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.
This past week's Bulls & Bears: Gary B. Smith, Exemplar Capital managing partner; Pat Dorsey, Morningstar.com director of stock research; Tobin Smith, ChangeWave Research editor; Scott Bleier, HybridInvestors.com president; Cheryl Casone, FOX Business correspondent and host of "FOX Business Now" on Yahoo! Finance, and Adam Lashinsky, Fortune Magazine senior writer.
Rosie O'Donnell quits "The View," ending her one-year contract ending her contract almost a month early. Has Rosie burned her final bridge? Or will she be bigger business than ever?
GARY B: Absolutely not! She's not worth the risk and is a walking time bomb. The fact is, it's all about Rosie in every situation she's been in. That's great as long as it does no harm to anyone else. Things weren't going her way so she forgets about all the people at The View and ABC. Her feelings were hurt, everyone on the show wasn't agreeing with her, so she's leaving. It's just bad business to have her employed at this point.
TOBIN: The bottom line her is that her ratings have been up. The difference is now she's the evil type of diva who only wants to talk to someone that agrees with her. People watch her because conflict sells. She needs to find someone to spar with, and if she's on show without sparring, it will sink quickly.
ADAM: She was not hired to be a "team member". Some teams need to have a star player. They need to have a diva. She was hired to be the freak in the circus and she succeeded gloriously! ABC is sorry to see her go and would have like to have her longer. She was good for ratings and that was good for business.
CHERYL: Any television executive would hire her! There are a couple of networks that need ratings have talked to her. NBC and CBS were having talks with her in the beginning of this year after the whole Donald Trump thing. She is a commodity in television. And whoever signs her knows what they are getting.
SCOTT: She is polarizing. Wherever she is going to go, she is bringing a demographic with her. Whether you agree with her or not, a big group of people are going to watch her. It's like Howard Beale in Network when he says, "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore!"
PAT: Conflict sells! Most celebrities have many, many lives. Rosie's on maybe number four and has many more to go. You have to blow yourself up multiple times in the entertainment business before you're unemployed.
Do We Need to Profile to Keep America Safe?
Twenty-six percent of Muslims in America under the age of thirty think killing innocent people in a suicide bombing is justified. Law enforcement and airlines spend a lot of time and money on security, but profiling is still a big no-no. Is this a wake up call?
TOBIN: Since a substantial majority of the terrorists in the Spain, London and NYC bombings look Arab, we have to use our limited law enforcement assets in the most effective way…profiling.
ADAM: We who care about civil liberties do not want us to break the law or violate our constitutional principles against privacy rights or discrimination based on race or creed. Now, there's nothing wrong with looking for tendencies that criminals have in common, for example. So if profiling means trying to predict who's a criminal, fine. We just can't single people out, especially American citizens, because their thoughts or heritage are a minority of our country. It goes against everything we stand for as a nation.
GARY B: You can profile and still have the spirit that America was founded on. It just makes economic sense. If you have one group that is more predisposed to do a terrorist act, you should absolutely look harder for them! It makes no sense not to look for crime where it's most likely to happen.
CHERYL: Profiling actually has a lot of negatives. But in the real world it's not that great of a solution. As long as you're not the ones getting "profiled" it seems fine. But if you're in the group getting singled out, it's not so good.
SCOTT: We are a searching grandmothers and confiscating toothpaste costs a lot of time and money and is wholly ineffective. We would spend much less and be more effective by actually profiling young Arabic men like other countries do.
PAT: Two points. One: whenever you're protecting something you have to be very careful not to damage what are trying to defend. Two: if we start profiling will you really be if al Qaeda starts recruiting people that don't look Arabic?
Nasdaq Bargain stocks. Each guy picked his best bargain in the Nasdaq.
TOBIN: Cree (CREE )
ADAM: Marvell Technology (MRVL )
GARY B: Amylin Pharmaceuticals (AMLN )
SCOTT: Intel (INTC )
PAT: Cintas (CTAS )
Cheryl's prediction: Gas prices coming down! $2.50/gallon by Labor Day
Tobin's prediction: High gas prices great for Six Flags (SIX ); up 25 percent by fall
Gary B's prediction: Hang up on Apple's (AAPL) iPhone; down 20 percent by Labor Day
Pat's prediction: Enterprise GP Holdings (EPE) gains 50 percent in 2 years
On Saturday, May 26th, Neil Cavuto was joined by Charles Payne, "Be Smart, Act Fact, Get Rich" author; Laura Schwartz, White House Strategies; Gary Kaltbaum, Kaltbaum & Associates; Jon Friedman, marketwatch.com; and Rebecca Gomez, FOX Business Correspondent.
Bottom Line: Ga$ Pain?
Neil Cavuto: Gas prices are now 40 percent higher since the New Year. The President has said the nation needs to get off its oil addiction. Meanwhile, the Democrats won Congress after campaigning on a promise to lower fuel prices. If gas prices stay high, who will pay the price in 2008?
Jon Friedman: Well, Kucinich is finished now.
Neil Cavuto: Kucinich is done. It's not going to be President Kucinich?
Jon Friedman: Well, I think the candidate who could really make the best case here is going to do well in the election. This is going to be a really important issue. I said a couple of years ago it was going to be a big issue in '04, and I was wrong. But this year it's going to be big because people want better gas prices; they have to have them.
Neil Cavuto: Alright. Now the argument, Rebecca, since the Democrats came into the election promising to do something about gas prices, and now gas prices are higher since they took control of things… it's going to hurt them.
Rebecca Gomez: Well, but of course they could always turn the tables on the Republicans and say, "Look! We tried to pass legislation."
Charles Payne: What legislation?
Rebecca Gomez: The windfall profit tax on the oil companies. They talk about that all the time. They're talking about price-gouging. Lawmakers are still on these issues. The Democrats are just going to say the Republicans have blocked every effort that they've made to reduce prices, and again say the Republicans are aligned with the oil companies.
Neil Cavuto: Charles, the President has said since the beginning of his administration that he's tried to do something about opening up refinery capacity and getting more refineries built, and that has fallen on deaf ears. Who's right?
Charles Payne: Oh, absolutely! Well, the President is right. I mean, when you start to talk about windfall profit taxes, first of all, oil companies make a ton of money, but their profit margins are 10 percent. For most publicly traded companies, that's not a big deal. We start to knock those profits down to 9, 8 percent, the oil companies are going to pass that on to us in a different way which means higher prices. Also, we're going to demand they spend money to research alternative fuels. The oil companies are going to pass that cost on to us. Now, if the Democrats tell the American public, "Listen, prices are going to go up, but we're going to make sure that while they go up, we're going to do different things to get us off of oil-dependency." They've got to be honest with us. But, in the meantime, they're just lying to us.
Neil Cavuto: Gary Kaltbaum, where's this going?
Gary Kaltbaum: I have tell ya, I think the Democrats have been over-promising and under-delivering. It's not just about gas. I think the bigger issue right now is that the Democrats, all they want to do is raise taxes, and I think the Republicans have a great case to go back to and say, "All you want to do is raise taxes to cure all problems." I think this could be a big issue for the Republicans come next year.
Neil Cavuto: Laura Schwartz, I'm sure you agree with every word he just said…
Neil Cavuto: But, let me ask you, Laura… there is an argument that I've heard from some Democratic strategists who tell me off the record, "Neil, we're just running out the clock. We're so convinced that '08 is going to be our year, that if we don't do anything to screw it up, we've got a trifecta: We've got the White House. We've got the House. We've got the Senate." Is that true?
Laura Schwartz: No. To put the record straight, the Democrats have been in office for what? 120 days? When has anybody been able to take over a company and flip it around in 120 days? But, the Dems have made some progress. They passed an energy reform bill in the first 100 hours. And this week they passed two bills in the House. One addresses price-gouging. It passed with an over-whelming, bi-partisan majority. And the House also passed something on OPEC that says we can look at them if we think they're price-fixing.
Neil Cavuto: Did you find it at all troubling though that it was accepted as a given that price-gouging was going on, even though scores of federal authorities from the FTC to the Justice Department have looked at this issue two-dozen plus times over the last decade and never, not once, have they discovered deliberate gouging?
Laura Schwartz: Well, actually, the FTC put out a report in 2006, following up on the 2005 natural disaster of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, and they found with the increased prices, 23 percent of the refineries, 25 percent of the retailers, and 9 percent of the wholesalers were increasing their prices when it was not attributed to an increase in cost, or in-line with the national/international market trend. And although they found that gouging, the FTC doesn't have the authority to levy these fines or have the DoJ go after them. But that's what this bill says they can do.
Neil Cavuto: Charles, what do you think about that?
Charles Payne: You know, you throw out a lot of numbers all the time and that's kind of confusing. As far as oil's concerned…
Laura Schwartz: Well, it just shows that price-gouging did exist last year.
Charles Payne: The reality is it's ANWR. Look at how much crude we're sitting on as a nation, and yet the Democrats are ok with us paying higher taxes.
Laura Schwartz: Wait. How much crude?! Charles, we have 2 percent of global resources. We consume a quarter of them. So drilling isn't the answer.
Charles Payne: We can we drill what we have? Or are you just saying, "Let's stay at the mercy of foreigners and people who may take that money and spend it on terrorism"? Should we continue to do that?
Laura Schwartz: I'm not saying anything about fueling terrorism or giving money to that. I'm saying that the best way to get out of this crisis is energy efficiency and fuel diversity. Building new refineries is not a near-term plan because they take too long to build.
Neil Cavuto: But it should be included, right?
Laura Schwartz: Well, Neil, only one company has addressed Congress to ask for a permit to build a refinery since 1976. They were given that permit and they have yet to build.
Neil Cavuto: Well, because it takes an average of 10 years to get one built.
Laura Schwartz: Yeah, but since 1976! There's still not one built today.
Neil Cavuto: Laura, I really don't want to pick on just you. I want to do it to the rest on the show, too.
Laura Schwartz: Good!
Neil Cavuto: Jon Friedman, let me ask you about this notion that this is going to be a hot political potato. If either party doesn't get its act together on this, it could actually hit the markets.
Jon Friedman: Oh, for sure! I think the key here is that people want to travel. They're going to travel both in air and by driving. And if people find that either party is not responsive to their needs, they're going to take it out on the election. This is going to be a very big issue.
Neil Cavuto: I always wonder if this could be a third party issue where a third party candidate could come back and say, "You know what? Republicans haven't solved it. Democrats haven't solved it. Maybe there's a third party way."
Rebecca Gomez: We can throw around all these numbers, all these studies, but the reality hits when people go to fill up their cars. The Democrats have been good at saying that the Republicans are aligned with the big oil companies. You look at any survey out there… In fact, the most recent FOX News Opinion Dynamics poll shows that Americans are saying the oil companies are price-gouging. This is why you have the Democrats jumping on this issue. And it's a smart move.
Neil Cavuto: But isn't it a lot like saying, "How long have you been beating your wife?"
Gary Kaltbaum: When all is said and done, I don't think the American people want to keep hearing about who's to blame. They want to start hearing about a solution. And bottom line: Nothing is getting done. This has been talked about for so many years and now it's become a problem. I agree with Jon. This is going to be huge. Two months ago I didn't think it was a big deal, but if you look at the prices at the pump now, they're way up, and we're heading into hurricane season.
Neil Cavuto: Charles, let me ask you. We have these higher prices; higher gas prices, higher oil prices. And yet the market has been in and out of all-time highs. What's going on?
Charles Payne: To a large degree, the high prices reflect the prosperity of this nation and the global economy. We talked about price spikes and how they can hurt the economy from time to time, but this has been somewhat of an orderly market, albeit faster than normal. But this is a reflection of an economy with 4.5 percent unemployment, great gains in the stock market, and great gains in the economy. So I think in large respect, this is a reflection of success. And also, Laura touched on something that I don't think anybody wants to talk about, and that's self-responsibility. People have not cut back on their appetite. Bush has mentioned it, but it's really unpopular to tell people that. You know what? It's not always Democrat or Republican. At the end of the day, we're all filling up our tanks and we're taking a lot of trips we don't necessarily have to take.
Neil Cavuto: I think there's a lot of truth to what Laura's saying. The Democrats have something to say: Conserve a little more. Republicans have something to say: More refinery capacity and alternative energy. There's enough they agree on to get something done, but they don't.
Head to Head: Hollywood for $ale?
Neil Cavuto: Hugo Chavez bankrolling Danny Glover's latest movies; Fidel Castro helping Michael Moore produce his new film -- are America's enemies invading through Hollywood? It's time to go "Head to Head." Charles, what do you think of that?
Charles Payne: This is outrageous. The hypocrisy in Hollywood! These guys are making all that money and still being anti-American, anti-Captialism. I think outside of terrorism, fear and self-loathing is the greatest threat to this nation. It's a cancer from within, and these guys in Hollywood are pushing it. I'm really worried about it.
Neil Cavuto: They just care about dollars, right Jon?
Jon Friedman: Two thumbs down on this one. This is a really bad idea for Danny Glover. He's a well-respected guy. He's got a great reputation. And now he's doing this? It's just so questionable, so across the line. It looks really bad for him.
Neil Cavuto: Money's money, he's saying?
Jon Friedman: Money talks. Absolutely.
Rebecca Gomez: But Neil, this is the essence of our Democracy. You can't censor Hollywood just because we don't like who's financing the film. Some people say public television is forum for the liberal agenda. But we shouldn't censor. And we should let Americans hear all voices and all viewpoints. That's the essence of our Democracy!
Jon Friedman: Image counts. And the image here is really, really bad.
Rebecca Gomez: Yeah, but for these Hollywood liberals, they think it's good.
Gary Kaltbaum: But, Rebecca, as an American, I'm allowed to criticize, also. You have nothing more than hypocrites here. You have Danny Glover down in Venezuela. If he said something bad about Venezuela, they'd shut him off. They'd cut off all the TV stations there. And as far as Michael Moore, I'd like to see the guy get sick, go down to a Cuban hospital, instead of the Mayo Clinic… that's never gonna happen. It's all about money.
Rebecca Gomez: And you know what the difference is between our country and those countries, Gary? We're a Democracy. We can do that here.
Neil Cavuto: But, Laura Schwartz, I guess you've always had the option of not seeing the documentary or the movie.
Laura Schwartz: Exactly! So we as Americans can choose not to go the threater. I mean, this almost redeems Hollywood in a way because Danny Glover has been trying to get this Haitian movie made for more than 10 years and nobody would touch it. As soon as Danny Glover embraced Hugo Chavez, as soon as he took a role on the board for their television/cable network…
Neil Cavuto: Oh, see, I thought this was another Lethal Weapons movie. I had no idea this was about refugees.
Laura Schwartz: Mel Gibson's been erratic lately, too. You never know where he's going to show up. But yeah, people can simply not go to the movie. But at least Hollywood's not making it.
Charles Payne: This doesn't redeem Hollywood. You know, it kinda reminds me of when George Clooney said Hollywood is good to blacks because the first person who won an Oscar played a maid in Gone with the Wind. That's not being nice to black people. First off, Venezuelans don't like the movie because that's $18 million that could be spent on their infrastructure, their economy, so they're up in arms. Haitians don't like the idea because it's about their revolution with no Haitian actors. Oh, and Danny Glover said they don't have the infrastructure to make it in Haiti. It's hypocrisy all around. Obviously Hollywood has the right to make it. And you're right. I'm not going to see it, and I bet a lot of people won't go see it.
Laura Schwartz: But at least Hollywood's not bankrolling it.
Charles Payne: Hollywood's embracing it though. It's the Sundance channel kind of stuff. You know, the anti-American stuff. And it's sickening to see and it does poison us. Even though we don't have to see it, Neil, it does creep into our psyches and it does harm us.
Gary Kaltbaum: The good news is that they're playing to a small window of dim bulbs out there. And I think a lot of people are getting fed up with hearing about why this country is so bad. Whatever happened to American exceptionalism? We are still the greatest and most generous country out there. We are in the forefront of so many great developments, and yet we have to listen to these people. You know what? Let them talk. I think there's a great reason to listen to them, but then shut them off.
Neil Cavuto: You know, I wonder. I have not seen Michael Moore's documentary, but do you notice when the elite get really sick in Canada or other countries, they come to the US?
Charles Payne: What about Castro? His surgeon is from Spain.
Neil Cavuto: That's a very good point.
Charles Payne: And probably trained in America.
Neil Cavuto: Probably trained in America.
Charles Payne: And when I heard the movie was "SICKO," I thought it was an autobiography by Michael Moore.
Neil Cavuto: Ok, you gotta calm down.
More For Your Money: Hidden Treasure $tocks!
Neil Cavuto: "Pirates of the Caribbean" sails into theaters this week. Our guys may not be as daring as pirates, but they dug up some hidden treasure stocks for you! It's time to get "More for Your Money."
Charles Payne: Aspen Technology (AZPN )
Gary Kaltbaum: Intuit (INTU )
Jon Friedman: Berkshire Hathaway-B (BRK.B )
FOX on the Spot
Rebecca: High gas prices won't stop people from traveling
Charles: CEO pay ends up being huge issue in '08 race
Laura: John Edwards goes on run and takes Iowa big!
Jon: Presidents Carter and Bush heading toward a smackdown
Gary K.: REITS heading into bear market; buy (SRS )!
Neil: "Sequel success" means end of original movies
Flipside: Gas Is Cheap At Twice The Price
Mark Tatge, Chicago Bureau Chief: I think Americans are spoiled. I have family in the UK who spend $8/gallon. They don't even blink over it. If we had higher gas prices it would force people to conserve energy. We use the majority of the energy in the world and we're cheap and we're spoiled.
Steve Forbes, Editor-in-Chief: Gas prices are too high. We're in a big country. We need our cars. England has 50 million people in a country the size of Iowa. They don't need to drive as much and they can use mass transit more.
Michele Steele, Forbes.com Reporter: We need our cars, but the question is do we need to drive Ford Expeditions everywhere. In the last 10 years SUVs, as percentage of market share, have doubled. It doesn't seem like Americans are changing their behavior and frankly that means that gas prices aren't high enough.
Victoria Barret, Associate Editor: Mark's family in England are probably driving a golf cart, compared to what I drive. They're getting more fuel efficiency. They're paying more for gas but their cars are more efficient. So it's not really a fair comparison.
Elizabeth MacDonald, Senior Editor: Gas prices are still around the high, on an inflation-adjusted basis, that they were in March 1981. The refineries are at a choke point right now. Congress has mandated that ethanol producers produce as much energy as Kuwait and Nigeria. That's going to ratchet up prices even higher.
Mike Ozanian, Senior Editor: We haven't built a new refinery in over 30 years. Comparing us to Europe is like saying the Yankees are good because they have a better record than Tampa Bay. If higher taxes and disincentives made us drive less we would be driving less because the government's been raising gas taxes for years.
In Focus: Best Thing for America and Markets: Muzzle Jimmy Carter?
Jim Michaels, Editorial Vice President: I don't know whether it's hurting the nation and the market but he's sure hurting himself. Under his watch American prestige sank to the lowest level it ever has. The Iranians kidnapped 50 American diplomats and tortured some of them for over a year. Carter did nothing. When he finally acted it was a disaster. He should be apologizing for his own Presidency.
Mark Tatge: I don't think there is anything he needs to apologize for. I think you need to put Carter in perspective here. He was a guy who tried to broker deals. He won the Nobel Peace Prize. He is a guy who didn't invade countries or start wars.
Steve Forbes: By that logic Jimmy Carter is a better President than FDR or Lincoln. He wrecked the U.S. economy, he had a disastrous foreign policy. With that kind of record he should be apologizing.
Quentin Hardy, Silicon Valley Bureau Chief: To try and compare Jimmy Carter to George Bush shows you where George Bush is these days. 52 hostages – he delivered them back alive. He lost that election in part because he stayed with getting those hostages out. That was a good thing. He did the Camp David Accords. Under Bush what do we have; Abu Grab, North Korea and Iran is getting the bomb.
Victoria Barret: Pacification can lead to bad things. This is not about Carter vs. Bush. It's about decency. Former presidents have the right to criticize, to be skeptical but to call the current leader the worst ever is just not decent.
Rich Karlgaard, Publisher: I'm glad Jimmy Carter is speaking because he shows the face of the idiotic, anti-war left. The more people see people like this, the better.
This $ummer: Do or Die for the Housing Market?
Neil Weinberg, Senior Editor: It's put up or shut up time for the housing market. We took the body blow from the sub-prime mortgage market. We've seen that existing housing sales were down in the spring. Still the economy is strong and labor is good and there are jobs out there. People need to get out there and buy now, or else we're in for trouble.
Quentin Hardy: It's gonna be a slow crawl out of here. It's a buyers market but the buyers aren't showing up. It's not a disaster but a slow crawl out.
Jim Michaels: We're certainly in trouble for another year because if that inventory isn't cleared up, buyers are going to be afraid to buy because they'll be expecting prices to go down. Demand is still there. Problem is, prices got a little too high and the market got flooded with inventory. This isn't a housing depression, it's a housing recession.
Lea Goldman: Buyers are not jumping in right now, mortgage rates are on the rise and interest rates potentially may be rising soon too. If you're a first time buyer you don't want to get in until you know you are getting a deal. And sellers don't want to put their homes on the market now.
Steve Forbes: It's not going to be do or die for the housing market this summer. Fortunately, housing is not the entire economy. The Federal Reserve is still printing too much money. Inflation is still out there. Before year end, housing prices are going to go up and that will bail them out once more.
Informer: Red Hot $ummer Stocks!
Mike Ozanian: PC&E Corp (PCG)
Lea Goldman: IAC/InterActiveCorp (IACI)
Neil Weinberg: AMR Corp (AMR)
Rich Karlgaard: D. R. Horton (DHI)
Elizabeth MacDonald: Paccar (PCAR)
Our Cashin' In crew this week: Wayne Rogers, Wayne Rogers & Co; Jonathan Hoenig, CapitalistPig Asset Management; Jonas Max Ferris, MaxFunds.com; Dagen McDowell, FOX Business News; Meredith Whitney, CIBC World Markets; and Mike Straka, author, "Grrr! Celebrities Are Ruining Our Country…and Other Reasons Why We're All in Trouble."
OK to Fire People for Gossiping at Work?
Four New Hampshire women fired from their jobs this week for gossiping about their boss. The cause for termination? Creating an unfriendly environment. Is it ok to fire employees for gossiping in the workplace?
Mike: Gossip is a cancer in the workplace. Those who talk about co-workers create a hostile environment. I try to avoid gossipers. I don't want to talk about it. As soon as someone starts talking about someone I work with, I walk away.
Wayne: Mike, that's your choice to walk away. We have a wonderful document in this country called the Constitution which gives us free speech. I don't think gossiping is grounds for someone to be fired, unless they had previously signed an agreement. That's just crazy.
Jonathan: Not at my company! If the boss owns the company, he/she has the right to fire anybody at any time for any reason.
Wayne: Jonathan, it's not a question of whether or not you have the right to fire them. It's the question of whether or not they have the right to speak. Bosses can fire for whatever reason they want if they own the company, but workers do have the right to say what they please.
Meredith: It's the employer's responsibility to establish a charter of character. When you interview prospective employees, take a look at the person's characteristics. If you don't want an office that gossips, then a standard needs to be set.
Dagen: You can't interview for gossiping! Everybody does it and it is destructive and insidious. It ruins people's careers. These people deserve to be fired. They should shut up and do their jobs.
Jonas: It's lame to fire someone for gossiping. However, I agree that an employer has the right to fire someone for silly reasons, unless those reasons are race, religion, or sexual orientation.
Mike: In this particular case, the boss was having an affair with a newer employee whose position was created for her. The woman was being paid more than the other four employees, which was the root of the cause. I say, "Worry about yourselves."
Wayne: We have liable laws in this country. If you put out a false rumor about someone and they are damaged from that, they can sue.
Dagen: You act like it's easy to track down. This was an unusual incident in which the instigator was tracked down. It's not always easy to follow. It's usually hard to find out who is spreading rumors until it is too late.
How Would Our Economy Be Doing if Al Gore Had Won?
Al Gore's new book, "The Assault on Reason," is an all-out assault on President Bush and his policies. How would our economy be doing if Gore had been President these last 6 ½ years?
Jonathan: I really don't think we would be too fundamentally different with Gore as President. Under Bush, militant Islam is stronger and the environmental movement is stronger. We would have the same thing under Gore. We may not have had the Bush tax cuts, but of course we've got Sarbanes-Oxley. For a long time, people have said that the two major parties are virtually identical in terms of philosophy.
Dagen: Both men would have had one person in common who juiced the economy: Alan Greenspan. He cut rates from 6.5 percent to 1 percent and kept them there for a year and boosted the housing market. That is something they would have shared.
Wayne: Without the tax cuts and lower interest rates the economy would not be where it is today. If you want to attribute those to Bush, he was right. I don't know whether Al Gore could have carried that or not with a Republican Congress for the first term.
Meredith: Bush was very stimulating in terms of the tax cuts that got us out of a recession and stimulating businesses to spend. Defense spending also helped boost other industries. The biggest issue is that Gore would have had an empty cabinet. Who would want to go work for him? Leo DeCaprio would be in charge of the environment.
Jonas: Under President Gore, the economy would only be better for some Americans. However, if you take a look at the stock market and raw GDP growth we probably would be better under President Bush. Gore doesn't really attack Bush that much about the economy and stock market and unemployment rate. If you define the world in those terms, Bush is a winner. If you define them in terms of the environment or reason, then you have to hand it to Gore.
Can You Hurt Your Career By Defending President Bush?
The rage goes on at "The View." Elisabeth Hasselbeck stands her ground and defends President Bush. By defending the President while on the job, could you hurt the future of your career?
Mike: In the workplace, defending President Bush is probably not good. If your boss hates Bush, you might get fired for this and for gossip! It wasn't always like that, though. Remember Natalie Maines of the Dixie Chicks? She spoke out against Bush and got hammered in the country because of that.
Meredith: Politics is the one area to try and stay away from at work. On a mainstream basis, the country is a lot less forgiving of Bush and the war in Iraq than it was previously. It's like talking about religion. Sometimes it is just better to stay away.
Dagen: It depends what you are talking about in regards to the President. Yes, Iraq is a very touchy subject, but the economy is good. We're all in a little bubble here in New York, where generally it is very liberal. Everywhere else it's free to discuss.
Wayne: This comes back to free speech. It states in the Constitution that we have the power to express ourselves freely. This is one of the great liberties we have in this country.
Jonathan: A lot of the left, Rosie included, raise a lot of issues that many people have with the president, especially in regards to foreign policy. It's fine to support the President, but you have to have the intellectual firepower to back your feelings up.
Best Bets: Idol Stocks To Stay Rich When the $potlight Fades
Jonas: Janus Global Research (JARFX) (Friday's Close: $14.86)
Wayne: Genesee & Wyoming (GWR) (Friday's Close: $31.70)
Jonathan: US Natural Gas (UNG) (Friday's Close: $50.68)