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; Scott Bleier, HybridInvestors.com president; Tobin Smith, ChangeWave Research editor; Sascha Burns, Democratic Strategist, and John "Bradshaw" Layfield, Northeast Securities.
Trading Pit: Will Calls to Boycott NY Times Teach it a Money Le$$on?
The New York Times still in the headlines and in the hot seat. Now some bloggers and pundits are calling for a boycott of the paper--They're angry over the questionable front-page story about John McCain and a female lobbyist. A story they both deny. But would boycotting the gray lady work?
John "Bradshaw" Layfield: Yes boycott it! The New York Times has an agenda and that doesn't belong in America.
Gary B Smith: I've been boycotting the New York Times for the past four years! Before you pick up the paper, you pretty much know what it's going to say. You can guarantee from now until the election, it's going to be McCain bashing and "Obama the Saint."
Pat Dorsey: It doesn't make sense to shut your-self out from anything. If you don't continually expose yourself to views you don't agree with, how do you learn more about the world you live in? Boycotting isn't the answer.
Tobin Smith: For a boycott to work you have to be able to bring something down a peg. A boycott wouldn't bring down the New York Times one bit.
Sascha Burns: You can boycott all you want, but the New York Times will still go on. Advertisers are looking to sell their products, and they are going to sell them to readers of the New York Times. This isn't going to stop because of the stories it is running.
Scott Bleier: A boycott won't weaken the paper! There are enough people who read the New York Times that advertisers will still continue to try and reach them.
Obama's $10 Billion Housing Fix: Bad For Home Prices?
Next stop, Ohio! Barack Obama hitting the campaign trail in the buckeye state, armed with a 10 billion dollar housing foreclosure fund. Welcome news to Ohioans hit hard by the housing slowdown. But is it bad news for homeowners everywhere?
John "Bradshaw" Layfield: Absolutely! These are people that shouldn't be in these homes in the first place. We're rewarding mediocrity and that doesn't work in a capitalistic society. Why should I have to pay for someone else's ignorance, and you shouldn't legislate ignorance.
Sascha Burns: It's not in the interest of the government or country for a market to be in crisis. There are steps that we can take to fix it, and Barack Obama's plan can help ease what's going on in the housing market.
Gary B Smith: Housing, like any purchase of an asset, has risk. And the buyer should know and be prepared for those risks up front. It's not the government's job to ensure against that risk, and it's also not the government's job to push people towards homeownership in the first place!
Forget Hollywood! What a show "we've" got for you! Roll out the red carpet for the Bulls & Bears Stock Oscars! Our stars reveal award-winning names that'll give you the gold all year long in the stock x-change!
John "Bradshaw" Layfield: General Electric (GE )
Scott Bleier: Western Digital (WDC )
Gary B Smith: Aaron Rents (RNT )
Tobin Smith: Companhia Siderurgica Nacional (SID )
Pat Dorsey: Boeing (BA )
Scott Bleier: Get Clean With Boone! "CLNE " Up 200 percent In 2 Years!
Gary B Smith: Fed Cuts Rates In March & Dow Goes Over 13k; Buy "JPM "
Pat Dorsey: Tune Up With Comcast (CMCSA ); Up 40 percent In 1 Year
John "Bradshaw" Layfield: Suns/Shaq Win It All & NBA Goes International! Buy Nike (NKE )
Tobin Smith: Dissing The Dollar! Buy Direxion Dollar Bear Fund (DXDDX )
On Saturday, February 23, 2007, Neil Cavuto was joined by Ben Stein, "Yes, You Can Supercharge Your Portfolio" author; Charles Payne, wstreet.com; Tracy Byrnes, FOX Business Network; Adam Lashinsky, Fortune Magazine; and Marc Lamont Hill, PhD, Temple University Professor.
Bottom Line: Dems Get Down and Dirty: Good News for GOP, Market?
Neil Cavuto: Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama keeping up their "war on words." The fight has someone here predicting the Republicans will keep the White House and the bulls will come back to Wall Street. Charles, you say the Clinton/Obama bickering over everything from plagiarism to economic policies helps the GOP and Wall Street?
Charles Payne: Obviously the down and dirty fighting going on between Obama and Clinton makes McCain look more presidential.
Neil Cavuto: And by the end of the week, McCain was dealing with his own set of accusations…
Charles Payne: Yeah, but at least he wasn't fighting another candidate. He was fighting a liberal, left-wing newspaper that came out with a story outta left field.
Ben Stein: Wait a minute! You're calling the "New York Times" a liberal newspaper?!
Adam Lashinsky: That is what he said…
Charles Payne: I know it's a news flash.
Neil Cavuto: Ben, not when you're in the paper… that day, it gets a pass.
Charles Payne: It's really amazing to me that Obama and Clinton are fighting to appease John Edwards at this point. John Edwards: The also-ran, the guy that no one voted for, the guy with the most liberal policies, the guy with the most anti-capitalistic policies… Clinton and Obama are saying they're both in favor of that. I think as Americans watch that unfold, they're going to say, "You know what? These guys sound great, but I'm afraid to change the country that drastically."
Neil Cavuto: Ben Stein, how is their bickering going to sort out?
Ben Stein: Well, I think it'll sort out very simply. I think Mr. Obama will win hands down. I think he'll crush Mrs. Clinton. I think he'll choose John Edwards or someone like him to be vice president. I think they'll run on a highly populist ticket. They'll tap into the public anger about subprime and Wall Street shenanigans… which I think is well-earned, frankly. I think Wall Street deserves a lot of anger. They'll tap into public resentment about oil prices… which is not earned. It's not the oil companies' fault at all. But, they'll tap into that anyway. I think they'll run on a very left-wing platform and it scares me to death. I'm very, very worried.
Neil Cavuto: Will they win?
Ben Stein: Oh, I think Obama's going to coast to victory. Unless McCain picks Charlie Crist, who is a formidable campaigner, I think the Democrats are unstoppable at this point. I pray it's not true, but I'm afraid it is.
Neil Cavuto: Tracy, what do you make of the argument that the bickering between the Democratic candidates focuses Americans on issues they're not fond of?
Tracy Byrnes: We're watching a playground brawl and it's almost like a soap opera. It's interesting in many ways. McCain has an opportunity to prove and say the things people want to hear. Everyone's watching the playground brawl; no one's taking it seriously. McCain can step up and say the things people haven't heard from him – like helping the middle class. This is his opportunity.
Neil Cavuto: Adam, I don't want to be Machiavellian here, but I do find it interesting that just as McCain did have an opportunity… along comes this "New York Times" story questioning whether he unduly used his influence on Capitol Hill. But, I don't want to get into that. I do want to get into the notion that the environment favors someone like McCain. I don't know that I agree with that. What do you think?
Adam Lashinsky: I don't agree either. We have to remind ourselves that we're in a news cycle. All of this is a news cycle. Obama and Clinton are focused on being more populist. I would disagree with Charles that no one voted for John Edwards. Somebody did vote for John Edwards.
Neil Cavuto: Mrs. Edwards.
Adam Lashinsky: No, you know, he was routinely getting 18 – 20 percent of the vote in many of the states and that can swing a decision when you're fighting for your life like Mrs. Clinton is in Texas and Ohio. The McCain business is embarrassing because it's sexual in nature. But, it's also embarrassing because it involves a lobbyist. And McCain rails against lobbyists.
Neil Cavuto: Wait a minute. We don't even know if it's true. It's nearly a 10 year old story. He's denied it. She's denied it.
Adam Lashinsky: Right. And my larger point is it's February and this isn't what we're going to be talking about in August or September or October.
Charles Payne: Here's the thing though… you talk about the news cycles, but when you bring out the populist rhetoric, you can't pull back. When you make these promises, the more you promise, the more you have to keep promising. It sort of feeds on itself, Adam. It's not like you can promise the world and take it back by November!
Adam Lashinsky: But we like that. We'd like it to be true, Charles. I wouldn't call these promises, I would say it's more what the candidates are emphasizing. I do not think we'll see Barack Obama emphasizing this populist agenda as much after he's the nominee.
Neil Cavuto: Marc Lamont Hill, my fear, Adam's comments notwithstanding, is that the damage is done, right? So if you are bashing pharmaceutical companies, you are bashing oil companies, if you're assuming everyone on Wall Street is a greedy pig… a lot of them are, but I don't think everyone is… it's very hard to make nice with them during the general campaign season. Does that register?
Marc Lamont Hill: I never really thought of Barack Obama as a radical, left-wing candidate. In fact, I'm a Kucinich supporter. I see Obama as a centrist.
Neil Cavuto: If I were backing Kucinich, everyone by comparison would look like a centrist.
Marc Lamont Hill: Right. Fair enough! But I think Obama has deliberately run as a centrist. When you read his book, take a look at his campaign platforms…he's deliberately made gestures toward Wall Street, toward free trade…
Neil Cavuto: What? Like what? He's got an $800 billion spending plan that he argues will be paid largely by taxing people like Ben Stein. It can't happen.
Marc Lamont Hill: I don't mind taxing Ben Stein. But, I think the issue here is it's all relative. There are people like Dennis Kucinich who say they want to get rid of free trade entirely and end NAFTA tomorrow. Obama isn't saying that. He's saying he's against some of the arrangements that have been made. That's a much more centrist position. I think he will be rewarded in November by playing the middle.
Tracy Byrnes: And to Ben's point about why Obama's going to win… Obama's been pussy-footing through the whole thing. Clinton, to her credit, came out and pitted herself against corporate America. Obama is playing the middle road. He gets on the phone with Buffett, he gets on the phone with the USB CEO. He acts like he's a fan of corporate America, when of course, if you read his plan, he is not. So he's playing the middle road.
Charles Payne: After Obama won Wisconsin, he went after Wall Street two sentences into his victory speech. Look at his supporters. He has the Teamsters. He's getting more and more to the left. I agree with you Marc, a year ago he looked like he could be something different. Something beautiful! He talked about God, he talked about America, but every single day he moves further and further to the left.
Ben Stein: He's hitting the oil companies over and over and over again for no good reason!
Marc Lamont Hill: That's because he's trying to court that working-class vote that Hillary Clinton had. But once he gets through the general election, he'll move right back to the center and try to fight for the same people that John McCain is fighting for.
Adam Lashinsky: Look. We're having a very idealistic conversation. This political campaign is not going to be idealistic come October and November. You will see Obama stop talking about some of the themes that he has been talking about. We're going to talk about health care next. Hillary Clinton… once the enemy of the drug industry is now taking campaign donations from those companies! That's just the way it works. I'm not saying it's right, but that's where we're going to be in a few months' time.
Neil Cavuto: After hearing the two of them, I feel like taking drugs.
Head to Head: Will This Year's Oscar Show Help Guarantee National Health Care?
Neil Cavuto: The big winner at the Oscars could be national health care!? Michael Moore's controversial documentary "Sicko" is up for one of those little gold men. Moore's hoping for a re-run of last year. Remember Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth"? It won, and now most politicians have signed on to fighting global warming. But, will Michael Moore's dream of universal health care come true?
Marc Lamont Hill: Certainly, a victory at the Oscars will push national health care to the forefront of the national conscious. We saw that last year with "An Inconvenient Truth." We saw it last week with Amy Winehouse and the Grammys. She went to the top of the charts! If he wins, Michael Moore's agenda will be the topic of conversation. Will that translate into universal health care? Of course not. Even Barack Obama who has the best chance is not for universal health care in the way John Edwards or Hillary Clinton is. We won't see universal health care, but we will see a very concentrated conversation between McCain and Obama about national health care.
Neil Cavuto: By the way, Amy Winehouse does need good health care… Charles what do you make of that?
Charles Payne: Listen, at the end of the day, this green movement is turning out to be a God-send for corporate America. All you have to do is take a shampoo, put the word "green" on it, and sell it for $0.10 more. Corporate America is making so much money off the green movement. But, they can't do the same thing with national health care. I'm a small business owner. Health care is really tough at this point. All you have to do is look at all the other countries that have it. We hear in "SiCKO" how great these other countries are, but we don't hear that the people make significantly less than we do, they're taxed significantly more than we are, and a lot of people die on the waiting list for free services. We don't want that here.
Neil Cavuto: Ben Stein, what do you think?
Ben Stein: I think the Oscars will have nothing to do with the health care debate, but we cannot afford universal health care at this point unless we're going to have a major tax increase on the wealthy. I think that's coming down the pike anyway. This country is tapped out for the middle class. No more taxes on them, period. That's done. It's going to be all people like you, Mr. Cavuto, who are going to paying the taxes… and you're going to be paying a lot more of them!
Marc Lamont Hill: But that's our moral imperative. We have to pay more in order to take care of people…
Neil Cavuto: Why is it a moral imperative?
Ben Stein: I'm afraid that is true. You are right. It is a moral imperative.
Neil Cavuto: Why is it a moral imperative?
Ben Stein: Because it's outrageous that there's a two year waiting list for Bentleys, that houses in Palm Desert are $7.0, $8.0, $9,0 million, that people pay $300,000 to join golf clubs, and other perfectly good Americans cannot afford health care! That is an outrage.
Neil Cavuto: I'm outraged by your outrage. I do not think it is a moral imperative to build a bigger government. I don't care on whose backs.
Ben Stein: It's not a bigger government. It's taking care of the least among us.
Neil Cavuto: That is just a red herring.
Ben Stein: No, it isn't.
Marc Lamont Hill: This isn't a red herring, Neil. This is about taking care of people who don't have health care.
Neil Cavuto: Leaving aside the fact that the number of uninsured is grossly over-exaggerated… I'm addressing the bigger issue of assuming the government has all the solutions.
Ben Stein: It doesn't have to.
Tracy Byrnes: It's unfair. You come to this country to make a living and make money. If I want to buy a $300,000 Bentley, which someday I hope I can, I'm going to buy one. I don't think I should be taxed more because I worked very hard and missed multiple nights with my children because of it.
Neil Cavuto: Ben Stein, I want to get back to you on a key point. At what point do you think it's an acceptable level for the rich to compensate for the guilt they should feel for the Bentleys? It's a 35 percent rate right now; it had been 39.6 percent. Do you want us to return to that? Do you want the surtax that Charlie Rangel is talking about that would bring it up to 44 – 45 percent? What to you is acceptable?
Ben Stein: I am around incredibly rich people all day and all night. Believe me, they are not suffering. If they pay another 5 percent, it won't hurt them one darn bit.
Ben Stein: They'll still be rich.
Marc Lamont Hill: Exactly.
Charles Payne: Ben and Marc, this is what I'm really worried about… hurting the American work ethic. There is a bunch of people right now who have been appeased. We saw it with welfare. You can take away the innate ability for people to succeed by saying, "It's not your fault. The rich people succeed at your expense."
Ben Stein: That's not how it works.
Marc Lamont Hill: That is absurd. People aren't deprived health care because of a lack of work ethic. We're talking about people who work every day and don't have adequate health care.
Ben Stein: And a lot of people I'm talking about are out playing golf anyway.
Neil Cavuto: Ben, that is insulting and you know it.
Ben Stein: No, it isn't.
Neil Cavuto: Adam Lashinsky, I want to go to you. I just think that built into this argument for more government by providing health care or taxing the rich to provide it… is the notion that the rich are greedy bastards and have gotten that way nefariously.
Ben Stein: No it isn't!!
Neil Cavuto: Let Adam answer.
Adam Lashinsky: Neil, I think that's the wrong question. It doesn't matter if the rich are greedy. It doesn't matter if we agree or disagree that government need to be solution. If people go out and see the movie, which is a blunt hammer, he makes some interesting points… which are that we don't have adequate health care and that the insurance system doesn't work all that well. Now, we can have an ideological debate about needing more government or we could have a policy debate…
Neil Cavuto: You're missing my point. Back to Ben Stein who first raised it… in order to rectify all the ills in society, stick it to the wealthy because a lot of…
Ben Stein: No. Because in a society like this, the rich get a disproportionate share of benefits: They get the poor going off to fight for them, they get the poor cleaning up after them…
Charles Payne: The rich earned that!
Neil Cavuto: That is an unfair slap. Of course, the rich need no lobby. You're saying the rich are out golfing… all doing nothing. It's insulting.
Ben Stein: Well, they aren't ALL doing that. A lot of them are doing that.
Neil Cavuto: As you would say… Oy! Oy! Oy!
More for Your Money: Most Recent Buys!
Neil Cavuto: The stocks and funds our gang is buying with their own money. Names they say will get you "More for Your Money."
Ben Stein: PowerShares DB Commodities Index (DBC)
*Ben owns shares.
Adam Lashinsky: Dodge & Cox Stock Fund (DODGX)
*Adam owns shares.
Charles Payne: Southern Copper (PCU)
*Charles owns shares.
FOX on the Spot
Charles Payne: $atellite $hoot-Down Helps "RTN" $hoot up 15 percent in '08
Adam Lashinsky: Private Equity Comes Back! Buy "BX " & Get 7 percent Dividend
Ben Stein: Live the Good Life in Retirement with Annuities
Tracy Byrnes: Airline Mergers Are Di$a$trou$; Travel Now!
Neil Cavuto: Odd how The New York Times takes a nearly 10-year old story that it couldn't prove then… and raises it, suddenly now. Sadly, the McCain attacks have only begun. Not on issues that matter, but on silly innuendo and nonsense that does not.
Flipside: In Focus: Hillary Clinton's Blueprint for America's Economy: Blueprint for Disaster?
Steve Forbes, Editor in Chief: This is a blueprint for red ink. I think ripping up contracts is not a way to get good future markets and mortgages. It means more deficits and slower growth. This was designed by Hugo Chavez with help from Fidel Castro and North Korea.
Mike Maiello, Associate Editor: This is hardly a socialist plan. It's a thoughtful plan that actually takes into account the problems we have. One: we have stagnant wages in the face of record corporate profits. Two: we have 10 percent of homes under water, you know, people's mortgages under water. People are losing their homes. You have to do something about it. If you have an economic plan that doesn't address those issues, then you don't have an economic plan.
Mike Ozanian, National Editor: Hillary's plan takes the worst part of Nixon's economy and the worst part of F.D.R's economy. Hillary says she wants to take the profits of drug companies, shareholders, and oil companies. It's because she wants people to be chained to her liberal plantation and simply be satisfied with the crumbs that she decides to give us.
Elizabeth MacDonald, Fox Business Network: Oh, man. This reminds me of that movie, "Nothing Sacred," where the editor says she's got the soul of an eel and the brain of a tarantula. What I like about the plan is the infrastructure spending. I don't like the fact that the government is not doing enough for the middle class. That's what she's doing. Healthcare costs are skyrocketing – that's a problem. College costs skyrocketing. Hillary's trying to help those people. I'm not for these gimmicky tax credits. I want a big tax cut across the board. And talk about being a big spender: Bush is the record spender of all time in the history of this government.
Rich Karlgaard, Publisher: Not only is it a disaster for the country, but it's been a disaster for her. Here's the big irony: Bill Clinton ran a pretty good economic presidency; and his vice president, Al Gore, ran against it and lost the elections. Now Hillary's running against it, and she's going to lose the primary and would lose the national election, too, if she were able to somehow squeak through, which she won't.
Lea Goldman, Senior Editor: It's amazing. Hillary could trot out a plan that suggests we should be nicer to our grandmothers, and Rich and Mike Ozanian would say it's a socialist conspiracy to undermine the country. The most impressive point of her plan is the emphasis on green energy development and suggests that we should give it the financial commitment we've given to the space race. This is the issue of our time, and I think it could make her, if she wins the nomination, the most important president of a generation.
Flipside: Record Beef Recall: Proof the Government Needs to Get Out of the Food Inspection Business!
John Rutledge, Forbes Contributor: The quality of our food is much too important to leave in the hands of bureaucrats with no incentives to get it right. We need private inspections with ‘government standards', and there should be liability for the inspectors if they get it wrong. Make them pay a penalty. Every company I know inspects their products when they buy them. It would work in China, too. As we saw last week, the FDA blew it on inspections of heparin. Let's get it into the hands of private companies who can do it right.
Lea Goldman: I'm stupefied by this line of reasoning. Private enterprise runs the meat factory and slaughterhouse involved in this recall and they had every chance to get it right. The focus is on this company, which earns money for every pound of meat sold to get it right. We ought to get more government inspectors in there because it's clear that private enterprise can't handle the job.
Steve Forbes: John is right. Government inspectors have no incentive to do the job right and no incentive to get the most modern technology in there. The post office for all its problems is a better organization because it has competition from UPS and FedEx. Why not do the same thing for government inspections.
Evelyn Rusli, Forbes.com Anchor: The problem isn't in the mechanism. It's in the coverage. There are too many food producers, and the government isn't able to do everything, but that doesn't mean that we should just wipe the slate clean and not have government intervention because it's the last line of defense, and it is our food. That's what we're putting into our system. Especially at a time of a possible recession, you don't want to leave it in the hands of the company where they're going to try to cut corners.
Victoria Barret, Associate Editor: Create some competition in this. Create a bounty so workers are given incentives to uncover bad behavior. Lea just says we need more government, more inspectors, so you want more inspectors who aren't going to catch this stuff? That's not going to solve this problem. You're creating more spending on a bad solution. This company's orders are going to fall through the floor. They're going to get punished for bad behavior, you can believe that.
Bill Baldwin, Editor: Privatizing meat inspection is a really, really dumb idea. What private agency is going to rate these things? How about Moody's, how bout Fitch? We think your subprime beef tastes really tasty? No. I don't want them doing that. If you don't like the USDA's results, let's replace the USDA. Let's replace the president!
Should Tax Dollars Pay to Teach Kids About Global Warming in the Classroom?
David Asman: A California state lawmaker is proposing teaching global warming in California schools. But should taxpayer's dollars be used to teach kids about it?
Steve Forbes: Global cooling is the real problem. Schools are supposed to ban junk foods, now we're going to let in junk science – this thing is not settled. If you want to teach something in schools, how about something useful like economics, balance sheets, balancing a checkbook? Maybe we wouldn't get so much deficit spending if people got that kind of education.
Elizabeth MacDonald: There's no consensus yet on global warming. This whole thing about not teaching something in science makes me think of the saying a conclusion is where the mind comes to rest. I say teach it! I say teach music, evolution, Latin, etc. Bring it all back! That's how you're going to get off of this hamster wheel about whether or not global warming does exist. Maybe we'll find a student who discovers the truth. I say debate it just like we do here on Forbes on Fox.
Rich Karlgaard: Sometimes I think the California legislature exists solely to provide gag lines for comedy writers. This is the same group who taught sexual abstinence by pulling condoms over bananas. Self esteem more important than science. California public schools rank about 41st out of 50 states in the nation, so concentrate on the basics, California.
Victoria Barret: Of course we should be teaching our kids about climate change, but in a way that we discuss it here on the show – showing two sides. The reality is my 10-year-old niece goes to school and gets taught polar bears are going to go extinct because her mom drives her to school in a minivan every day. That's not good science, that's junk science. Also, I don't think legislators should be telling teachers what to teach at this level.
John Rutledge: The government there doesn't just want to teach about global warming, they want to teach a specific conclusion about global warming, which is baloney, by the way. Force-feed climate change to our children? Not on your life. The history of politicians driving agendas in the classroom is not very kind. Climate change is all about science. There's global warming every 1500 years for the last 900 million years. It's mostly the sun doing it. Warm periods are more prosperous than cold periods, and there's a huge money scam going on between the way taxes are credited against this stuff and how carbon trading works.
Informer: Best Stocks Under $10!
Mike Ozanian: Del Monte Foods (DLM)
Evelyn Rusli: Sprint (S)
Bill Baldwin: Qwest Communications (Q)
Lea Goldman: USEC (USU)
Obama's 'Patriot Employer Plan' Is it Really Unpatriotic?
Democratic Presidential Hopeful Barack Obama has proposed cutting taxes for corporations that don't ship jobs overseas. But is that really bad for America and American business?
Jonathan Hoenig, CapitalistPig Asset Management: The role of the President isn't to protect American's jobs, it's to protect American's rights. I think a company has every right to hire anyone they want and they don't own every American a job just because we live under the same government.
Wayne Rogers, Wayne Rogers & Co: Nobody has the right to, when you say an offshore job, to penalize an American corporation for hiring people overseas. That's nuts. It's a world market. We better get used to it. We're going to have to compete in the world market and on the labor front as well as on the financial front, so we've got to do that. It is something to give them a tax break to incentivize them to go overseas; I think that's wrong. The tax break should be to stay in America. That part is true. But you cannot discriminate about this.
Dagen McDowell, Fox Business Network: Barack Obama sounds just like Hillary Clinton and they both sound like John Kerry. If you want to cut corporate taxes across the board in this country, and you make sure corporations stay here, that is a fabulous idea. However, we have to make sure we do not drive American businesses out of America.
Ben Shapiro, Syndicated Columnist: I think the key to this plan is that he's only talking about cutting the corporate taxes to 1 percent. This isn't something that's going to persuade Americans to stay in America, specifically one that has to be balanced out by being union-neutral, up their spending in healthcare, and other initiatives. Those type of things aren't really going to be counter waived by a 1 percent corporate tax rate.
Jonas Max Ferris, MaxFunds.com: I think Americans think that the government has this huge pool of cash that they just hand out to these big corporations to go hire people overseas. The reason why they're going abroad is because labor-wise it's cheaper to go abroad; there's also less regulations no unions. I think its an illusion of how much the government really has to do with outsourcing of jobs and such. I think Obama knows there is not much he can do about it; he even says "it's globalization and there's nothing much we can do about it." I'm for lowering corporate tax rates for any irrational reason at all so I don't really care about this plan being bad for corporate America.
Neighbors of Sex Offenders: Should They Get a Tax Break on Their Homes?
A group of homeowners who live next to a sex offender in Southbury, Connecticut want the town to lower their property tax assessments because they argue his presence is lowering their property values. Should they-and people in similar situations-get a tax break?
Jeanine Pirro, Former Westchester County D.A. : I've dealt with these parents for years and prosecuted these cases for years and what I do know is people are reluctant to move into a neighborhood where there is a sexual predator or sex offender. And we believe for some crazy reason the police are monitoring him; they are not. So what that means is your house values are going down. People are not going to want to live in that neighborhood. You're not going to want to live in that neighborhood. I've dealt with these neighborhood associations who go absolutely ballistic trying to protect each other's children; so yes, there's should be a benefit.
Dagen McDowell: No way, because where do you draw the line? What if there was a murderer who lived down the street, somebody who did their time, paid their dues or even some very obnoxious neighbor? Why a sex offender and not somebody else who committed another crime? If everything you say is true, the property value will fall and their tax assessment will go down anyway.
Jonathan Hoenig: No special tax treatment for anybody: for neighbors of sex offenders, for teachers, for steelworkers, for hedge fund managers. Neighborhoods change and honestly, if they build a tall building next to where you live, maybe your property value goes down, you don't get a tax easement. So no, no special treatment. I don't care how terrible the sex offenders are. Neighborhoods change. New buildings go up, they come down. If you don't like it, move.
Wayne Rogers: The ridiculous part of this is you could eventually get to the point where you say, "oh, the guy next door has a communicable disease and therefore my taxes should go down." It's insanity. You can't do that. The problem lies with the fact that you have let the recidivist back into society. I would go the parole board and say, "you're making the mistake."
Jonas Max Ferris: These parents don't want to pay the tax they're paying because of the perceived value of their home. But there are half a million registered sex offenders in America. There are six in Southbury, Connecticut, there's one in my town. Everybody would be getting this tax break. It's ridiculous.
Ben Shapiro: Maybe all these local governments wouldn't be allowing as many sex offenders to move into your town if they weren't getting as much money from local property taxes. It's actually a good incentive for local governments to start taking care of the problem.
Should "Meat Recall" Company Be Sued For Animal Abuse?
Animal rights activists are up in arms about allegations of mistreatment against cows by a California meat company. Should the firm be sued for animal abuse?
Jeanine: 10 billion animals a year are slaughtered and we all assume they meet a painless end when we eat our hamburgers or whatever it is we are eating. The bottom line here is that the USDA is charged with the enforcement of humane slaughter rules as related to these animals. And the truth is that they're not doing their job. The truth is we're worried about the quality of the meat when in reality if people saw-as they did-the inhumane way these animals are killed, they would be stunned. And there are federal guidelines that were violated here, and California has an animal cruelty law. As DA, I prosecuted them. If you intentionally abuse an animal, if you are skinning these animals alive, if you're picking them up on forklifts, if you are slitting stomachs open, you should be prosecuted.
Jonathan: I love animals but animals don't have rights. The whole notion of outlawing an activity towards an animal is absurd. I don't know how many of your clients happen to be cute dogs or cats but animals don't have any rights.
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