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NEW CALLS TO CUT GOVT SPENDING AMID MORE RPORTS OF WASTE AND FRAUD
STEVE FORBES: It's time to do massive government spending cuts David, because one; it takes resources out of the economy, which damages the economy, and two; it does breed waste, which means you need more bureaucrats, more IRS agents, which means you need a bigger government. It's a vicious spiral. Stop now. Let the free economy be free again and we'll have more government revenue too!
QUENTIN HARDY: No David, it's cherry picking and the Congressman who did this knew it. Okay, people in Antarctica in their own time did JELLO wrestling. I hate to defend JELLO wrestling, but people can do what they want in their own time. If congressmen had their say they'd stop Thomas Edison at 300 tests of the light bulb. This is research. They were testing shrimp to see their stress levels. If you have an oil spill and you're trying to figure out the effect on the shrimp population, that's a pretty good thing to know. It sounds silly, but it's pragmatic.
DENNIS KNEALE: My prediction is that shrimps on treadmills will be become the name of a new punk band. Second, the crazies at PETA are going to go wild over torturing shrimp and making them run on a treadmill. It's not just fraudulent spending, which we read about all the time; Medicare 90 billion a year, it's also inefficient and inertia of why do we have 60 billion in federal R & D money, but we spread it over 20 separate agencies a day, and 95 percent of it is just to forward the ends of government and that's just one example.
MORGAN BRENNAN: You bring up the point that the President admits this as well and the good news is that reforms are starting to take place, but before we slash and burn we need to reform and we need to look at what exactly is necessary and what exactly isn't. Going back to the NSF and going back to this idea of what seems like silly research. Sarah Palin in 2008 attacked fruit fly research saying that this was silly spending, and what she didn't realize is that fruit fly research is actually the basis of genetic research. You have companies that have started off of that government research to look at fruit flies.
MIKE OZANIAN: The problem David is that once you start one of these wasteful programs, they're very, very difficult to kill. During the Reagan years, they spent 100 million dollars building this earth monitoring satellite. It bombed and never made it out to space. Since then, the government's been charging tax payers a million dollars a year to store this in the closet, and Washington has thousands of closets.
KYM MCNICHOLAS: I agree that they are actually very wasteful. As much as I love shrimp, five hundred and fifty-five thousand dollars to test a sick shrimp's metabolism I don't think is worth it. We need to focus more on needs versus wants. While it might be fun, it's not necessarily a need at the moment. We need fire; we need police; we need education. We don't need to be spending money on testing a sick shrimp's metabolism. Listen, we need to invest money to make money. So I don't agree with some of the folks there in New York who say we need to cut altogether, to cut all spending. What we need to do is just spend a little bit more efficiently.
GOVERNMENT APPROVES BIGGER REWARDS FOR WORKERS RATTING OUT BOSSES
MIKE OZANIAN: David, this is just yet one more boneheaded move by the Obama administration that's going to hurt the economy and keep unemployment very high, so it's going to cause furloughs, complaints to companies, because the employees have nothing to lose. The least they should do if they pass something like this is, say the employee is wrong and the employer is found to have done nothing wrong, make the employee pay a fine to the employer.
QUENTIN HARDY: If criminal behavior is seen, criminal behavior should be reported and people shouldn't get a pass. That's true for embezzlers; that's true for drunk-drivers. I don't see how corporations should get some evaluation better than the average citizen. I think this is creating a market because the risk the employee takes is chastisement; a stain on the reputation; you're not going to work there for the rest of your life. This creates a market where there is some bonus for taking the risk of ratting out your employer.
KYM MCNICHOLAS: First, I have to just say that it's completely hypocritical that the U.S. is doing this and encouraging Americans to rat on their companies, when wasn't America actually the one that condemned wiki-leaks for allowing people to rat out America and their dirty laundry? It does not actually encourage these employees to tattle on their company early on. It encourages them to one, take note of the problem, but allow it to fester until it becomes such a big, bad problem, that it results in one million dollars in penalties from the SEC. If they're going to do it, they need to encourage them to tattle early.
MORGAN BRENNAN: I think this is good for Main Street and also good for Wallstreet. We all know Bernie Madoff nearly three years later, his ponzi scheme is still being talked about in the press and you know businesses were hurt very badly by that situation, and he had a whistleblower that was trying to report to the SEC for 10 years unheated. If this program was in place, that would have saved a lot of people and a lot of companies a lot of money. I think this is good for the SEC. It will clean it up and I think it's good for businesses because it will root out the bad apple.
DENNIS KNEALE: It's hard to know how someone so articulate can be so wrong, Morgan. The fact is, that was an outsider and not a company employee, that person wouldn't have stood to gain. Doesn't it only apply to inside employees? The problem is that these fees should not be scale-able. We've had a whistleblower for a while and some guys have made millions upon millions. You shouldn't spot a one hundred million dollar scam and get the same five percent you get when you spot a five hundred million dollar scam. It ought to be two hundred and fifty thousand dollar max on a multi-million dollar scam and that's all you should get and you shouldn't require that to do the right thing and tell on people when they break the law.
STEVE FORBES: Fraud is bad anyway David. It's illegal and a company shouldn't have to bribe people to do it. All this is, is an invitation to personal injury lawyers with ads on TV. You won't be ratted out. You can rat out your boss; let's share the booty. It's just going to make business harder to do. We don't need that right now.
CRITICS: N.J. COURT ORDER WILL PROVE MONEY WON'T FIX SCHOOLS
STEVE FORBES: The New Jersey Supreme Court is a living example of insanity. They're doing the same unproductive thing again and again and hoping for a different result. They've been doing this for over 20 years and Jersey spends more per capita than any other state in the union and the results are miserable for that kind of outlay of money, yet they're doing it again.
MORGAN BRENNAN: There are a lot of reports about this and do I think that we should be throwing additional money at the education system? No, but I do think that states need to look very hard and very carefully at where and how they're slashing education cuts. Take Stockton California for example. That school just laid-off one hundred teachers. The classrooms have just increased in size by 30 to 35 percent, while California haggles over budget cuts where education is concerned and you know that's going to have a huge affect on the kids.
MIKE OZANIAN: Tenured is something they have to get rid of. Look, when Governor Christie pushed through the two percent cap, it was the Democratic Senator who said this is a big victory for taxpayers, because what he was doing was taking power and handing it over to the parents who send their kids to the schools. Look at Newark, New Jersey. It spends more per any major city on its students than any other city in New Jersey and its education system stinks. What you need is competition. We look for competition to improve products and services in the private sector and we need it in education.
QUENTIN HARDY: The rich people in this country send their kids to private schools that cost much more per capita than the public schools do. They must think they're getting some value for their money. For Chris Christie I think it should be pointed out that the majority review was written by a Republican, pointed out that Chris Christie was refusing to honor a 2009 agreement that ordered a kind of equivalency in funding between rich and poor districts. Poor districts should get the kind of funding that rich districts do. Are you against that kind of thing? Is it any wonder that Chris Christie's disapproval rating is up to 44 percent from 41 percent last month?
DENNIS KNEALE: When I choose to send my daughter to private school, I'm thinking as much about how I just don't want her joining the Crips or the Bloods rather than a superior education. Look, more money would help, but here's the thing; I don't want judges deciding how the officials that I elect shall spend their money. This is a terrible court ruling. How dare they tell that governor, oh you've got to add this. When did judges become experts on the school system. It's not their place.
SIZZLING SUMMER STOCKS READY TO HEAT UP BY LABOR DAY
KYM MCNICHOLAS: Chevron (CVX) it's a good way to counter souring prices at the pump.
DENNIS KNEALE: Go for ITT Corp (ITT). They're splitting up into three parts and usually stock goes up when that happens.
MORGAN BRENNAN: United Health (UNH). I say this is a healthy stock. Its quarterly dividend was raised 30 percent.