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.
DEBT TALKS COLLAPSING AND SPARKING FEARS OF CRISIS
CHARLES PAYNE: I don't expect results out of the meeting on Monday, but it might be a moral victory at this point. I appreciate what the Republicans did this week, drawing a line in the sand with respect to taxes. The American people spoke loud and clear in November. There is mandate to cut spending. They did not vote for tax increases. I hope that has been made clear for Washington.
BEN STEIN: Well, as I've been saying now ever since we met, we've got to raise taxes. There is just no way around it. The deficit situation is so serious that while I wish we did not have to raise taxes, we just can't cut spending enough. I wish we could. We have to raise taxes. Mr. Obama has to do it. I don't know if the Republicans in the house will go along with it. If they don't there will be a genuine crisis. I'm frankly frightened about it.
CHARLIE GASPARINO: Most Americans don't want it. If you combine state and federal taxes, Americans pay a lot of money to the federal government. I disagree with Ben. We have never seen a real initiative to cut stuff. We talk about it and Paul Ryan puts out a plan. You see an old lady flying off a cliff. It's demagogue if you want to cut stuff. There is a general mood in this country to cut stuff and not raise taxes. I wouldn't mind personally raising taxes if you do everything else first. Make a good-faith effort to get spending under control and then talk about taxes. The problem is what Ben is saying, forget about a good faith effort to get spending under control, let's just raise the taxes.
ADAM LASHINSKY: The way you frame that is interesting, because Charles did something similar where he said the American people spoke in November they don't want to raise taxes. What the American people spoke about in November is that they are upset about the deficit. The American people are smart enough to know that there is more than one way to handle this.
DAGEN MCDOWELL: It's irresponsible to think tax hikes will solve our addiction to spending. If you confiscated every dollar of what the top 1 percent earn, the millionaires and billionaires that have been so reviled by the Democrats, it wouldn't even add up to a trillion dollars. That wouldn't close the annual budget deficit.
NEW JOBS PLAN TO GIVE MONEY TO ‘SHRIMP ON A TREADMILL' GROUP
DAGEN MCDOWELL: It's only $500 million. What are you complaining about? If it doesn't have a "B" in front of it, what are you worried about? Again, it's an issue of the government playing favorites. Where is this money going? Alternative energy and battery research. But personally, the Science Foundation, I love the little shrimp. But I really like the $1.5 million robot that folds laundry. It took 25 minutes to fold one towel. That is your taxpayer money at work right there.
CHARLES PAYNE: It's outrageous. Really, the White House can't stop this whole idea that they should pick the winners and losers in society. It's another form of wealth redistribution. They have tried it across the board with different industries and it's a failure out the gate. Period.
CHARLIE GASPARINO: If you look at what they spent the $800 billion stimulus package on, there wasn't really many shovel-ready jobs. Remember how the American people were sold a bill of goods this would be infrastructure spending. There would be great roads and bridges. Almost none of it went to that. It went to states. States could do what they want. It also went to college grants. I saw a list of college grants and there was one studying how to use a condom or something so bizarre. This takes the cake.
ADAM LASHINSKY: I find it amusing that the same people who say the United States is falling behind in research and development in math and science; say we are not leading the world in innovation anymore. Who condemns when the government spends money on various science projects that might move the company forward, like the Internet before Al Gore invented it? I don't know if shrimp on a treadmill will make us a powerful country in the 22nd century, but we're nitpicking on the shrimp thing and nitpicking on the national science foundation for that matter.
BEN STEIN: If they have $400 million to toss around, give it to the widows and the orphans of the men who have been killed in Iraq and Afghanistan. Divide it among them and give them each a check. Don't waste it on the shrimp. The shrimp have been doing fine for millions of years. They'll continue to do fine.
PRESIDENT OBAMA AND POP STAR BIEBER SEARCHING FOR MONEY IN NYC
CHARLIE GASPARINO: I learned a lot from the kid. He likes the President more than Justin Bieber. He had no problem supporting the President and the rest of them were running away is there a story? Number one a lot of people don't want to be seen taking a political side, even if they are giving money. Number two Wall Street, the big Wall Street firms not represented at this thing. I think that is a fairly significant story. If you look at the business community, most people in the business community do not like the President's economic agenda. They don't like the taxes, you name it. One part that liked them was these guy option the screen. They're both from a political standpoint every one of them progressive, liberals. From an economic standpoint, moderate to left. They support the president in 2007, 2008 in a big way.
CHARLES PAYNE: It made the President $3 million. He had a good reason for wanting to go. It's interesting because despite all of the rhetoric it still shows that Wall Street was appreciative of TARP. Which more than anything bailed out Wall Street.
DAGEN MCDOWELL: He will go to Silicon Valley and hit up technology.
BEN STEIN: Rich liberals are rich liberals. There are plenty of them. They will give a lot of money to Mr. Obama. He gets his $1 billion and roll over Republicans in fundraising. He is a machine for raising money.
ADAM LASHINSKY: As will rich Conservatives that work for Fortune 500 and corporations who need to work with the next President so if it's the current President, he will give them money.
STOCK PICKS: 'ELECTION STOCK WINNERS'
CHARLES PAYNE: Cummins Inc (CMI)
ADAM LASHINSKY: PowerShares DB Oil (DBO)
BEN STEIN: iShares 1-3 YR Treasury (SHY)