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 week Brenda Buttner was joined by Gary B. Smith, Tobin Smith, Eric Bolling, Pat Dorsey and Sarah Flowers.
"Pork" in Health Care Bill; Will It Make the Economy Sick?
Eric Bolling, FOX Business Network: It's bad! It's going to make us sicker. Honestly, I'm tired of government telling me how I'm going to work, how I'm going to play, and now, how and when I'm going to exercise! The bottom line: the health care bill was supposed to address the availability of health care and the cost of health care. It really wasn't supposed to go and tell me when I'm going to work out.
Sarah Flowers, Democratic strategist: It absolutely does get to the point of the cost of health care. This is prevention. What we're calling "pork" here, because it's a nice buzz word, is actually prevention. It's the tactics of how you make a healthier community and in the end, how you save dollars. We're talking about creating jungle gyms so that kids can go outside and play in communities where that doesn't exist. A poll of 1600 parents of two-year olds to 12-year olds reported that 41 percent of them said that the reason that their kid didn't get enough outdoor time was because they didn't have a local community park to go to. It's not about when people like us should go to the gym; it's about actual families in middle America and the resources they have to lead better lifestyles.
Tobin Smith, Changewave Research: In the United States, 20 percent of the population consumes 80 percent of the health care costs. That's an absolute fact. It's not little kids playing on a jungle gym. And the problem with this whole idea of "prevention" and "investing" is that if there is not a financial incentive and disincentive to use this, the healthiest people are the ones who are going to use these preventative things and it doesn't help them at all because they're already healthy. It is absolutely the wrong way.
Pat Dorsey, Mornringstar.com: Well we are the fattest nation in the world, and that's a fact. 33 percent of Americans are clinically obese and obese people do consume more health care in terms of diabetes and in terms of heart-related costs. And Tobin is right: those kids aren't consuming health care, but if they become obese and grow up, then they do consume a lot of health care. Will people just go out and use these jungle gyms without incentive? That's a debatable point, but an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and if you couple this with something such as: for example, smokers pay more health insurance than non smokers do and so you have obese people paying it. But the point is, if you do that and they don't have the resources available to exercise, you need both parts of it. This is at least a step in the right direction.
Gary B. Smith, thechartman.com: The people sitting in Congress really don't care about the health of the American population. When people were growing up in the 1920s, '30s, '40s, '50s there wasn't all these fancy jungle gyms and stuff. What my parents did was say 'get out of the house and don't come back for 8 hours and go play!' That's what my parents did! It's the parents' responsibility to make sure their kids are healthy; it's not the government's responsibility to coerce and push people into a healthy lifestyle. If the American people want to be obese, well then that's too bad but that's their choice!
Government Makes $6.7 Billion From Banks Paying Back TARP: Time to Pay Back the Taxpayers or Let the Government Use the Money?
Gary B. Smith: The hubris of people like Barney Frank to think: a.) that they can originally spend the TARP money however they want and b.) when by the grace of God, some of it is actually paid back, spend it again how they see fit is just unbelievable! He (Frank) wants to give money to people who can't pay their mortgage. Well, you know what, if I'm sitting there and can't pay my mortgage and I get money, do I have more or less incentive to go out and get a job? Come on, this is just ridiculous and it's just big government all over again.
Eric Bolling: Here's the point: the money that's coming in is interest. It's not principle. We're still not getting paid back. It's like if I owed Toby $100 and I pay him $5 a week and he thinks he's paid back. He's not paid back yet. We're not paid back yet! Here's what they should do: with every dollar that's paid back, whether it's interest or repayment of the loan, it should go towards retiring the debt: un-print the money that they printed in the first place.
Pat Dorsey: In all seriousness, a lot of these programs are to help people who can't pay their mortgages right now. They honestly haven't worked very well. In the hierarchy of fiscal needs, I'd say this one doesn't rank very well right now and paying down some of our debt is probably a more rational use of these funds.
Tobin Smith: What they're missing here is that people pay their mortgages back when they put 20 percent down. We all know when you have a good down payment you're paying it back. For people who didn't do a down payment, guess what? They're not paying their mortgages back. We're seeing 60-70 percent of these loans go bad 6-9 months down the road. I mean, what's wrong with them failing, getting out of the house, and letting someone buy it who can actually afford it?
Sarah Flowers: I think this is a response to the frustration that was noted earlier that the programs that the banks are currently engaging with the people who are struggling with mortgages aren't working fast enough and there is a bigger problem. It's not simply that there are lots of people lining up who could buy these houses. We can't see the mortgage values of whole communities and whole neighborhoods go under. So we need to keep people who reasonably could take this short term loan and pay it back in the future, and give them a little bit of a break in staying in their homes. We bailed out the big banks that caused the problems and now we need to have some moral conscience to bail out average folks.
Gary B. Smith: I was never in favor of bailing out the big guys so I'm certainly not in that camp but thank goodness we have the efficient, effective United States government to the rescue again. I mean, they've done such a great job over the years fighting poverty and health care and stuff like that, and thankfully they'll be there to rescue us from ourselves again.
GM Out of Bankruptcy; Now Get the Government Out of GM?
Eric Bolling: Well, here is what GM has become: basically a welfare program that happens to build cars. Unfortunately this is what you end up with: a GM $50 billion, maybe $80 billion in the hole -- and they can't compete with Ford and they can't compete with Honda. The bottom line? It is the same old car company, the same old cars and the same old cars that people don't want to buy. By the way, the only ones benefiting from GM right now: the UAW and the CAW (Canadian Auto Workers' union).
Pat Dorsey: I actually think they do have a shot. I mean, they're not going to pay back the full $50 billion. They're just never going to be that profitable, so let's write that off right now. But we need to stop anchoring on the GM of 15-20 years ago. The company has shed a lot of debt, its labor costs and health care costs have come down considerably. The cars are actually pretty good; the Malibu beat the Camry at every test out there. The trick will be convincing American consumers that they've changed, that the cars are better and actually worth taking a look at. That is a wild card. Whether that happens, I don't know. But at least they've got a shot because the car structure is such that there is reliability; unlike two years ago when it was just a long path to oblivion.
Tobin Smith: Frankly, I'd rather build the jungle-gyms in peoples' backyards right now than to go this route because remember; the business model is still broken. When they were the most profitable and actually made billions of dollars in profits, 80-90 percent of those profits came from their finance division. The only problems they really made were their SUVs, etc. Now their business model, even with the costs cut out, they make a very slim margin on their cars, they're not selling SUVs and the big stuff, and oh by the way, they sold GMAC so they weren't going to go bankrupt, and they went bankrupt! What a fabulous company to invest in!
Gary B. Smith: Financially they have to be in much better shape. They got rid of all their losers, they kept the winners, they're leaner, but here's the problem: except for basically the board and some of the top guys, all the people under them are still there and what those people lacked, for better or for worse, was a vision! And even if they kind of get it, it's not like Toyota and Honda and Ford are just going to look the other way and wait for GM to regain market shares. So you've got the same kind of tired thinking and now they're way behind the curb regardless of the finances. I think they'll be going back into bankruptcy within the next few years.
Gary B. Smith: "Cheap" is still chic! "ROST " climbs 25 percent in 5 months
Tobin Smith: Black gold goes bust! "DUG " spikes 40 percent by fall
Pat Dorsey: My health care "solution": Buy "MCK "; up 50 percent in 2 years
Eric Bolling: Trap the harvest mouse! "WMT " Up 20 percent by winter
This past week, Charles Payne of WStreet.com, was in for Neil Cavuto. Charles was joined by: Ben Stein, Adam Lashinsky, Dagen McDowell, Ron Ianieri, Damon Vickers.
Who's Got It Right on Stimulus Part II?
Ben Stein, author "How to Ruin the USA": The first stimulus was a disaster: $787 billion and no one read the bill; only about 10 percent of it will go out the door in the first year. It was just a Democratic Party payoff bill - basically taxing everybody (including Republicans) to pay off democratic interest groups. This thing was a fraud. I was for the idea of stimulus and I still am for the idea of stimulus. I am not for the idea of just taking this huge lump of money and using it to pay off democratic special interest groups.
Damon Vickers, Nine Points Capital: I don't think it has morphed into a disaster. You've got an economy that needs money pumped into it. It's not all that much money. You've got $52 trillion in swap trades that are on the banks' balance sheets; we know they already got $2 trillion. Why not take care of some of Americans? These are the consumers. These are the people that actually activate the economy. And whether it gets to them in graft, or in every way, shape or form, at least in some way, even a guy that's ripping off the U.S. government is spending the money somewhere -- even if it's an ill-gotten Porsche.
Adam Lashinsky, Fortune Magazine: Let's have a realistic conversation here. For starters, the stimulus was a good idea when it started because it raised people's confidence levels and we badly needed that when the bill was passed. But Ben is right. He is speaking truth to power here. The way it's been implemented has not been good. We could have done a much better job. We still can do a much better job of implementing it. That's why we should hold off on doing a second one. And come on, saying that giving it to people that steal because they spend? That's craziness! That's not the way we want to run our government. We all know that!
Dagen McDowell, FOX Business News: If the money went out there quickly it would be effective. I am in Ben's camp; I was certainly initially for stimulus if it impacted the economy quickly, but the bulk of this will hit the economy next year. The law makers made their bed, we have to lie in it and they have to suck it up and hold their breaths and wait for it to kick in. You can't throw more money at the problem. And one thing that is really disturbing: you mentioned that Rasmussen report that 60 percent of Americans don't want a second stimulus, well 68 percent think that it's at least somewhat likely that we will still get one. So what does that say about the faith of the American people in our lawmakers that we don't want it but we're still going to get it? That's a bit despicable!
Ron Ianieri, ION Options: To be honest I think this is stimulus number three. Didn't the first one get passed as a stimulus and then all of a sudden get turned into a TARP? This is number three. The first one didn't work, the second one didn't work. You know what? This one, that they're saying is number two but is really number three, isn't going to work either. And the reason is it's not so much the amount of water in the pond, it's the fact that the pumps aren't pumping. You can sit there and turn the pumps off, and you will get algae in your pool. Throw more water in and all you get is a bigger pool with more algae in it. And that's what we're missing. You've got to get the pump pumping!
Democrats' Health Plan Calls for "Health Insurance Czar": Stealth Plan for National Health Care?
Ron Ianieri: In his campaign promises, President Obama said he was going to do something about health care. I don't think he's going to get the bill passed the way it is. I think that you're going to run into a little too much opposition, and I think he knows that it was probably a long shot to begin with. But what he's doing now is hedging his bet like any good trader would. He actually putting the czar in power so that way if the bill doesn't get passed the way he wants it, he's got another in. And this way he puts his signature on a changing of the health care of America. If he doesn't get that passed, then this is the alternative.
Adam Lashinsky: No I don't think this is some sort of backdoor plan to have nationalized health care in America. I don't like the idea of czars, I've said it a bunch of times, but if we're going to have a coordinated effort on something then it's not an outrageous idea to have one person report to the president on that.
Ben Stein: What does that mean, having a czar? Look, a czar is a bad, despotic, unresponsive, murderous person. A czar is not a good person. What is it with all of these czars? We have a congress, we have a president and we have the Supreme Court. There is nothing in the Constitution about czars. And, by the way, having a czar doesn't guarantee anything except one more layer of bureaucracy. We do not get things done by appointing more bureaucrats. We get things done by the ingenuity by the American people.
Dagen McDowell: Members of Congress would be behind this because they can pull the strings. They could be the puppet masters, in effect. You've seen the power that the white house had handed to congress in writing a lot of this legislation particularly, whether it's the stimulus package and now health care and cap and trade. But that's the troubling thing about any greater government intervention. You're talking about added bureaucracy, as Ben pointed out, if you look at what we already have, Medicare is broke, it's broken. The hospital fund is going to go bankrupt, out of money in 2017. So why do we think that more government with health care would be a good thing? Nobody seems to be able to answer that. They're not even focused on fixing health care in the first place.
Government Workers Take $700 K Trip to Luxury Resort: Hypocrisy Alert?
Ron Ianieri: I don't think we should really look into the amount of money that's spent here. I think it's a matter of the fact that right now we need leadership and we need leadership by example. We have the federal government telling people they've got to tighten their chin straps; they've got to tighten their belts. You're going to have to understand that we have got to bail out this bank with your money, you've got to tighten up; and here they go spending! And obviously, right in front of everybody's face! You can't sit there and try to get people to do what you want them to do unless you're willing to do it too. It's the terrible example of leadership from an administration that's supposedly the new leadership.
Adam Lashinsky: Almost all of this stuff is a sideshow. I'm not going to sit here and tell you that we should be sending these people to the Biltmore, a lovely resort. But, do I think it's a bad idea to have a seminar for the people who are running our social security system to train and educate themselves? No. Maybe they needed a resort this size. We're arguing about the wrong thing here.
Ben Stein: Look, this recession was not caused by business meetings. This recession was not caused by business travel. This recession was not caused by people getting together to share their experience, strength and hope. This recession was cause by wildly irresponsible banking and finance and government behavior. The idea of clamping down on meetings is just pure sadism, pure class warfare, pure envy, and pure stupidity. No understanding whatsoever. This economy was not caused by business meetings. It will not be cure by clamping down on business meetings. The whole thing is just ridiculous.
Dagen McDowell: Well that's actually stimulus. This is instant stimulus. The money that still hasn't gone in from the $800 billion stimulus package, that's money that went into one of the hardest hit economies in the country in Arizona if you want to look at it that way. But Ben, what you're saying is business meetings didn't' get us into this problem, but the bigger concern now is government spending, and I know this is a small drop in the bucket, but ultimately we want Uncle Sam to be responsible with our money and so maybe it's symbolic of that.
All-Star Stock Picks
Ben Stein: S&P SPDRs (SPY )
Ron Ianieri: Baker Hughes (BHI )
Adam Lashinsky: Oppenheimer International Growth (OIGYX )
Damon Vickers: Direxion Emerging Markets Bear (EDZ )
Forbes on FOX
On July 11, 2009 David Asman was joined by Rich Karlgaard, Neil Weinberg, Mike Ozanian, Quentin Hardy, Evelyn Rusli, Elizabeth MacDonald, Jack Gage, and Lacey Rose.
Flipside: Best Way to Stimulate Economy: More Welfare and Food Stamps!
DAVID ASMAN: Well, forget stimulus one and talk of stimulus two. You want to stimulate our economy? Dish out more food stamps and welfare!
NEIL WEINBERG: I'm not saying I agree or disagree with stimulus, but the point is to stimulate the economy you want to get the money out the door. These are spoon-ready programs. Ninety-seven percent of the money you send out in food stamps gets spent that month. In addition, we have over 30 million people who are relying on this and for every dollar you send out about 1.4 dollars gets spent, so you create jobs along the way. This is a stimulus.
MIKE OZANIAN: Everybody knows it's a failed policy. It does not stimulate the economy. All it accomplishes is it increases the government debt. We're taking money from one person and handing it to another person. It does not grow the economy.
QUENTIN HARDY: Ronald Reagan never produced his welfare queen. That's a myth. These people are poor and they are hungry and you feed them. That's what you do. "Does it stimulate the economy" is not the issue. Tax cuts to the rich didn't work. We have credit over hang, so small businesses couldn't get loans. We've got to work through those things. In the mean time you feed the poor.
RICH KARLGAARD: The Reagan Revolution produced a 25 year boom with an unemployment average of 4 or 5 percent over a period of time. Now it's 10 percent. We've got to stimulate with the right stuff.
EVELYN RUSLI: You have to look beyond the risk of dependency. When you have unemployment at 9 plus percent… that's a problem. The thing with food stamps it is a quick jolt on the economy, because not only does it feed people, but that money that goes towards food will help local businesses as well as big stores. In turn, it will encourage job growth.
ELIZABETH MACDONALD: At margins, you do have to protect the poor, but you have to ask the poor what they want. They say they don't want food stamps, they want jobs. And how do you create jobs? Richard is absolutely right. You talk about a multiplier effect! We don't need a corporate bail out. We need a corporate tax cut that would create more jobs for the poor. The multiplier effect with corporate tax cuts is $1 - $2, Neil says 1 to 4 for stimulus spending. Corporate tax cuts are way more effective and some say 1 to 3.
In Focus: President Obama and Pope Benedict Teaming Up Against Capitalism?
DAVID ASMAN: A president and a pope can make a powerful duo. Take Ronald Reagan and Pope John Paul II. The both knocked down the Berlin Wall and Soviet Communism by working together. Fast forward to today President Obama and Pope Benedict XVI meeting yesterday at the Vatican, both men working towards great social responsibility "for the common good." Rich Karlgaard said this duo could do to capitalism what Reagan and John Paul II did to Soviet communism.
RICH KARLGAARD: Ronald Reagan and John Paul II were the two most supportive figures of the second half of the twentieth century. They had a deep abiding belief in individual freedom and the morality that ensues from individual freedom. Pope Benedict and President Obama are going the other way. I'm not accusing them of trying to wreck capitalism, but clearly they are going the other way. They are making all the mistakes that Hayek warned us about in The Road to Serfdom.
JACK GAGE: The church has a long history of respecting market economies and respecting the ability of free markets to lift individuals out of poverty into prosperity. When I take a read at this Pope Benedict says exactly that. He says there is an opportunity for globalization, for free trade to stimulate the economy. He was using these terms. I think we rush to judgment to say he is aligning himself with Obama's ideology. It is misguided.
ELIZABETH MACDONALD: Mortal sins of capitalism have been around since Jesus tossed some money changers out of the temple, and, you know, Thomas Aquinas through Pope John Paul, they were all talking about a free market turning into a free-for-all and the guard rails coming off.
EVELYN RUSLI: Obama is not against capitalism. This is not a united front against capitalism. All the governments in the world, including the U.S., are looking at the situation and stepping back from years of excess and grief, and thinking about how we need more regulation to ensure this capitalistic system can work.
NEIL WEINBERG: I don't think this is going to hurt capitalism. We've had excess as Evelyn suggested. We've had a system for example where the wealthy who've had a lot of capital gains have had low tax rates compared to the working class… people have much higher tax rates on their working income. I think there are ways we can balance the system and make it a little fairer, so that our wealth is spent a little more evenly without wrecking capitalism.
QUENTIN HARDY: I'll tell you what. The pope is far more radical than Obama. In section seven, he talks about the good of the individual and the good of the community. That's like Obama. In 35 to 37, he talks about redistribution of wealth. In section 40, he talks about new business models that aren't necessarily obedient to shareholders. That isn't American capitalism at all. I think the pope looks out on a G-8 meet where they're not making good on their promises to help Africa, and he looks out on a financial collapse caused by the developed world that is hurting the developing world far worse and his blood is boiling.
Paris Jackson's Tearful Goodbye Saved M.J. Inc.?
DAVID ASMAN: Mike Jackson's 11-year-old daughter letting the world know she thought the world of her dad. She left tens of millions wiping away the tears, and someone here says she also just wiped away Michael Jackson's debt.
EVELYN RUSLI: Paris Jackson's speech gave the world access to a side of Michael Jackson few had access to, and that was as a loving father who cared for and protected his kids. That can only help his fortune in the future.
NEIL WEINBERG: I don't think so. You got to think about his family and how they were capitalizing on this, his father using his death to promote his record label. I think they will do additional bizarre things that will wipe away some of the good will we've seen right now.
QUENTIN HARDY: Look, there's an important difference here you're forgetting. He had glamour. And look, Princess Diana wasn't the best mom, let's face it. Elvis was not the best singer. And Michael Jackson wasn't the best dancer. But he has glamour, and it drove the world crazy. The world loves that and it focuses on that when they die just like Elvis and Princess Di and James Dean. They will focus on that part, and it will be a long career for this guy.
RICH KARLGAARD: Child molestation is possibly the worst thing that one human being can do to another short of murder. So for Quentin to compare that to Sarah Palin, what is she guilty of, or even Mark Sanford? I would not be a buyer of Jackson stock right now.
LACEY ROSE: In this case, I think it was an incredibly touching farewell, and it humanized him in many ways. But what's going to save the empire here is the music. He is sitting on some extremely valuable assets.
The Informer: Stock Picks
DAVID ASMAN: It was another rough week for stocks. The Dow tumbling last month after that 34 percent run up, so where is a safe place to park your cash?
MIKE OZANIAN: Bars of gold
NEIL WEINBERG: DIAGEO (DEO )
JACK GAGE: RAYTHEON (RTN )
Sarah Palin Calls Obama's Spending Immoral: Is She Right or Wrong?
John Bradshaw Layfield, www.layfieldenergy.com: Palin is dead on. Look, this is immoral, this is pathetic, this is reckless. These guys have proposed more spending in six months than this country has done in the last 220 years, and they're doing it not for the altruistic belief they think that's what's right for this country. If that's right, I have no problem with that. They're doing it because they know they have to get it passed. They're not even reading these bills. They're leveraging our future, and they're doing it because they want to get re-elected to midterms. That is pathetic.
Jonas Max Ferris, MaxFunds.com: It's not morality. Everyone has a different take on morality. It's bad economics to run a deficit, particularly in good times when you don't need to be. We will see if Obama does that. Right now he has the excuse of a recession. But morality -- I mean, there's more people probably who would think letting people get kicked out of their houses or unemployment going to 20 percent would be immoral as well, so it depends where you stand on this. Alaska has the highest per capita deficit in the country, I'm pretty sure, and that's a state where she could have done something about that. So is that immoral? I don't think it's immoral. It's bad economics. But just keep it economics and separate morality from economics.
Tracy Byrnes, FOX Business Network: Jonas is right. I think it's more irresponsible than immoral, because again, morality has many different definitions, but it is irresponsible. We are spending money, we're printing money, we're not thinking about it, we're just doing it. We're just getting it out there fast and furious. And to John's point, it's all to keep the momentum going and keep passing things.
Jonathan Hoenig, CapitalistPig Asset Management: Well, morality, there is objective morality. It does exist. There are things that are right and wrong. And in America, you're born free. I hope that's something that we can all agree on. You have a right to your own life. You're not born with this duty, this obligation to serve the public good. And this debt, this massive debt, basically it's enslaving our future generation. There's no right to enslave, and to put this debt on their shoulders and tell them, well, it's for your own good, is criminal.
Wayne Rogers, Wayne Rogers & Co: Well, I think it's funny that you use the word moral with the word politics. It's just politics is amoral to start with. I mean its objective. I agree with what Jonas is saying. There's no morality here. The fact of the matter, people are spending more money than they should not be. It's not the correct way to run the government. It has nothing to do with morality. And of all the people talking about morality, Sarah Palin is not one that should be doing it. You know, morality is -- Jonathan says yes, it's part of the Constitution, it's part of the Declaration of Independence; it's not part of the execution of the government on a day-to-day basis. These guys are just out of control.
Car Czars Driving Gas Guzzlers; Case of Hypocrisy?
Tracy Byrnes: If he's got all this money he should pick up the hybrid! Look, this is as simple as if you work at the GAP you have to wear GAP jeans. If you're going to promote something, you wear it and you go out there with posters on your forehead screaming, "I'm green! I'm in a hybrid!" Steve Rattner has a Lexus, an Audi, and a Mercedes. Brian Deese, the 31 year old wunderkind drives a Honda. Nobody is even driving these American Hybrids that we're supposed to be out there pimping around. So this is total hypocrisy and, quite frankly, just goes to show the whole auto task force is just one big joke.
Julia Piscitelli, Democratic strategist: When you look at the guy driving the Toyota, and Deese, the wunderkind, he has been driving that for 11 years. And over the last few years the Japanese automakers have actually surpassed GM. So maybe he's actually learning something and he is doing what he preaches which is that our major car retailers have gone under. The Americans now own them. The American government is now running them and some of these people are on government salaries so they're supposed to sell their cars and suddenly purchase brand new cars. So I think that they are practicing what they preach in that they are doing what they afford and maybe at some point they purchase one of those cars new.
Jonas Max Ferris: I mean first of all, you've got $100 million, what are you going to drive? One of them does drive a car that is fuel efficient because it's an old Honda which is better than upgrading to a battery powered Hybrid which has got its own issues. But at the end of the day, do we want people in front of the task force who think American cars are better? Because that would be a bad starting point to fixing the auto industry because, let's be honest, these cars are better to drive. That's why those companies are successful and the U.S. auto companies fail. And by the way, in every class, the foreign car is more "environmentally sound" than the equivalent luxury American car. That top line Lexus gets better mileage than the Cadillac.
Wayne Rogers: I think it's ridiculous. I don't care what they drive! This is so insane! You talk about hypocrisy in Washington like it's a surprise. I mean don't you expect, these are all crooks! These guys are going to do whatever they want to do. It doesn't matter. They're not with it. They don't represent the United States. They don't represent themselves! They don't represent us! We vote them in there and then they do whatever the hell they want to. I mean please!
Jonathan Hoenig: Well what I hate about the whole czar culture is that it encourages all this snooping, like "What's he driving? How much carbon is he emitting? Is he watering his lawn?" And it's exactly what happened of course with the first batch of czars. I think Wayne is right! Drive whatever the hell you want! People should drive whatever they want and pay for it and get rid of czars that oppose their view of the world.
John Layfield: I got a Chevy truck with a NASCAR motor in it that gets 4 miles a gallon but I'm not a car czar! Look, these guys got Mercedes, the fact that they can't afford a car is just flat wrong. All of congress is hypocritical like Wayne says. Barney Frank has never run a business, never run a PNL, a balance sheet, and he's head of finances. That is what is wrong systemically with the entire congress. This is no exception.
Massive Cyber Attack Targets White House, NYSE: Should We Spend More to Prevent Cyber Terror?
Wayne Rogers: Yes, I think we have to. Obviously there are hiccups in the system. Just before we went on the air, I talked to a spokesman from secure works who is responsible to a great extent for screening a lot of this. And one of the things they cannot do -- while they can get rid of a lot of the stuff that comes through, the jamming of a system is one of the more difficult things that they have to deal with. And when it's jammed, even though they may know the source, it's not a question of that, it's how do they get rid of that. It takes a period of time to do that and to deal with that, and hat's the biggest problem that they have.
Julia Piscitelli: Well, they've really done a lot. Congress in the Patriotic Act provided a lot more money for eight task forces around the country. I know that the N.S.AI and the F.B.I. are actually actively working on these and have been for years. So I really think should more money be needed when that time comes, yes. But right now, knowing I don't to want short change the great work being done in the government to specifically on this issue.
Jonathan Hoenig: Of course the government should be protecting our intellectual assets. The president talks at great lengths, oh, we don't make anything in this country. We do make a lot, and they're assets that are housed understand in warehouses, but on hard drives. And people's computers are property. So absolutely the government should be very much in the business of protecting our property.
Tracy Byrnes: Working on cyber-security should be one of the best things they could have done. Bin laden is not jumping through your computer. It's not anything like that. Stealing our information could be more detrimental in the end, and the fact that we're pretty much blowing it off, I think, just boggles my mind.
John Layfield: I think North Korea was apparently a very low-level attack. We've fended off several attacks, but one of the principal roles of the government is security for the nation. And great works to the government -- you've got to be kidding me. The government's role is security. What the government has to do, though, is keep the security strong, because that is very important to our economy.
Jonas Max Ferris: North Korea is a country criticism. It's a criminal enterprise. It's not like a regular country. We need to shift money, though, from submarines into this sort of stuff, not add more money to the homeland defense.
What I Need to Know for Next Week?
Tracy Byrnes: Hollywood's bucking the recession trend. People are still going to the movies. Cheap thrills still work, even though ticket prices are on the rise, people are paying for them. "Bruno" comes out this weekend. Sacha Baron Cohen in it. He's also naked on the cover of "G.Q." My 7-year-old daughter happened to find that at the bookstore the other day, so keep kids at home. Go to the movies.
John Bradshaw Layfield: This could the last show I ever do. I'm running with the bulls in Pamplona Spain Monday morning. A guy died Friday. I think I might need a little help. Xanex, some Nikes and common sense. I will be stressed out. Xanax will come in handy.
Pfeizer makes that drug. Buy Pfeizer.
Jonathan Hoenig: I'm looking a little bit on the other side of the world. I mean, I was shocked to find out there's actually pornography available on the internet. I know, it's amazing. Apparently it's very popular in Japan, because NTT Docomo is reporting that the demand in Japan is literally straining their servers. DCM is moving to its own mine these days. It's got a strong bid, and I own it in my file.
Jonas Max Ferris: Interest rates are not going to go up until the economy recovers, which is a ways off. So I say it is great for mortgage people, refinance in the next two weeks. I think under 5 percent on the 30-year, which is great. And as an investor, you go with BND, which is an ETF; a bond index.
Wayne Rogers: Well, you need to know that congress is debating this health bill, regardless behalf they do, it's going to be a disaster. But health stocks are good, and I think an ETF Is a good way to play it. PTH Is the one I like.