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.

Bulls & Bears | Cavuto on Business | Forbes on Fox | Cashin' In

Bulls & Bears

On Saturday April 10, Brenda Buttner was joined by Eric Bolling, Mike Papantonio, Tobin Smith, Gary B. Smith and Pat Dorsey.

New Push for National Sales Tax: "Toxic" Plan For Economy?

Eric Bolling, Fox Business Network: This would be an economy crusher. And yet another broken Obama campaign promise if they actually implement it. It would directly contradict President Obama's campaign promise that there would be no new taxes on anyone making under $250,000. A national sales tax would hit everyone and everything — book iPads, cars, etc. As a consumer, you're already heavily taxed, and now this. Enough!

Mike Papantonio, radio talk show host: The VAT tax is just another tool our government could potentially use to help solve our deficit problem. Countries all over the world use the VAT tax, and they've done so for decades. Unfortunately, there just aren't very many options out there for us to try and solve this deficit problem. It's critical for us to start looking for solutions to raise income for the government, and the VAT tax would be one viable way to do that.

Tobin Smith, NBT Media: A VAT tax really hurts poor people. As an example, look to when gas went up to $4.50 a gallon — it killed the economy. Now spread significant cost increases across every type of consumer product and this is going to badly hit a lot of families. A VAT tax could raise about $1.5 to $2 trillion. But where would it go? Maybe to pay down the debt, but it could just as easily go to support more spending. That money would never make it back to consumers who are the key to a robust economy.

Gary B. Smith, TheChartman.com: Just because countries in Europe impose a VAT tax doesn't mean we should do it here. VAT taxes account for a significant amount of government revenue in countries that have one. However, study and after study, from the Federal Reserve to the National Bureau of Economics, shows that higher taxes and higher government spending leads to lower economic growth and job creation.

Pat Dorsey: We tax consumption less and investment more than most developed economies. You certainly could shift this balance without increasing the overall tax burden. Paul Volcker suggested this VAT tax. He said it's something that should be looked at if we cut entitlement programs. If we did that, then there would be no need for a VAT tax. It'd be a much smarter way to go, and unfortunately nobody is really going to talk about that. No one on either side of the aisle is talking about making relatively small fixes to Social Security that would negate any need for additional taxes.

Buy Health Insurance or Lose Your Tax Refund; New D.C. Money Grab?

Eric Bolling: We're starting to find out all sorts of stuff since health care legislation was passed. Now we find out the IRS is going to be empowered with the ability to make sure we have health insurance. If you don't, they'll fine you $750 or two percent of your income. If you don't pay, they'll take it out of your tax refund. And who knows what'll happen if you don't actually get a tax refund. This is just another way for the heavy hand of the law to look over your shoulder.

Mike Papantonio: We are a nation of laws and regulations. It's what separates us from Banana Republics and anarchy. Health care reform requires people to have health insurance. And under this new law, there's no reason someone shouldn't have health insurance. If you don't have car insurance, you can't drive your car. This requirement insures slackers don't get away with not having insurance, and depending on people who do have it to foot the bill.

Gary B. Smith: We are a nation of laws, and we need to abide by the laws. The problem is this health care legislation might be the most despised law we've passed in recent memory. The effect is government going too far. Look at Massachusetts, where they're threatening insurance companies to lower their prices. These insurance companies are already nonprofits losing money, and the government is making this process even worse.

Pat Dorsey: We can argue all day long about whether there should be an insurance mandate or not. But now there is one. It's the law, and we have to deal with it. The question is who enforces or administers this mandate, and if the government feels the IRS is the best agency to do this. If you have a better agency in mind, I'm all for it, I just don't know who would be better suited for it.

Tobin Smith: The 47 percent of American households who aren't paying federal taxes are primarily the people who are benefiting from health care legislation. So how are you going to go after people's tax refunds who don't buy insurance when they don't pay any federal taxes? This whole idea falls apart, and there's just no practical way the government is going to be able to follow through with it.

Wal-Mart Cuts Prices On 10,000 Items; Will It Stimulate Economy?

Gary B. Smith: This is like 10,000 tax cuts for consumers. Leave it to a private company to get this right. Wal-Mart is one of the great wealth creators in history. Wal-Mart the company benefits, customers benefit, and the surrounding community benefits. Even the union employees at Wal-Mart benefit because Wal-Mart grows bigger and the bottom line takes in more revenue. It's a great lesson for the government to learn.

Mike Papantonio: Before we give Wal-Mart a Nobel prize, let's figure out what they're doing. They've lost the middle class market who doesn't want to shop at Wal-Mart anymore. The cuts are gimmicks. They're giving discounts on toasters, toys, not real things that affect a family's bottom line. These sales draw people into the store, but I bet when the smoke clears, this won't save people any money.

Tobin Smith: If you want more of something, you tax it less. Or in Wal-Mart's case, if you want more customers and profits, you lower prices and increase productivity. You negotiate harder. If the U.S. government understood this simple idea, we could raise more revenues and more voters would actually be happy with what their government was doing.

Pat Dorsey: Wal-Mart is a profit-maximizing entity and Washington is a vote-maximizing entity. Therein lies the story. Wal-Mart has increased productivity and GDP in this country more than any other company.

Eric Bolling: Wal-Mart is doing the right thing at the right time, and we can only hope some other retailers do the same thing, and maybe even the government eventually.

Predictions

Gary B. Smith: Forget Tiger, bet on Mickelson! "EYL" drives up 50 percent by 2011

Tobin Smith: Stevens' replacement bad for biz! "DIG" strikes 50 percent gains in six months

Pat Dorsey: Some utilities are cheap! "WR" sparks 20 percent gains in one year

Eric Bolling: Blondies make more money! "PG" highlights 30 percent gains in one year

Bulls & Bears | Cavuto on Business | Forbes on Fox | Cashin' In

Cavuto on Business

On Saturday April 10, Neil Cavuto was joined by Ben Stein, Dagen McDowell, Gary Kaltbaum, Adam Lashinsky and Dr. Cynara Coomer.

IRS Going After Job Creators; Job Killer for the Economy?

Ben Stein, author, "The Little Book of Bulletproof Investing": The deficit is out of control, and there's really no way around this except by cutting spending, which we're never ever going to do, unless the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan actually end. The only way out of this is to raise taxes on wealthy people. We obviously don’t want to kill job creation or hit the entrepreneurs or businesses. But we can't tax poor people or the middle class. It's quite a predicament.

Dagen McDowell, Fox Business Network: A household of four making $50,000 with kids under 17 pay no federal income tax in this country. And the percentage of household making this is bigger than it was two years ago. Washington is growing government as we speak under the assumption it'll raise taxes down the road to pay for spending today. There a lot of uncertainty as to where our economy or the tax code is headed. We don't know if the Bush tax cuts are going to expire, or taxes on investment income are going up. It's too tough to make finite decisions.

Gary Kaltbaum, GaryK.com: There's a lot of uncertainty out there. Business owners aren't sure what lies ahead in the future. It's tough for them to know who they can hire and for how much. Down the line, I think we can expect unemployment to drop. The biggest thing for businesses right now is getting money. Unfortunately, the government seems bent on going after businesses and the people actually hiring and creating jobs. This could create a cave-in with a very big impact. It won't happen tomorrow, but we could see the effects a year or two from now.

Adam Lashinsky, editor-at-large, Fortune Magazine: There's no argument that if you're facing higher taxes, it's tougher to get larger profits and grow your business. But I don't think businesses aren't aggressively investing due to the potential of higher taxes. They're not investing because they're concerned about not being able to get a return on their investments, pure and simple. If a business has the opportunity to grow and expand, they'll hire more people and make those investments.

UAW Suing Taxpayer-Owned Gm for $450 Million; New Union Bailout?

Dagen McDowell: This is disgraceful. The UAW was rescued by the American taxpayer. Union jobs were rescued by the American taxpayer, and this is how the UAW pays us back. Now we pay for a lawsuit being brought on by the UAW. These unions know they have enough politicians in their pocket to get away with this lawsuit and probably win it down the line.

Gary Kaltbaum: The unions and administration are very close together on this. The UAW got gifts in the health care bill and now they're reaching out to President Obama asking for help with this lawsuit. And the UAW is probably going to win this lawsuit. Unfortunately we have little say in the matter. The UAW will get its way, and again the American taxpayer is going to be paying for it.

Adam Lashinsky: I think we've seen politicians, such as the mayor of L.A. and Governor Paterson in New York start to do the right thing. Unions pose a profound budgetary problem for states and cities. They have to come to the table, and if not, they're going to be hauled to the table. To save these very states and cities, it has to be done. But ultimately, these unions are trying to enforce previously signed contracts and have the respective companies or municipalities meet the obligations they previously agreed to.

Ben Stein: What you've been given can be taken away. Unions still have tremendous political power. But a judge will ultimately decide on this lawsuit. I don't think the political rights and wrongs of this lawsuit are going to come into the decision. However, the government could say it'll settle the lawsuit outside of court. But it's bad that these public and private sector unions have this wildly disproportionate degree of power to yield. I'm a union member, and I love my unions, but their power scares me to death.

Is Health Care Law Making Doctors Drop Patients' Health Insurance?

Dr. Cynara Coomer, Fox News Medical Contributor: As a currently practicing doctor, I can say I'm taking insurance and will continue to until I start to see it making a significant impact on my practice. Not just from a lack of reimbursements or increasing costs, but also the quality of care my practice can provide as a result of it. This isn't just about reimbursements going down from insurance companies because we know they are. I'll have to deal with more paperwork to insurance companies to approve procedures. When insurers start to lose money from health care reform, they'll transfer those losses in two ways — by increasing premiums or saying they won't pay for certain procedures.

Ben Stein: From my personal experience with my doctors in Los Angeles, many of them don't take insurance patients anymore. You just pay the money upfront, but that's a scary precedent if it starts to take shape across the country with all patients. I think we'll see rich people continue to have access to good doctors, but more and more people will be closed-out from this level of care.

Adam Lashinsky: We can't look at Beverly Hills or Manhattan as how most doctors in this country are going to accept their compensation for medical services. The vast majority of doctors are, and will continue to take, insurance money. That's the only way they're going to get paid! And doctors obviously know this.

Dagen McDowell: I think we'll see a lot of good doctors scale back on the number of insured patients they accept. We're starting to see this in major metropolitan areas, so we shouldn't dismiss this trend with the new burdens brought on by health care reform. I think we'll see an even greater divide develop in quality of care. People who can afford good care will get it, and then everyone else gets mediocre care.

"Bulletproof" Stocks

Ben Stein: iShares MSCI Canada (EWC)

Gary Kaltbaum: 3M (MMM)

Adam Lashinsky: iShares TIPS Bond (TIP)

Bulls & Bears | Cavuto on Business | Forbes on Fox | Cashin' In

Forbes on Fox

On Saturday, April 10, 2010, David Asman was joined by Rich Karlgaard, Bill Baldwin, Neil Weinberg, Quentin Hardy, Victoria Barret, Elizabeth MacDonald, Kai Falkenberg and Dan Gerstein.

In Focus: Forty Seven Percent of U.S. Households Won't Pay Any Federal Income Tax This Year. Is This Proof That America Is Already Becoming a Nanny State?

David Asman: The nanny state is already here and the Forbes folks say the IRS has the proof. A new report shows nearly half of all American households don't pay a penny in federal income tax. In the meantime, more Americans are getting more government handouts than ever before, from health care to home bailouts. Less folks paying, more folks receiving. Hello nanny state! Hi everybody, I'm David Asman. Welcome to Forbes on Fox. Let's go In Focus with Rich Karlgaard, Elizabeth MacDonald, Neil Weinberg, Quentin Hardy and Victoria Barret.

Victoria Barret: We are living in a nanny state already! You have half of the American tax filers paying for the other half. Forty percent of tax filers actually get a check back in the mail from the government, so it's a net positive for them. Filing taxes is a profitable event. Meanwhile the other half continues to pay. You've also got efforts underway by this administration in college loans and foreclosures that prolong bad behavior. That's not a good nanny. A good nanny knows that the children have to grow up to be independent.

Quentin Hardy: We need to do some basic math in how government works because those checks they get back are usually from the payroll taxes they pay. And there are all sorts of other government taxes. This is just about what share comes from income taxes. If you want to go back, repeal all of the Bush and other tax cuts and more people will pay income tax.

Elizabeth MacDonald: What we're talking about is no taxation with representation — people who get to use federal government services like the highway system and security by our armed services. This is a pre-existing condition of the U.S. government to make itself even bigger and to have a very complicated tax code under which congressmen can meat out tax breaks to favored interests that even the regular taxpayer doesn't get. Even Einstein said the tax code was complicated, H&R Block couldn't properly prepare its corporate tax return, and Congress itself had its own IRS office on Capitol Hill for years to help it with its own tax code.

Neil Weinberg: 'This isn't a nanny state, David, this is a deadbeat state. We're all living beyond our means. We're running a deficit that's 10 percent of our gross domestic product. But if you look over the last 20 or 30 years, the rich have gotten richer and the poor have gotten poorer. So what we’re having now is a swing towards equality. The income tax is progressive but other taxes like the tax on consumer goods such as gasoline are regressive. In other words, the poor people pay more, so it's unfair to say this is a nanny state just based on taxes.

Rich Karlgaard: I will credit the liberals with good intentions, but you have to look at the long term consequences. I was recently in New Zealand which has very generous welfare programs and suddenly New Zealand is shocked to find that it's falling way behind Australia in growth, that they have horrible runaway youth unemployment, and they lead the Western world in youth suicide. So these things really are ruinous to a culture over time.

Flipside: The Department of Labor's New Campaign Encouraging Low-Wage and Illegal Immigrant Workers to Rat Out Their Employers Who Violate Wage and Hour Laws Is Good for Job Creation in America!

David Asman: A new government plan will reportedly protect illegal workers and their wages. The Labor Department now encouraging low-wage employees, legal and illegal, to rat out their bosses over pay disputes. Quentin's Flipside says this is good for the job market!

Quentin Hardy: How could this not be good? Honest businesses already follow these laws. Making dishonest businesses follow the laws that honest businesses follow levels the playing field, which is good for the economy. Oh my gosh, you broke the rules and you have to actually answer for it? Cry me a river. And by the way, if an illegal turns in his employer, he's identifying himself and showing up on the grid. He's probably going to get caught.

Rich Karlgaard: This feels to me like another instance of the Obama administration drawing a bulls-eye around small business. Small business didn't support him and the Chicago-style politics of Obama and his administration is to reward their friends and punish their enemies, and this seems to me like yet another instance of going after your enemies and making life worse for them.

Dan Gerstein: Both political parties are courting small business. The last thing Obama can afford to do is lose small businesses. This is not targeted at small businesses. This is targeted at larger employers and the bottom line is, if you're playing by the rules, you're going to benefit from the campaign because it's going to level the playing field.

Bill Baldwin: We can't stop illegals at the border with barbed wire and canines so we have a new enforcement mechanism — rats in the workplace! Our immigration policy is totally messed up. First of all, we should be much more welcoming to foreign workers and bring more into this country. Secondly, once we've decided who is and who is not allowed in, we should enforce it with something that works: an electronic ID card that you need to work, bank, or travel.

Elizabeth MacDonald: I feel like our reality check has bounced here. I agree that we have to catch and stop the bad guys because we have to stop the practice of illegals being hired in this country and hurt on the job. They end up in the emergency rooms because they get their hands cut off in meatpacking districts, the hotel workers get their pay docked, waitresses are forced to work through overtime. It's got to stop. And maybe this will stop the need for that fence at the border. The Labor Department only has around 750 to 940 investigators. Big deal. There are thousands if not millions of cases across the country where there is abuse. Abuse has been steadily growing and the Labor Department has not been able to handle the case load because the number of investigators was cut during the Bush administration.

Victoria Barret: I think this is bad for the job market. I had a conversation this week with the CEO of a company that manages payroll and employment legal issues for lots of other small businesses and he said, you don't want a hostile environment and this will create that. When a small company says they are going to have to do layoffs, the number of people who come and claim they have carpal-tunnel syndrome skyrockets. You'll see a similar situation where a number of people from small businesses will come forward and claim that they weren't paid for this weekend, that Wednesday night, etc. Granted these may be real issues that need to be addressed, but it creates a tough environment for small business owners and you don't want to do that right now.

Debate: D.C. Is Implementing Merit-Based Pay For Teachers. Should the Rest of the Country Follow Suit?

David Asman: Paying teachers more when their students achieve more. Washington D.C. is starting to do exactly that. Now some are pushing for all public school teachers to get a performance bonus. But Neil says, this is a dumb idea.

Neil Weinberg: If we are going to use merit-pay, we should use demerit-pay instead. Already teachers are earning 40 percent more in wages and benefits than the private sector. Look at a place like Houston where you had Ron Page who ended up being the Education Secretary. They were cheating! That's how you get good grades.

Kai Falkenberg: This is a no-brainer. The only question is how to implement it. What Neil is talking about is cheating only if the evaluation is based on test scores. That's not how they should do it. The ones who have done it effectively have based it on a whole range of factors including evaluations by the students, the peers, the principals. That's the way to do it.

Bill Baldwin: I think this is brainless. If you pay teachers to get the scores up they'll get the scores up. They'll have the weak students stay home on test days. They'll go into the answer sheets, erase the wrong answers and put the right answers in. It's going to cause cheating by teachers on a very large scale, which is already happening. And finally — and this is the worst thing — this will cause teachers and schools to go out of their way to push away, not accept, and not have to deal with students who need their help the most.

Dan Gerstein: It's amazing that conservatives are now coming out against performance pay. It's the most cynical, short-sighted notion that has been killing public education for years which is, there may be the potential for abuse so let's not do it. This is a critical breakthrough in D.C. that has national implications and could really start turning around our public education system.

Quentin Hardy: I'm way for this. Neil says teaching is so cushy. Do you know anyone who was drawn to teaching because it was so cushy? It's a tough job. This is a culture that doesn't value education, and it should. And if we put the kind of incentives in that we put on Wall Street, maybe people will be drawn to it a little bit more.

Informer: Companies Adding New Jobs and Money to Your Portfolio

David Asman: We are back, with the companies hiring workers that our Informers say will give you a nice pay day if you buy the stock right now.

Stock Picks:

Neil Weinberg: General Electric (GE)

Bill Baldwin: Panera Bread (PNRA)

Victoria Barret: Google (GOOG)

Bulls & Bears | Cavuto on Business | Forbes on Fox | Cashin' In

Cashin' In

Tax Day Is This Week. Should We Celebrate It Because a New Climate Change Tax Is Going to Hit Americans Hard Next Year?

John Layfield, NutritionMarket.com:You better believe it. Taxes are going to rise on everything. Yes celebrate this year. Look out for a cap-and-trade tax. This is a disaster, no environmental scientist that is independent wants this-they want a straight carbon tax. This is a creation of a massive infrastructure that will make sub-prime look like a picnic.

Ethan Pollack, Economic Policy Institute: No. First off, we had a cap-and-trade for sulfur dioxide, remember the acid rain thing in the '90s? It worked amazingly and there is — so it was fewer cost than we thought there would be. Furthermore, we have a pollution problem. Because we're addicted to fossil fuels we have national security problems. We need to put a price on carbon. This is a way to do it.

Gerri Willis, Fox Business Network: Can I tell you, we have so many taxes going on now and it comes out of Americans’ pockets and everybody is feeling it. Haven't we done enough damage already? The average debt per American taxpayer in this country is $123,336 — and that's without health care reform or any of the myriad new programs coming out.

Jonas Max Ferris, MAXfunds.com: I am trying to understand how this plays out. I don't see how the income tax return will fill any of the climate legislation. Anything that is climate-related will lower consumption and will do it through the higher prices. Taxes at some level will filter down to you but not on the income tax. I say the 2009 return going to be the best return you will see for 20 years. Because it's a very low tax regime. Spending comes first. Taxes come later. Don't blame the climate thing on the income tax.

Jonathan Hoenig; Capitalistpig.com: It's a tax. There is no doubt about it. That is the green's goal. The goal is make energy more expensive to use. That is the goal to make it harder to use the euro. The problem is we need to use the euro to be productive, to progress, to live our lives. Everything the greens do is designed to make that process more expensive and more difficult. That's why energy prices will go up and ultimately why taxes will go up as well.

Wayne Rogers, Wayne Rogers & Company: Yeah, but trying to pay for it, they don't know what they're doing in the first place. Nobody knows what this is about climate change, about pollution, about energy savings. They don't know what it is yet. They haven't defined it. It will be just like this. Congress is incapable of doing it. Too complex. Too complex. Listen, if you turn out 2,700 pages for a health care bill, imagine what this will be like. It's going to be total disaster. The Congressional Budget Office you mentioned earlier they have no idea what it will cost because they don't know what is in the bill. Nobody knows it yet. This is the same thing, they don't read it.

Unions Say They're Angry About the Economy: Should They Be the Last Ones Angry Because They Get "Sweetheart Deals"?

Gerri Willis: It's clear there is a special place in the president's heart for unions — why else would we have spent so much money bailing out Detroit? Look they got a deal with the Cadillac health care plans. They were able to push it off until years down the road. That will buy them so they can fight it and have it changed. Also remember the president signed an executive order that gave union contractors special perks.

Ethan Pollack: The President of the AFL-CIO, Trumka, is not just speaking for union members — many of which are cops, teachers, nurses and other public servants — rather, he's speaking for all American workers. Hourly real wages and incomes have stagnated for the past decade for most Americans. I do think that the financial bailout averted an even larger catastrophe for Main St., so in that sense I disagree with him, but I agree that more must be done to create jobs. Also, I should note that the health care bill's Cadillac tax does NOT include an exception for unions — that was stripped out by the reconciliation bill. That's not a difference of opinion, that's just a fact.

John Layfield: Unions are being taken care of, I don't understand their beef. They got a sweetheart deal with GM that broke the law and they get a free ride with health care. President Obama wants to make the unions more powerful-they have their best friend in charge, they should be happy.

Wayne Rogers: Yes, unions have received all kinds of allowances by lawmakers. Why? Because they have political power by virtue of their numbers. The teachers unions have pushed through legislation that gives them tenure and makes them impossible to be responsible to school boards. The SEIU has influenced elections, is housed in the same buildings as ACORN, is influential in controlling lawmakers. At the same time why can they not be as angry as everyone else at the bailouts? I am all for anybody and everybody who thinks the Congress has been paid to take care of Wall Street instead on Main Street. Once again the Congress does not get it.

Jonathan Hoenig: The fact is that the President has enacted a lot of explicitly pro-union positions, including the GM bailout, which is still zillions in the red. "Cash for clunkers" was a gift to the unions. A lot has been done specifically for the unions. People have every right to unionize — but no right to special privileges from government. This is the inherent immorality of government intervention and bailouts. You put government — not the free market, free people — in the position of deciding who is worthy of saving and who is not. So who is more important to "society"? The banks or the automakers or the insurance companies or distressed homeowners? Instead of a government that treats people as individuals, they now pick winners and losers based on political gain. Unions seem to fashion themselves as "working people" deserving of special privileges from government —- why? Don't non-union people "work" too?

Billions Tucked Away in the New Health Care Bill for Jungle Gyms and Parks. Will This Drive Down Health Care Costs?

Jonathan Hoenig: No, it will not drive down health care costs. Everything about this outrageous. Putting up a jungle gym isn't going to do a thing. It's just a waste of money. Whatever happened to land of the FREE , home of the BRAVE? Where's my RIGHT to live an unhealthy life? And why is that anybody else's OBLIGATION to pay for it? The very notion that Congress's role is to "encourage" health behavior is a joke. These are the same idiots who recommended the "food pyramid" with 13 servings of carbs every day a few years back! What do THEY know about health? Their role is to protect the Constitution, not to tell me how many sit ups to do. But of course, as soon as you make healthcare a "right"— you give government, the provider, ever right to tell you how to live your life.

Ethan Pollack: Of course it's a good idea for a health bill to address the problem that Americans are overweight, drive everywhere and don't get outside enough. And why are we like that? In part because the government subsidizes car travel, which ensures that you can drive three blocks to pick up your mid-day glazed donut. We certainly need to tilt government action away from focusing exclusively on cars and towards a more comprehensive view of transportation. It's also about choice: right now in most communities you can't get anywhere but by car. That restricts modal choice. We need a balanced infrastructure that gives Americans a choice of which mode of travel they'd like to take. Let's also remember that many elderly and disabled people can't drive, so the current built landscape is really unfair to them. If we really believe in freedom — and the most inherent freedom is freedom of movement — then we should view a multi-modal transportation plan as integral to our freedom as Americans.

Wayne Rogers: Yeah, of course, why not? Why not spend zillions on everything that is meaningless that Congress can justify as "health care". I am surprised at how little they are trying to steal in this bill. I mean it is only 2,700 pages long and I am sure they have all read it before voting on it! Give me a break!! This is just the beginning. The new bill will allow the feds to invade all kinds of areas under the guise that it will be "good for your health", like the food debate. It is another way for the Congress to extend legislation to regulate something else in our lives.

Jonas Max Ferris: I'm for park pork. Bicycle path, and sidewalk spending too. It's expensive but can help our economy and overall quality of life. Throw in scooter parking and you got my vote. The health care bill needed more anti-fat features. They should pay for the parks with extra fees on unhealthy insurance participants.

Gerri Willis: $5 billion for playgrounds. Where are our priorities? Job number one should be jobs — 9.7 percent unemployment can't be sustained!

What Do I Need To Know?

Jonathan Hoenig: I've been a bull on Japan for a long time... and it's really starting to pay off. At the end of the first quarter, Japan was up more than any other developed country, with a three month return of nearly seven percent. Consider Mitsui & Co. (NASDAQ: MITSY) — a major Japanese trading company Yes, I own.

John Layfield: Tiger's new commercial: Great idea, poor execution though. Thought it stunk. NIKE is a great company. Great idea for the commercial, just poor execution. Regardless, "just do it" and buy NIKE (NKE)

Jonas Max Ferris: Tax law changes are good for tax software makers; the government keeps making us need software upgrades. Buy Intuit (INTU)

Wayne Rogers: The real estate market and the REITS are coming back. Buy CLP. I own it.