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.
HOUSE TO VOTE ON "CUT, CAP, AND BALANCE" PLAN
Dagen McDowell: The devil is in the details and we're going to be getting more details on this plan in the coming days. If you want a serious debt reduction plan, you're going to have to tackle Medicare, Social Security and Medicaid. That is just the fact of the matter. One important point in the plan is that they're trying to cap spending as a percentage of our economy when it got to 25 percent of GDP under President Obama. This tries to take it down in about seven years below that 20 percent mark, back to where we have been since World War II. That's a huge step in the right direction.
Charlie Gasparino: I don't believe this 2.5 trillion deal is going to happen. You see people starting to agree on various things that could get passed at 1.5 trillion, not 2.5 trillion. That's when the democrats say we'll deal with 1.5 trillion dollars of cuts without any taxes and that's when the republicans say we can handle 1.5 trillion dollars and maybe a balanced budget amendment. But this is why you have divided government... This is what you get.
Ben Stein: The thing that is puzzling me about Mr. Obama is that he has not yet presented a detailed plan for cutting anything. He's the President. He's the boss. He is supposed to be presenting a detailed plan, but the republicans have been presenting all the plans. What is going on here? What kind of abdication of responsibility is this? He has to present a plan, a budget, and a budget for the next several years. If he wants tax increases, let's see what they are in detail, not just in generalities. This man is acting like he is a college professor talking in the abstract about something. He's the President. He is the chief administrative officer of the United States. He's supposed to be presenting plans in detail. He's running away from that responsibility.
Adam Lashinksy: It is a certainty that there will be spending cuts, whatever the number is-1.5 trillion, 2.4 trillion, or some fictitious larger number. We need to understand what the cut, cap and balance proposal means. This balance is a balanced budget amendment and there's code language in that. The code language is that there's no envisioning revenue increases in that. In other words, no tax increases. That plan you're asking us to comment here on the screen is just a republican plan, pure and simple. I think it's important to remind people that the crisis we're in right now is a completely artificial crisis. The republicans decided that we couldn't raise the debt limit without having deficit reductions. Because of that, we're rattling the capital markets.
25,000 SECURITY BREACHES SINCE NOVEMBER 2001; SHOULD AIRPORT SECURITY BE IN THE HANDS OF THE PRIVATE SECTOR?
Charlie Gasparino: I just wonder how it could get any worse. Everybody here has been through a security line. This is political correctness to a large extent. They don't want any sort of semblance of racial profiling at these airports. So you know what they do? They have to pat- down every single person, even grandma. And the chances of grandma having a bomb are about zero.
Dagen McDowell: No one likes it, first and foremost. We know that there's a lot of room for improvement from checked bags screenings to the body recognition. But we have to remember, it was private before 9/11. That's why President Bush nationalized it. It was a national security risk and a national security issue. That's why it was nationalized.
Ben Stein: I'm on a plane almost every day and, to tell you the truth, it doesn't really bother me that much. I think they're doing a pretty good job. But I will tell you one thing, my wife has a cigarette lighter in the exact replica form of a .25 caliber, automatic pistol, made of metal. She accidentally brought it to the airport about a week ago. She went right through the security line. Nobody even stopped her. And that is very scary to me.
Adam Lashinsky: I say shame on us for having this conversation. First of all, they have kept us safe since 9/11. This has nothing to do with privatization. Could they do a better job? Of course they could do a better job. Do you want to turn this over to people who have a bottom-line focus? No more so than we want to turn our military, or the air traffic control over to somebody with a bottom-line focus. There's a place for the markets, and there's a place for protecting our citizens. This is the ladder.
CHRYSLER UNION WORKERS CAUGHT GETTING "HIGH" DURING WORK HOURS
Dagen McDowell: This just reminded me not to buy a Chrysler made at this particular plant. We're talking about the National Labor Relations Board's decision to try to make it easier to unionize in this country, but luckily, at the same time, you have a company like Verizon that is going to demand more concessions for its union workers than we've seen in years. One of the concession is Verizon wants to make it easier to fire people for calls and that's what is not happening when you see video like this.
Charlie Gasparino: This gives new meaning to the phrase 'look for the union label.' There's nothing you can say. That is sheer awesomeness.
Ben Stein: I hate to tell this to you, but people are smoking reefer all over the place, in every kind of field. When I used to work on Wall Street many years ago, people were smoking a lot of reefer and blowing a lot of cocaine there. There's a lot of drug use. It's a gigantic problem. I don't know if it has much to do with the issue of unionization. It does have a lot to do with the fact that we have a moral crisis in this country, where people prefer to get high than face their problems. I'm afraid a lot of people in Congress seem to be doing the same thing.
Adam Lashinsky: We just had a segment where you decried that the TSA invades our privacy, yet we feel comfortable putting these people's faces on camera when they may or may not be committing a crime. We have no idea if they're breaking the law.
STOCKS TO HELP YOU RETIRE
Adam Lashinsky: Fidelity Select Medical (FSHCX)
Ben Stein: Vanguard Total Stock (VTI)