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: Pat Dorsey, Morningstar.com director of stock research; Scott Bleier, HybridInvestors.com president; Tobin Smith, ChangeWave Research; Bob Froehlich, DWS Scudder; Patricia Powell, Powell Financial Group, and Matt McCall, Penn Financial.
Trading Pit: Record 2nd Quarter Start for Stocks. Are the Bears the Team to Beat on Wall Street?
One for the record books! The best kick off ever for blue chips in the second quarter! And bad news not knocking the bulls off their game. Stocks shrugging off an ugly jobs report for a week of big gains. Does all this mean the bulls are the team to beat from here on out?
Tobin Smith: The bulls are in control NOW because — as I said a few weeks ago — we got a bottom in the financials. Now the market is seeing a bottom for the REST of stocks. The market has priced in a mild recession and IF in fact the recession that started in December 2007 lasts the 8-9 months of a typical recession, then we have a bottom. The crucial earnings season starts next week, and we'll see if lowered expectations are met or not. But you have to treat this as a bottom and make money in stocks; the move could last only 6 months if the Democrats get the presidency and retain the House and Senate.
Bob Froehlich: I wouldn't call the U.S. Equity market a "slam dunk" but I would call it a "lay-up". We have clearly hit the bottom and are going up from here. Interest rate cuts and tax refunds will take time. This recovery doesn't happen overnight but it will happen. Especially as we move toward the end of the year when two catalyst occur. First, the Presidential election will be over and that removes a major uncertainty. Second, the "earnings comparables" on a year-over-year basis will be so easy that anyone can beat them. Both of these are very bullish for our markets. Our biggest short-term risk is that we could see another financial services firm go under. If you are still looking for that investing "Slam Dunk" you get it by going global. As the U.S. is on the brink of a recession, the rest of the world is booming at almost 6 percent GDP. Go global.
Patricia Powell: A couple of weeks ago, I capitulated on the issue of recession... it seems inevitable. But what most people don't know is that you can have very strong market gains before the recession is over. I am cautiously optimistic for the next three months. You have the $160billion in rebate checks hitting this quarter; the positive impact of lower fed funds rates that will help homeowners who have mortgage/HELOC's resetting based on prime; and much of the bad news is known. (It is the bus you don't see coming that kills you!) If we don't lose too many jobs, I think we could move up as much as 1000 pts on the Dow by the end of the quarter.
Pat Dorsey: Stocks are very cheap, and financials are in the cheap basket. But keep some dry powder because we are going to get some more scary days. If you use those days to build you are going to be a happy camper years from now.
Scott Bleier: The failure of Bear Stearns was the moment of maximum stress for this crisis. The market had every opportunity to drop in a big way - but did not. There are plenty of doubters to this rally - and that is good. Individual investors should be buying every time the market gets scared and drops to the low end of the trading range. The bottom line is that I think we have seen the bottom for this cycle - as I have said before - and stocks should be bought not sold.
Forget About National Health Care; Is It Time to Nationalize the Airlines?
Flying? Chances are you'll pay a high fare to be late and lose your luggage. And this week we found out that more than one carrier could be skimping on safety by cozying up with regulators. Is now the time for the government to start running the airline industry?
Matt McCall: The government needs to take the airlines over! This is a flawed business plan. There are two major concerns: customer service and safety. The number one being safety; American Airlines had 10 windshields break on planes about to land. They knew about it and did nothing about it. You are not making money by not sticking up for the customer. Government has to step in and take care of this now!
Tobin Smith: The idea that the people who bring you the productivity of the IRS and Congress would be running an airline is funny. The biggest problem the airlines have is they need to merge. And they have to raise prices a bit so they can make a profit.
Scott Bleier: We built the airlines airports and give them air traffic control. We let them fly in the air for free! Other countries don't let you do that by the way.
Stock X-Change: Final Four Championship Stocks
It's the Final Four Stock Championship! The winning team and the winning stocks. We shoot, we score, right now in the Stock X-Change.
Tobin Smith: SunPower Corporation (SPWR)
Bob Froehlich: Hanesbrands (HBI)
Pat Dorsey: Discover Financial Services (DFS)
Patricia Powell: Brinker International (EAT)
Scott Bleier: SanDisk (SNDK)
Bob Froehlich's prediction: Carolina sweep! Wachovia (WB) avoids subprime mess; up 40 percent in 1 year
Tobin Smith's prediction: Guys: Forget Viagra, go with Pamprin! Buy Chattem (CHTT)
Scott Bleier's prediction: Taxes due in 10 Days; H&R Block (HRB) up 25 percent in 10 weeks
Patricia Powell's prediction: Rebate checks = win for Target! (TGT) Up 20 percent by end of '08
Pat Dorsey's prediction: McDonald's coffee, not so hot! Starbucks (SBUX) doubles in 3 years
On Saturday, April 5, 2008, Neil Cavuto was joined by Charles Payne, wstreet.com; Tracy Byrnes, FOX Business Network; Adam Lashinsky, Fortune Magazine; Peter Schiff, "Crash Proof" author; and Troy Dunn, "Young Bucks: How to Raise a Future Millionaire" author.
Bottom Line: Claims of a Great Depression for U.S. in 2008: A Great, Big Lie?
Neil Cavuto: This week – A British newspaper predicting another "Great Depression" in the US this year. Are we really going to see bread lines again or is that "doom and gloom" headline just a great, big lie?
Let's let the numbers tell the story. In 1933, nearly 25 percent of Americans were out of work. That's about five times what it is now. Back then, a majority of Americans didn't even own homes… and of those who did, 10 percent of homes were in foreclosure. Today… it's just 2 percent.
Charles, on Friday we found out the jobless rate rose to 5.1 percent... but a second "Great Depression"?
Charles Payne: Absolutely not. These types of articles are divisive. They're designed to create tension and cause problems. It is the type of stuff we hear from the political arena. There were eight million people unemployed then, there are less than 8 million people unemployed now. The disparity is huge: 5 percent versus 25 percent. Nine-thousand banks went under during the Great Depression. Life expectancy in 1932 was 59. It is bordering 79 now. It is totally night and day.
Peter Schiff: Charles, this is just getting started. This is not 1933 yet. It is still 1929. The bubble just burst. You have to remember what caused the Depression in the first place. In the 1920s, the Fed kept the interest rates too low and blew up the stock market bubble. When it burst, they tried to ease the pain of the recession, and with foolish policies created a depression.
Neil Cavuto: Wait a second, are you saying we are heading to a depression?
Peter Schiff: We could… only this one would be an inflationary depression, which would be much worse.
Neil Cavuto: Tracy, what do you think?
Tracy Byrnes: If we were in a depression, Peter, I wouldn't be killing myself to get Jonas Brothers tickets for my kids. Apple came out with great numbers. Research in Motion came out with great numbers. Monsanto came out with great numbers. We wouldn't be seeing this kind of stuff if it was doom and gloom. This is not a precursor to the end. We are just starting to get done with the nonsense, quite frankly.
Peter Schiff: No, we're not!
Tracy Byrnes: Yes, we absolutely are.
Neil Cavuto: Let me bring Troy Dunn into this.
Troy Dunn: I think Peter is having too many dinners with Harry Reid. Charles is exactly right. To say this in any way resembles the original Great Depression is like saying Charles and I are identical twins because we have two eyes, a nose, and a mouth…
Charles Payne: Separated at birth!
Peter Schiff: The last time Charles and I were on a show together, he recommended Bear Stearns!
Neil Cavuto: Adam, let me get your take on that. If you read the article, it's only slightly crazier than the headline. One of the things it alludes to is the fact that we are, like Peter said, although Peter is not crazy, about to very quickly to get to a depression.
Adam Lashinsky: Right. Well, at the risk of briefly going into the circle of discussing journalism again, the Great Depression was only mentioned in the headline of the article, not in the body. The crux of the article is that more people are using food stamps than in past years. There are some technical reasons for that including the fact that states have made it easier for people to use food stamps. But, there's no question that at the bottom rungs of society, things are tougher now than in recent years, though not as tough as they were in 1994. Neil, to answer the question, we are not heading into a depression. It's not even clear we are heading into a recession, though I think we are. Bank deposits keep going up. If we were heading into a depression, bank deposits would be going down not up.
Peter Schiff: We're already in a recession. We've been there for a while.
Adam Lashinsky: We may or we may not be.
Charles Payne: Peter, last time you were on the show, you mentioned Washington Mutual at 11.5 and took profits at 17.5. Also, you talk about the commodities. The commodities boom is making American wealthy. Have you looked at commodities stocks lately?!
Peter Schiff: Of course I look at them. I own them!
Charles Payne: Let me tell you something, this doom and gloom stuff is really bad in the sense that you make people feel bad. I hate when people in America have to feel bad when they are doing great things. Adam said this is better than 1994… it's better than 1980, better than all of the 70s, most the 1960s and most of the 1950s. Do your homework!
Peter Schiff: Charles, you have to pull that wool out of your eyes. I have done my homework. That is how come I've nailed this thing so accurately for so many years.
Tracy Byrnes: Peter, if you say it enough, anyone could nail it! I'm going to start saying something and stick by it for the next 10 years. Peter, look at balance sheets!
Charles Payne: The Cubs are going to win the World Series! I'm saying it now!
Peter Schiff: Look, we can't argue with the facts.
Adam Lashinsky: Neil, may I cut through this for a second?
Neil Cavuto: Go ahead.
Adam Lashinsky: There's no question that we are not heading into a depression and that's because the Fed is acting responsibly. The big debate is should the Fed be bailing out people on Main Street as well? As I have said before, that isn't the Fed's job. Its job is to make sure there's not a panic and that when there is a credit crunch, they work to make sure there's liquidity in the system. That's what they didn't do quickly enough in the Great Depression.
Neil Cavuto: What I'm saying is we have to be very careful in the language we use and the headlines we write. At the end of the week, Hillary was talking about appointing a poverty czar. I don't know if that's such a good idea…
Troy Dunn: She's catering to the concept that misery loves company. She wants to be the rescuer. You're absolutely right, Neil, that we're going to create a self-fulfilling prophecy for some people. Everybody is not feeling the same thing at the same time. We all don't have a rainstorm at the same time. Michigan's unemployment is up there because of the auto industry's union. They have the highest unemployment in the country. But, Utah and the steel manufacturing industry has some of the lowest unemployment rates. It's nothing happening nationally; it's individual and organizational decisions. People need to get rid of the "Chicken Little" mentality. If people listen to Peter and people like Peter, the same people that held on to their real estate investments for too long and got stuck in their flip are going to wait too long to come back into the market.
Peter Schiff: If they listened to me, they didn't do that! I'm the one who told them to sell!
Troy Dunn: You're going to make people broke, Peter!
Charles Payne: I want to say one thing. A report came out this week that only 50 percent of kids in cities are graduating. That's what we should be concerned about. That's something that could propel us into a depression years down the road.
Peter Schiff: We have very serious economic problems. Don't diminish them or belittle them. The Fed and the government helped create them, now foolish policies are making them worse. These are real problems. These are very serious. You don't want to be Pollyannaish about this. My advice over the past 8-10 years has been dead-on accurate. The people who have followed it have made tremendous amounts of money while the people who followed the Pied Pipers on Wall Street have lost a bunch.
Adam Lashinsky: Let me make a political observation. To have a poverty czar would not be the dumbest idea in the world. When not enough children are graduating from high school… that is a poverty problem. We could use a poverty czar even in the best of times. That's just politics.
Neil Cavuto: Oh for God's sake. She might as well have a pasta czar… and I'll volunteer.
Head to Head: Should It Be Illegal for Truckers to Strike?
Neil Cavuto: Truckers slamming on the brakes this week to protest diesel prices. A gallon of diesel's putting truckers back $4 a gallon! The truckers' slowdown is slowing traffic and the delivery of everything from food to medicine. Should truckers be allowed to strike? It's time to go "Head to Head."
Troy Dunn: My heart goes out to the truckers because I can feel their frustration, I can understand their anger. They want to vent somehow. But, what they are really doing is white collar terrorism – or in their case, it's blue collar terrorism. They actually are taking consumers hostage and shutting them down until they get their demands met. I gotta tell you something… not allowing my wife and children's food to be delivered is not in any way going to affect fuel prices. It's understandable the truckers are frustrated, but they are directing it in the wrong way.
Neil Cavuto: You know, I've talked with a number of truckers recently. I've never argued or acted tough with them when they're here in the studio…
Neil Cavuto: But, what they have been saying is we can go very slow in the right hand lane… In other words, there is this idea of just dragging on. What do you make of that?
Charles Payne: Well, strikes in general have been really stupid and bad ideas. It's really interesting because when I was growing up, we used to look for the union label. You know, people wanted to support the strikers. These days… we saw a big strike in New York with the Broadway stagehands and it caused thousands of New Yorkers their livelihood right around Christmas… same thing in Hollywood. I don't know who's running these unions, but these strikes are stupid and divisive. They have to figure out a better way to articulate their message because are all getting hit by higher fuel costs… not just them.
Tracy Byrnes: It's free market capitalism. If you want to strike, you strike. It's like saying the electricians can't strike because we won't have any lights.
Neil Cavuto: Aren't there certain folks who shouldn't strike because they provide an essential service?
Tracy Byrnes: We shouldn't have unions. If we got rid of the unions, we wouldn't have this problem. The unions and these strikes are not getting anywhere.
Neil Cavuto: Would you liken truckers to air traffic controllers? They went on strike in the early 80s and Ronald Reagan said, "You're fired."
Tracy Byrnes: No, because some of them transport toys. My kids can live without toys.
Neil Cavuto: But, Peter Schiff, some of them transports medicine.
Peter Schiff: Any private sector employee should be allowed to strike and any employer should be allowed to fire them for striking. What these truckers should do is march on Washington. If they want to protest high oil prices, protest the Federal Reserve. The Fed is creating the inflation and debasing our money.
Neil Cavuto: That would be quite a strike… all the truckers outside the Federal Reserve.
Adam Lashinsky: I think Tracy hit the nail on the head. In a free market system, the suppliers of the labor can withhold their labor if they choose to and face the consequences for doing so. To your question Neil, I would turn it around on you. Would you want to federalize the trucking system in the US? Do you want these people to all be employees of the government? I think your answer would be no… and that's my answer, too. If you want to put them all on the federal payroll, then fine. Make it illegal for them to strike. Peter, with all due respect, I think the truckers will be a little more effective inside their trucks than outside their trucks… in terms of protest.
Peter Schiff: They should drive them right up to the Fed!
Troy Dunn: If I were a trucker, I would do the same thing we do in this economy any time we want to send something up the ladder and that is to vote with your dollar! What the truckers need to do is select the one oil company they think is the friendliest to their cause and fairest in fuel prices. Then, tell every trucker in America that's the only place they can buy diesel. There are five major oil companies in America. Four of them will panic! That's called voting with your dollar. That's how you make things happen in this economy.
Adam Lashinsky: There's a more realistic solution: They need to raise prices and they are having trouble doing that. This will get worked out and it will be messy in the meantime.
Charles Payne: A lot of industries have fuel surcharges. This week we saw FedEx's stock go through the roof. The rails are doing extremely well because they don't have the same problem truckers do. We may have to go get Kris Kristofferson, convoy, and do it the right way. Don't go to the Fed, Peter. It's China and India they may have to attack because they're using so much fuel.
Peter Schiff: No, they are not causing it. Their economies are growing. We're the ones creating inflation, not them.
Neil Cavuto: If they were protest outside the Federal Reserve, at the very least they'd make people think.
More for Your Money: $tocks Under $10!
Neil Cavuto: The best stocks that cost less than $10 so you can get "More for Your Money"!
Peter Schiff: Northgate Minerals (NXG)
*Peter owns shares of this stock.
Charles Payne: Evergreen Solar (ESLR)
*Charles owns shares of this stock.
Adam Lashinsky: LSI Corp (LSI)
FOX on the Spot
Troy Dunn: Home rush starts in Sept; record number of houses will sell
Adam Lashinsky: Homes will be weak until Chelsea runs for president
Peter Schiff: "SYT" will jump 30 percent thanks to Bernanke's AG bull!
Charles Payne: "GOLD" will glitter up your wallet! Up 25 percent in '08
Tracy Byrnes: No wedding recession; avg cost to tie-the-knot: $27K
Neil Cavuto: Message to CEOs: Don't RSVP to invites from Congress!
In Focus: Big Oil Companies or Congress: Which Does More to Lower Gas Prices?
Elizabeth MacDonald, FOX Business Network: Oil companies. They have to go up against huge state owned, government owned companies around the world. They are bigger than the names we have here. They drill in dangerous places. What Congress does is it taxes. When Congress taxes companies, they pass the costs along to consumers. It's funny. When oil execs testified in Congress, the Congressmen said, ‘You know, your approval ratings are really low, they're lower than ours, and that's really low.' But, it is really the oil companies that will do more to bring down prices.
Quentin Hardy, Silicon Valley bureau chief: To start, the state owned companies are mostly not involved in the refining and distribution that American companies are so good at. Their competitors there are Royal Dutch Shell and BP, which are also publicly held. Congress doesn't just tax, it spends, and in this case it spends to send Americans to fight and die in the Middle East. Let's face it, we're there because of the oil.
John Rutledge, Forbes contributor: Let's face it. Oil companies go to dangerous places like the Persian Gulf or Alaska, or off shore oil rigs. They drill holes, they produce oil, refine it, distribute it, sell it for a price less than Coca Cola, which is sugar and water. What does Congress do? Congress has regulations that drive supply down and price up. Taxes that drive the price up, and hearings where they whine about the performance of the oil companies. Hearings are marketing, not policy. Oil men have died to bring you oil. Who is the last member of Congress you know that died while doing you a favor?
Neil Weinberg, senior editor: I can see that how oil companies have done a great job of keeping oil prices down for us. Oil companies lobby for tax breaks they don't deserve. Oil companies have put all our refineries right in hurricane alley. Oil barons have gotten themselves filthy rich while the rest of us are paying $3 a gallon at the pump. These guys are not doing us any favors here.
Mike Ozanian, national editor: Bottom line is profits. Which delivers? For every dollar invested you get $1.33 back from oil companies. From the government, for every dollar invested, you only gain 24 cents back. That's the bottom line.
Bill Baldwin, editor: I don't think politicians know anything about digging holes in the ground, at least to get oil out. But they have a roll to play in keeping down the ludicrous oil executive salaries, like a hundred million dollars a year.
Flipside: Capitalism and Free Markets Are Under Siege By Republicans!
Mike Ozanian: Paulson's plan is a death knell for capitalism. He wants to expand the Fed's power, which got us into this mess. He wants to bail out home owners who borrowed too much money, he wants to bail out people who built homes, and he wants to bail out the banking system. When the government underwrites the economy, it's Socialism.
Jack Gage, Associate Editor: I have to respectfully disagree with you there. You have to think that consolidation of financial oversight on Wall Street is tantamount to reducing bureaucracy and streamlining the rules and regulations governing these firms as they get into more exotic securities and riskier investments.
Victoria Barret, Associate Editor: It's kind of a death knell because inherent in it is this idea that next time we can avoid this problem. Guess what? Markets are human. It's hard to quantify risk especially in this day and age when we're dealing with massive volumes. Bubbles happen. Bear Stearns went from $12 billion in liquid assets to $2 billion in a matter of days. What regulators could do about that is totally not clear to me. This is just inevitable.
Elizabeth MacDonald: We are privatizing the gains but we socialize the pain. Yet really the free market has turned into a free for all. When you open a discount window and let investment banks like Bear Stearns, who don't have to meet the same capital reserve ratios as a Citigroup or bank, you basically let the Fed run with the wolves. Meaning the taxpayers are running with the wolves. And guess who the lender of last resort is now? Not the Fed, the taxpayer. So yeah, the free market has turned into a free for all. I think that the guard rails need to be put up.
Quentin Hardy: Well, they are operating in a pro market capacity long-term. Look, you've got to have some perspective here. Before the Great Depression, there were fewer regulations and there used to be panics. After the depression, they put in regulatory standards and we had sustained growth. You can't blame the Fed which did lower the discount rate for other banks after Bear Stearns went down. You can't blame the Fed for the fact that on Wall Street they could no longer judge risk, they mismanaged their own financial products, and they need new oversight.
Josh Lipton, Forbes.com Staff Writer: I think Mike is spot on. Paulson is talking about a turbo charged Fed, more power and authority. No matter how well intentioned, no matter how smart and educated, there is no reason to believe the Fed would get it right. They've gotten it wrong before.
Al Gore's $300 Million Ad Blitz About Global Warming: Good or Bad Investment?
John Rutledge: I would call it a $300 million boondoggle. But boondoggles are harmless, this actually does harm. Mark my words, we will one day have a Gore-gate set of hearings. It's a terrible investment but Gore's buddies are going to make hundreds of millions of dollars from this. Already in China there is a former UN official on the lam and China and Russia are booking big dollars off of carpet credit trading. The laws they want would drive 3 billion people back into poverty. That's just cruel. The science is terribly shoddy. This is politics and money, not science. The answer is scientists, not Al Gore.
Lacey Rose, Forbes.com Senior Reporter: I think the facts are there, I think the science is there. I think this is a really good investment. What Al Gore understands here is in order to have people change their ways, you have to educate them on why their ways need to be changed. So while I think investing in green technology is important and people will continue to because there is money to be made there, educating them in investing and demystifying this movement is really important.
Bill Baldwin: I think the American public is badly in need of environmental awareness. I'd love to see a $290 million campaign to educate people about the environmental horrors of corn ethanol. This stuff depletes ground water, erodes the soil, causes huge environmental energy wastes, and indirectly causes the burning of forests in Borneo.
Quentin Hardy: I'm with that. Let's get some perspective here. For a start, $300 million is probably what the Little Debbie corporation spends advertising its scrumptious dessert products. It's just not that much money, and far less than oil companies and car companies and right wing think tanks spend. You wanna worry about science? Ok, let's publicize the science. The science in favor of global warming is like 5 to 1. If this generates new technology, I'm all for it.
Victoria Barret: Do we really need to market green at this point? Honestly, you can't walk a block in San Francisco without being bombarded with some sort of green or eco message. To Gore's credit, he has put green on the agenda already. Every other commercial on national television has some sort of eco message in it. Why now?
Informer: Stocks That Will Do Well in the Second Quarter
Jack Gage: Merck (MRK)
Victoria Barret: Symantec (SYMC)
Josh Lipton: General Electric (GE)
Neil Weinberg: Citigroup (C)
Clinton's Health Bill Woes: Proof We Can't Afford National Care?
Jonathan Hoenig, CapitalishPig Asset Management: Look how we are dealing with the programs we already have. The last couple of weeks we have heard about major shortfalls in social security and Medicare and Medicaid. That means hire bills and lower quality health care for everybody. Not what we want.
Jehmu Greene, Democratic Strategist: Goodness gracious. The bills have all been paid. These issues aren't even related. As most businesses know, sometimes they carry bills over from one month to the next. That is what happened here. Trying to connect these two issues does a huge disservice to the 47 million Americans who don't have health insurance and the tens of millions who are at the risk of losing it. I think the reality is this country cannot afford not to tackle the deficiencies in our health care system. Senator Clinton's plan is to bring down costs. It gives tax credits for people who cannot afford it and small businesses for them to provide health benefits.
Dagen McDowell, FOX Business Network: It does raise the issue of how costly health care is. And the issue with the democratic a plans, both Clinton's and Obama's, is what are they good to do to bring down the cost of health care, period? That is actually John McCain's plan…get rid of the tax-free health care insurance you get from your employer. You put the cost in the hands of the individual, you use less health care. That's how you bring down costs.
Jonas Max Ferris, MaxFunds.com: It does say something about the cost of a real health care plan. A full-on health care plan is expensive, and I don't think the government could afford to pay for that great of health care for everybody. It highlights the issue that national health care is a good idea but it needs to be a lower plan. Then everybody else wants to get private insurance through normal avenues and that's the best compromise.
Wayne Rogers, Wayne Rogers & Co: The fact that they didn't pay their bills or they paid them late, they have been paid, and that happens all the time. People have to verify things. When it comes in, did this happen, did this actually thing take place. All of those kind of things. No, they cannot really afford it. If you look at health care and see what the government has done to Medicare…Any federally supported system for any kind of health care, you could bring the cost of health care down. You are going to have to find a way to pay for it. Their way to pay for it is to tax more. People are tired of paying taxes. We are going to have a tax revolt it we try to do this. There's going to be a disaster. Any plan designed by the federal government is going to be terrible.
Is the Global Warming Agenda Gouging the Middle Class?
Jonathan Hoenig: It hurts the poor more than anybody. That is the green's whole agenda. They want to make gas and energy more expensive. Adding 5 percent to 10 percent to the cost of gas hurts the middle class…Make it more expensive so we use less of it.
Wayne Rogers: I think the point is this: This is a vote. This is a democratic way to solve the problem. They are asking the citizens of Los Angeles, where 4 percent of the automobiles in the world reside, where they have massive smog problems, where you can't breath half the time, and they are asking the citizens of L.A. to vote on this. They are not imposing this tax. It's a good idea.
Dagen McDowell: I love it. Forget the greens. It is not about greens and global warming. It is about making these cities inhabitable. You drive in New York and it is one person per car. I have no problem with taxing people to make it habitable.
Jonas Max Ferris: They are aggressive. Any gas taxes, even when they make car companies change, it hurts lower income Americans. That is why you have to counter the policies with income tax cuts that help lower income people. So it doesn't really hurt if your tax bill goes down.
Should Home Sellers Have to Spill the Beans About Noisy Neighbors?
Katrina Campins, The Campins Company: We sell real estate nationwide. For example, in Florida, you are required to disclose material facts. Before a transaction takes place, a seller fills out a form calls a seller's disclosure and he or she discloses everything they know
about that property. That is what you are required to disclose to a potential buyer. I as a real estate agent would not know of these facts unless the seller told me. Some things you may know. For instance, I have a neighbor that walks around in a robe and drinks red wine while they walk their dog. It may bother me but it may not bother you. I only know what my seller tells me about the property. You don't have to necessarily disclose that someone has passed away in that property if you don't know that as an agent.
Wayne Rogers: This is a legal question, not a moral question. The state is going to make certain rules about what you should disclose or not. To the extent that something like this should be explained, they should be held liable. To the extent you do not have to legally disclose it, then you don't have to. Then it may be a question as to whether you should have known it.
Jonathan Hoenig: That is the whole point. A good real estate knows it is in their self-interest to disclose. Reputation is so important and a good real estate agent doesn't want to sell you a bad house. But they want to deal with you for the next 25 years.
Jonas Max Ferris: There is a problem with the real estate industry. I don't think they have nearly the regulated requirements of a stockbroker or a financial advisor. They have fixed commissions which is ridiculous. They represent the buyer and the seller which is so wrong and crooked. You can't each ask them questions because the whole thing is hush-hush. They can pretend they don't know these things.
Best Bets: Comeback Stocks
WAYNE ROGERS: LKQ
JONATHAN HOENIG: RTL Retail Real Estate ETF
JONAS MAX FERRIS: Starbucks Corporation SBUX