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HARRY REID'S 'SHARED SACRIFICE' PLAN TO REQUIRE WEALTHY AMERICANS TO CONTRIBUTE TO NATIONAL DEBT
JOHN LAYFIELD: It would do exactly what this congress has done for the last 10 years for jobs- absolutely zero. These guys have no jobs plan, these guys have no energy plan, and these guys have no tax plan. We are the only developed country in the entire world without this. And their only answer is a very politically savvy thing, go after a populous message. It's what has gone on since Jackson and Hamilton, you go after the rich, you go after the corporate taxes on jets, you go after the oil companies. When in reality, all of that money that Harry Reid is talking about is about $50 billion. That means our deficit, annually, is still 1.6 trillion. It doesn't even pay the interest on what is occurring annually -- but that's their message. Take away from their failure and put it on the rich guy in the corner office because that is a great political message.
WAYNE ROGERS: When Harry Reid talks about "shared sacrifice" why doesn't the congress share some of that? Alexis de Tocqueville wrote in 1831, "A democratic government is the only one in which those who vote for the tax can escape the obligation to pay it." Harry Reid is one of those kinds of guys. 45 percent of the people in this country pay no tax. The top 3 percent in this country pay as much as the other 97 percent. Those are numbers he leaves out of his convenient way of selling this program. It's like as John says, this is a political act, this is a stunt, Reid's trying to say, "tax the rich, soak the rich so we can pay for that". Reid's just trying to get votes.
KRYSTAL BALL: It's a very small percentage of businesses that file in that bracket. But, look, we have been fed this line for so long that if we keep giving rich people tax breaks it's going to create all these jobs. We heard that during the Bush administration- and guess what? It didn't pan out. What Harry Reid is talking about here is not covering the whole deficit through tax increases; he's talking about a balanced approach. Right now, revenue is about 15 percent of GDP -- that is a 60 year low. Even conservative columnists admit that we need to bring in more revenue -- we have to look at both sides of the equation. Budget cuts, major spending cuts disproportionately affect the middle class and the poor, and they have already sacrificed enough.
JONATHAN HOENIG: When anyone ever starts talking about "sacrifice" keep in mind, someone is collecting that "sacrament" right? A society of "sacrifice is always built on masters and slaves. And, low and behold, Harry Reid in this case wants to be that master. It's an abomination in my opinion, and it's directly contrary to the notion of self interest in America. You don't have to make yourself a "sacrifice" you get to pursue your own life, liberty, and happiness. Not be made chattel for the public good.
TRACY BYRNES: In addition to it all, you don't have to bet your mortgage these days, we're wiping out your credit card bills as well. Quite frankly, you don't have to pay anything if you are low or middle class and you're in a lot of trouble. And to Wayne's point, you want to share sacrifice? Then that 45 percent of Americans that are not paying taxes- they should cough some money up too. It is only fair.
FEDS' NEW $20 MILLION PLAN TO TURN THE JOB MARKET AROUND: HIRE EX-CONS!
WAYNE ROGERS: Well this is ridiculous, I mean, I'm for trying to rehabilitate and doing that sort of thing, but spending $20 million? Listen, 60 percent of the people who are in prison are recidivist; they go back. Forty four percent go back in the first year, and for example in the state of California it cost $47 thousand per inmate to house him and the state is losing their money. Why not put them back to work on public projects? I remember in "Cool Hand Luke" we all worked in the chain gang. We were paving roads and stuff like that. What's the matter with that?
TRACY BYRNES: You know what? We lost 2.5 million jobs since President Obama took office. I don't care if you stole a pack of gum, those people deserve it first. Two point five million people laid off for reasons that were unfortunately not theirs. This economy shrunk for, well reasons that this administration made colossal mistakes. Leave the prisoners out of this right now. Let's fix the people, let's help the people that have homes and mortgages and credit card bills. They're the ones that need help first.
KRYSTAL BALL: Honestly this is not just bleeding heart liberals like me that think this way. I'm a Virginian and our Republican governor has been working very hard at prisoner re-entry because it's not just an economic issue. This is a public safety issue. One of the most important determining factors of whether or not prisoners return to a life of crime is whether they can successfully re-enter and find a job. We're talking about 20 million bucks here. Now, I would love to see us focus more on unemployment overall, but this is not a bad idea. It's a good idea in fact.
JOHN LAYFIELD: I'll tell you how they should do things. They should do things like Robin Hood, one of the best charities in the world does right here in New York where they raise tens of millions of dollars to do something for soldiers who are coming back from the war, who are at a 21.9 percent unemployment rate between 18 and 24. Look, I'm all for spending money on prisoners and guys not going back to jail, but this is not a country of unlimited resources despite what all our politicians think. We have guys who are serving our country who are coming back and not finding jobs. If you're going to put somebody in line and put money somebody, put it on those young men and women who have served our country first.
JONATHAN HOENIG: Well Cheryl, assuming that they've actually committed a violent crime and not like a drug abuse or some type of tax evasion, you know they're actually a criminal. Frankly, I have zero empathy for them. Hell, I'd rather hire illegal immigrants than an ex-con. They've shown they have essentially no taste for society. They have no morality, so I think it's wrong for government to spend money and Krystal even if it is $20 million. That's a lot of money. That's taxpayers' money.
TROUBLEMAKERS SCHOOL TO RALLY WORKERS AND TEACH UNION ACTIVISM
JONATHAN HOENIG: Troublemakers school Cheryl? I mean, maybe I'm old fashioned; a little Aristotle thrown in there, maybe a little Thomas Jefferson? I mean, teaching kids mob tactics, intimidation, government handouts? I think it's pretty outrageous. Where is this happening? It's happening in a public school that gets millions and millions of federal and state dollars. I mean, teaching kids literally troublemaking. I have no problems with unions, but they haven't succeeded in a free market. They have a monopoly over education in this country, and that's why by and large it's a mess.
TRACY BYRNES: It's a money maker for the school at this point, but look, if nothing else it is a sign of utter desperation for these unions. Hey, we've got bagels and drinks on Saturday! Come on we'll teach you how to join. You know, we only have about 12 percent of Americans in unions, so they are dying. They have less seats in Congress than they ever did before. They need to do something. So free bagels on a Saturday morning seems to be the only way they can do it.
KRYSTAL BALL: They're creating jobs for teachers. They've only done five of these nationwide, and look, I just want to clarify these are on Saturdays. These are people going voluntarily. It's primarily adults and the curriculum from what I can tell is just teaching them basically about unions and about their rights as workers. In fact, that sounds like Capitalism to me. People are paying their own money to go to a class that they want to take. What's wrong with that?
JOHN LAYFIELD: That is a flag on the play. The NFL's not even in season and that's a 15 yard penalty. Look, the Democratic Party is owned by the teacher's union. You expect a Democrat to step up for them because they've got these guys paid for in their pocket, but there's a reason that unions have gone down from 40 percent down to almost single digits. Public perception of these guys is just terrible and this is the reason. It's an antagonistic relationship with employers and that's wrong.
WAYNE ROGERS: Well, the only thing is that most of the unions now are unions that service the government. The government is buying the votes of the union by putting them in those union jobs. That's exactly what's going on. It's as simple as that, that's why the union movement is declining. We're no longer a manufacturing nation and so let nature take its course.
WHAT DO I NEED TO KNOW?
TRACY BYRNES: Casey Anthony was accused of lying, which is a joke, but she sent the police on a wild goose chase and as a result, any money she makes from this should go back to the police, back to the taxpayers. No mother should profit off of the death of their child.
JOHN LAYFIELD: Nine point two percent unemployment. This administration has totally failed in any job creation event so they're going to do things that they think will create jobs; offshore drilling Seadrill has 8.4 percent yield. It should benefit from this trend.
WAYNE ROGERS: John is right but it's much worse in Europe. I say the Euro is going south. You've got to watch out for Greece, Portugal, and Spain; therefore, there's a great short EUO. Look at that one.
JONATHAN HOENIG: Trend is your friend. It talked about small cap Japan a few weeks ago. Look at the mid cap sector. RSUN is the only fund that tracks mid cap Japanese stocks. A little bit niche, a little bit off the radar screen, but I think if you're looking for risk, it's one area you might want to think about putting some money in and I own it in my fund.