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NEW PLAN TO PAY DOWN DEBT WITH FEDERAL FUNDS REJECTED BY STATES
STEVE FORBES: We've got to stop this thing of telling states to use it or lose it and it goes to somebody else that just encourages reckless behavior. Take Florida for example it turned down money for a crazy train project, which would not only cost money now, it would cost tens of billions down the road. Let's reward good behavior instead of punishing it. If you don't use the money, you know it's not going to go to somebody else, it has to go through congressional appropriations to be re-appropriated -- good thing. Rubio is right.
QUENTIN HARDY: My tax dollars bailed out Wall Street after Florida housing crashes after they see a bubble. I'm not sure the Floridians honored those of you who lead decent, honest lives. I'm not sure that state should be telling the rest of the country how to spend and tax.
MIKE OZANIAN: The money will never be used to lower the deficit. Once Washington pencils in a number, that's it. We've seen the debt limit ceiling get raised time and again. What I favor, instead of returning the money to the state, is to give those people in the state who rejected the money a tax cut.
NEIL WEINBERG: A lot of this spending originally had a false premise. Remember this was the boondoggle about shovel ready projects and how we were going to deficit spend our way to prosperity and all this sort of nonsense. So now what we're to say is some governors are refusing some of these boondoggles, so what we should do is finance other boondoggles? I don't think so, I think we should pay down the debt.
BILL BALDWIN: I don't like the debt scheme and the reason I don't like it is because I like to see healthy competition between the states. However, I don't want to see competition over things the states want, like trains. I want to see competition between the states over things they don't want, like nuclear waste. So here's how it would work -- if Nevada says we won't take your nuclear waste unless you pay us $20 billion, let New Mexico come in with an $18 billion bid.
MORGAN BRENNAN: Refund Act, Rubio's act, I think it's a very clever name because we should refund that money to our national debt. It's a huge issue for everybody who lives in the U.S. And one of the biggest issues here is that strings are attached to the money that is given out to states. And Florida, if they didn't have to put that money towards a train project, that would probably go way over budget as we're seeing in California, they could put that money towards something they really need help with - their housing industry. But given that fact and the fact that the money is not going to go where they need it, it should go back to our debt.
NLRB: COMPANIES SHOULD BARGAIN WITH UNIONS OVER RELOCATION PLANS
MIKE OZANIAN: I just took an Amtrak train up to Albany, it was dark, dank, smelly, it was terrible. This would be terrible for jobs, terrible for the economy, but I guess your job is pretty safe if you work for one of these union-based companies because you almost can't get fired.
NEIL WEINBERG: It certainly shouldn't be a mandate, but I think if you give them the right of first refusal, in other words a company like Boeing says look Mr. and Mrs. Labor Union Organizers we're either going to get major concessions from you here or we're going to move the jobs. And if you do that, it will put pressure on the unions to stop depending these wages and benefits, which obviously drove Detroit into the ground and certainly has driven a lot of jobs overseas. This could ultimately be good for jobs.
STEVE FORBES: NLRB now stands for National Labor Robbery Board. What this does in effect is not get unions to be more reasonable or unreasonable because now they have the power backed up the government to say you cannot move a plant. That was tried in Western Europe and why the Western Europe population has fewer jobs, less innovation than the United States has had for over 40 years.
MORGAN BRENNAN: I don't think unions should have a voice in relocation decisions if it's not going to directly impact the jobs they already have on the ground like we see with Boeing for example. I'm going to second the boss here, I think this is terrible for jobs. A lot of proponents of unions will tell you that unions keep jobs in place during economic downturns, but they are also the reason that more jobs don't get added when we get out of economic downturns.
QUENTIN HARDY: I've just flown several private sector airlines and I think Mike is right. We do need more federal money to be spent on better rail systems in this country. Of course unions should have a voice in deciding relocation decisions by corporate employers. Under all of those years in Bush, you had this anti-labor pro-business sentiment, you got nothing for the working man, stagnated wages - what's wrong with trying something different, letting the unions have a bit of say, tinkering with the terms before the jobs go not to another state, they are going to India and China. Keep them in the U.S., let the unions have a role.
BILL BALDWIN: I'm going to come up with a radical idea and Quentin is right about something. I really don't think that companies should have the right to hire scabs just by saying well the scabs are in a different location - they are across the street, they are across the country. No, I think that when GM is unionized that union should control GM top to bottom. However, this only works in competitive unions in competitive industries.
CALLS FOR MANDATORY 'DISASTER' INSURANCE AS FLOODS WORSEN
QUENTIN HARDY: Every time one of these floods comes along we treat it like it's some once in a hundred years incident. In the Mississippi we've had this last year in 2010, 1997, 1993 -- maybe it's global warming I don't know. But it seems to happen a lot more than some special occasion. It's part of the rhythm of everyday life and yes it should be mandatory. I bought my house with earthquake insurance because I had to -- I'm paying for it, I'm not taking someone else's bailout. I don't see why that isn't a fair way to go.
STEVE FORBES: If it's a huge disaster you should get some type of government assistance, but otherwise let the private market sort it out. No homebuilder is going to build a home who knows they are not going to be able to sell the home because people aren't going to be able to get real insurance. Let the people and the markets decide.
MORGAN BRENNAN: I think it should be mandatory. And actually if you buy that home with a mortgage it is mandatory. For you to carry that mortgage you have to have flood insurance. And so the people that aren't insured are people who have already paid off their mortgage. And they would argue that flood insurance is expensive, but they've already paid off their mortgage and paid for flood insurance. This is a cheaper way to go.
NEIL WEINBERG: I say if you have bailouts, first of all you should have no mandatory insurance, but you should also have no bailouts. If you do what you're creating is a financial hazard and adding it to the natural hazard. The financial hazard being people will build in flood plains without insurance because they know that Uncle Sam will come along and bail them out. I say if you don't have insurance, get a tent.
MIKE OZANIAN: You shouldn't make it mandatory because when you make buying something mandatory you end up increasing the price. Just look at Obamacare, prices have risen dramatically under Obamacare especially the sample size in Massachusetts. People are looking for exceptions and getting them President Obama left and right, especially his union friends.
PUMP-PROOF STOCKS THAT WON'T FEEL PAIN FROM HIGH GAS PRICES
BILL BALDWIN: Korn Ferry (KFY)
NEIL WEINBERG: Vanguard Health Care ETF (VHT)
MORGAN BRENNAN: Cerner Corporation (CERN)