be a way to stop it, yes. In fact, the government does a lot of stuff that raises all commodity prices. I don't think it's so bad yet. I think the government wants prices to go up.
Gary B. Smith: Well, in certain case, yes. I guess this reminds me of the first segment. I'm not sure I quite see the cause and effect. I think oil prices are skyrocketing, one, because of demand, and two, because of what's happening in Egypt and Libya. You just made a point or maybe Jehmu about alternative energy. That's one of the reasons, though, that we have higher food prices. We have incentivized, if that's a word, farmers to take corn and use it for ethanol. That's why corn prices have gone up. In fact, food prices across the board have gone up.
REPORT OF "DOUBLE COUNTING" IN HEALTH CARE LAW FUELING NEW CALLS TO REPEAL IT
Gary B. Smith: Absolutely. I mean, you're talking not small numbers there with that $500 billion. And the other thing is, there are holes like that across the board when responsible people start to look at Obamacare. Look, representative Ryan has pointed out you basically have only five years of cost, but ten years of benefits. Then what just boggles the mind is we're entrusting the government to basically run health care and just this week, it's been revealed that Medicare has four times the amount of fraud than all the health insurance companies make, period. So this whole industry, from the government's side, is riddled with holes, discrepancies. It's a disaster waiting to happen. As pointed out by Miss Sebelius.
Jehmu Greene: Well, it's simple math. I wish actually Eric could pull out one of his pieces of paper that are entertaining to me and actually I learn from time to time, but when you add in all of the spending that goes with the law and then you add in all of the cost, it's all going into one big pot, yes, we can afford it. In fact, we can't not afford to have this act in place. So interesting when we look at these conversations everyone leaves off the table how health care was bankrupting states, bankrupting the federal government, bankrupting companies. It costs $1,000 for every person paying for someone who doesn't have health care. We have to understand that the savings goes into this math. It is simple math.
Eric Bolling: Let me tell you, not only did they realize that they double counted the $500 billion, we found out this way that the GAO, which is nonpartisan, says $48 billion per year is gone in waste and fraud. Can you imagine when the program is knife and six times what it is right now how much fraud and abuse there will be? This is a bad thing. Go away.
Jonas Max Ferris: The problem with this program is it's a very noble thing to try to extend insurance to millions of people who don't have insurance. However, you can't magically pay for it with these savings. No one wants to pay for it with tangible high cost or high cut programs. Every time they try to pay for it, whether taxing the Cadillac plan, everything gets killed and that's why it will be a loser for government.
Gary B. Smith: S&P 500 hits 1500 by 2012
Jonas Max Ferris: OSI Systems Inc. (OSIS)
Eric Bolling: Dow Chemical Company (DOW)