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Taxpayers slamming President Obama's $7,500 'Cash for Plug-Ins' Program
JONATHAN HOENIG: The president is insisting on getting people to drive electric cars literally no matter how many tax payer dollars it takes in the process. $2.5 billion in grants for electric cars, $2 billion in grants for batteries, $250,000 to rectify the plug in stations, the $7,500 rebate you talked about, $10 million for towns to promote electric use of those vehicles, and for what? GM sold like 321 volts last month. This is ethanol 2.0. It's a waste of tax payer dollars and it just shows how incredibly depraved the green movement is in this country.
TRACY BYRNES: 0.1 percent of cars sold last year were electric, so out of all the cars sold a whopping 1800 were electric. And let's not forget we spent $3 billion on "Cash for Clunkers." How'd that work out? It destroyed the used car industry, so let's just stay out of this. Companies will come up with their own R&D number if they think it's necessary.
STEPHANE FITCH: The numbers from January don't mean a thing. I mean these cars aren't really available yet. Trust me Americans want these, there'll be 8,000 of these cars on the road by the end of the year, and by the end of next year you're going to have 100,000 volts on the road. The January number doesn't mean anything. I'll tell you what they haven't designed yet is the tax credit to get people to ride bikes, which is the real solution. But until then I'll take this. It's a good deal.
JOHN LAYFIELD: The majority of Americans don't want electric cars right now and for the people that want them this tax credit makes no difference anyway. I'm a fan of electric cars. I think they are the future. I think it's about 5 to 10 years away but that is part of the future. This is the exact wrong way to do it, to tell the carmakers go and produce a car that most Americans don't want and produce it at a cost that is too high for most Americans. We'll borrow money from China and we'll pay Americans to buy this car. This is exactly the opposite of how you need to get out the economy's scale of electric cars.
WAYNE ROGERS: We all want to get weaned off of gasoline and gasoline cars, we all know that. The insidious thing is this: the government, the federal government is forcing or trying to force us, coerce us into doing something. I don't care whether it's cars or whatever, but the federal government is trying to coerce you to do it and then charge you for that exercise, and the tax payers are going to end up bailing out the car company again. It's outrageous.
New Calls to Drill More in U.S. Amid Mideast Turmoil
JONATHAN HOENIG: Oil is good. I disagree with the panel that thinks we need to wean ourselves off of oil. We're productive with it, we use it to power our homes, our businesses, and the more oil we've used the better our lives have become. This country has an ample supply of natural resources. They're kept off the market by the green movement. All this unrest in the Middle East could have a limited effect on us if we actually allowed companies to drill here at home.
WAYNE ROGERS: If you could wean yourself off of oil and not be dependent on the Middle East obviously it's better. We've got an enormous amount of natural gas in this country and we could use that. We haven't explored nuclear energy the way we should. There are a lot of things that we should explore - wind, solar, nuclear power. These are other resources that we're not exploiting. That would take us off of this dependence on Middle Eastern oil and change the way that we operate in the world.
STEPHANE FITCH: Well, Wayne's absolutely right. We have to regard oil as a precious resource. I was very disturbed on February 5, there was a suspicious explosion of a natural gas pipeline that forced Egypt to cut off forty percent of natural gas supplies to Israel. So far thank goodness it has not gotten bigger. The Suez Canal threat is serious, but I don't think turning to U.S. supplies is the answer. Maybe there's 10 billion barrels in ANWR. That's a year supply for us, it's not a big deal. The real answer as Wayne says is turn to more nuclear, coal, clean coal and natural gas. We have plenty of that and that produces electricity and gives us electric cars!
TRACY BYRNES: The biggest point to me, and Wayne makes it all the time, is our national security. It's a national security issue that we're relying on foreign countries to get our own oil when we have it here at home. That should be enough to get us to drill back here in the states so that this becomes a non issue for us.
JOHN LAYFIELD: We need to focus just a little on what we're doing here at home. You don't understand -- none of this matters. We have zero energy plan in this country and there's no way to say this except that we're the only developed country in the world without an energy plan. The only country in the world!
Government Workers Demanding More Pay as Federal Debt Grows
TRACY BYRNES: They seem to forget that the reason our states are in trouble are their pensions, their healthcare costs, all the things that we're supposed to pay them, like the fact that they can cash out on vacation days and take the check and run. Look, I get pay freezes hurt but we've all experienced them and you know what - they're not making a lot of money but neither is the rest of the world right now.
WAYNE ROGERS: Well, here's one of the stats that we ignore. They're getting almost twice as much money as the comparable job in the private sector. They're already massively overpaid and it comes out of tax payer money. You add people to the federal payroll and they want to get rid of everybody. This is an administrative nightmare in which we, who are the tax payers, are hiring people to take money from us. It doesn't make any sense at all. You can't run a country this way much less any business or anything else.
STEPHANE FITCH: You know they may be right but to be honest I'm just glad they marched instead of rode in their cars at this point. The real answer here is probably not an across the board pay freeze. That's lazy. I think some pink slips are deserved. Pick federal programs that don't work; the war on marijuana has got to stop, tax that, regulate it, and fire everybody involved. And maybe hand out a few raises. The fact of the matter is that the FDIC has been absolutely brilliant during this bank meltdown. I can see a couple of raise for them.
JOHN LAYFIELD: The problem you have with unions, like the teachers unions that have ruined the schools, is you can't get rid of bad teachers. They deserve a fair pay - nothing more and nothing less. But the problem is when you have people who're doing a bad job you can't get rid of them. You have to find a way to get rid of these people who're not good employees.
JONATHAN HOENIG: We don't necessarily need to pay them less but we do need less of them. I mean my god the AFGE has a quarter of a million members in a hundred different government agencies. Of course we need judges, we need police, but we have literally tens and tens of thousands of administrative assistants, bureaucrats, and janitors. I mean, responsibilities which are far outside the scope of the government, and that's where the money goes. It's literally flushed down the drain.
What Do I Need to Know?
TRACY BYRNES: $18 billion in "job training" spending was wasted at Hooters and casinos
WAYNE ROGERS: Protect yourself from inflation with (TBT)
JOHN LAYFIELD: Wicked weather driving up farm prices and (CNH)
JONATHAN HOENIG: Western technology helping spread democracy in the Middle East; buy (MES)