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Bulls & Bears

This week Brenda Buttner was joined by Gary B. Smith, Tobin Smith, Pat Dorsey, Eric Bolling and Mark Levine.

President Makes New Green Energy Push

Eric Bolling, Fox Business Network: We should worry about the effects energy legislation will have on the job market. President Obama is bringing a supposed non-partisan group together next week to talk about the future of energy. But the problem is that everyone he's bringing together is at least open to an idea of putting a cap on carbon emissions. It's a tax that will hit every American out there. Higher energy costs along with higher prices in consumer products. And it will be a major imposition on companies across all sectors of the economy.

Mark Levine, Radio talk show host: I'm not worried about the effects an energy bill would have on the job market. There are vast new energy sources waiting to be developed and expanded. From geothermal, wind, solar, nuclear, etc. There are a vast amount of new potential jobs that will come as a result of this. Economies evolve, and working toward a cleaner, more efficient economy will be good for everyone. It's time to leave fossil fuels behind us.

Gary B. Smith, TheChartman.com: America has created great industry after great industry throughout its history. Look at auto industry for example—and that wasn't created by government fiat. The problem with green jobs is that the only way green energy gets money right now is throughout government subsidies and loans. The private sector doesn't see it as viable. Even worse, the Congressional Budget Office said an energy bill would cost us about $300 billion and about two million jobs per year. Gasoline prices would rise about 58 percent. Electric utility bills would go up about 90 percent. This stuff just isn't going to work, and it would be a brutal hit to our economy.

Tobin Smith, NBT Media: The main issue here is jobs. Any energy bill would hit consumers, which means less spending, which means fewer jobs. There's just no way to get around it. You can't fudge these numbers unless you borrow money to make it happen, which is what Congress wants to do. But, it's important to note private enterprise and venture capital are working hard to start and make this transition. But the idea that the government can just magically wave a wand and create a viable, profitable green energy sector is the height of insanity.

Pat Dorsey, Morningstar.com: If we got a cap-and-trade plan that priced carbon around $30 a share, a price that would induce a change in consumer behavior and change business' carbon producing habits, you'd see a negative effect on jobs. But the likelihood of that happening is like me playing in the World Cup. We'll probably see a watered-down bill that might affect utilities, or might not. In the end, I think we'll see a bill that has very little effect on the economy or carbon emissions.

Unions Using 'Scare' Ads to Fight Layoffs, Budget Cuts

Gary B. Smith: It's time for these union groups to stop the scare tactics. They just love to talk about how teachers, police officers, firefighters, etc. are all going to go away if they don't get more money from taxpayers. The public sector is basically at full employment, while the private sector has seen skyrocketing layoffs. Let's say, God forbid, states had to lay-off 100,000 teachers. That would raise the national student to teacher ration from 15.3 to 15.6. The firefighter union in L.A. is scaring people about all the layoffs they might have to incur. There are 1,100 firefighters in L.A. You know how many may be laid off? Eighty-seven. It's all fear tactics.

Mark Levine: I don't think any of us would deny that police officers, firefighters or teachers are useful. So I really don't understand why they should suffer because Wall Street was irresponsibly gambling. These unions have a right to free speech at the end of the day. And the idea that they should suffer, that our teachers, police officers, etc. get laid-off due to Wall Street's mistakes and behavior is ridiculous. Try asking a taxpayer how much they like it when it takes forever for police to respond to a crime committed against them.

Eric Bolling: None of us should be surprised that unions have priced themselves out of the job market. Over the years, they kept asking for higher and higher wages, and more and more benefits. And they were wages and benefits that began to far outweigh those in the private sector. Unions simply made it too expensive to keep many of their workers employed. So municipalities or companies have a choice—go broke or cut union pay and benefits. Clearly unions don't want that, so they put out these ads trying to scare the heck out of taxpayers demanding union cuts, which will effectively bankrupt the municipalities.

Tobin Smith: You want a fear tactic? We're going to have mass bankruptcies at the county and city level across this country in the near future. And this wasn't because Wall Street's forced these cities, counties, and states to borrow massive sums of money and promise exorbitant pensions and benefits that were totally unsustainable over the long term. Unions and municipalities negotiate these contracts, and they're going to implode. If you look at the raw numbers, many municipalities will have to cut 50 percent to 70 percent of service workers to make the budgets work.

Pat Dorsey: This is a mess of municipalities' own making. This has nothing to do with Wall Street. If you had been a canny municipality, you could tell firefighters, teachers, etc. that they can keep every person employed, but all new hires get lower benefits, wages, etc. because that's where the problem lies. But unfortunately that's not even the case with many of them.

Lawmaker Pushes Drug Tests for People on Unemployment and Welfare

Tobin Smith: This is a great way to get people off the public dole. If you're going to get a job, many private companies already drug test. The U.S. government does drug tests for new hires. We have to get rid of this idea that unemployment is some sort of a vacation program. When people go out and have to start looking for jobs, they get jobs.

Mark Levine: I'm okay with drug testing provided BP executives get drug tested too, given how irresponsibly they've behaved. The question is, what happens when people don't get unemployment checks? People have to take drastic action. We can't forget, jail and drug treatment programs are far more expensive than an unemployment check.

Eric Bolling: This is common sense. Why should we pay people to not look for a job and do drugs? Drug testing unemployment check recipients is a great idea. If they come up positive for drugs, then they get their benefits pulled. People should not receive money courtesy of taxpayers when they're involved in illegal behavior.

Gary B. Smith: I'm sure some people are abusing the unemployment benefits they receive. I'm no fan of unemployment benefits, but I'm sure people are generally using that money for other things, like food, or cable TV, etc. But the last thing we want is the government intruding on and inspecting the personal lives of its citizens. Once you get to the point where you start drug testing, you pave the way for government to force people not to do other unhealthy things like drinking to excess, smoking, etc. It's a very slippery slope.

Predictions

Gary B. Smith: Report: DOJ suit against Arizona is near; "LOW" builds 30 percent by 2011

Tobin Smith: No "squirreling" around! "ROL" traps 30 percent gains in one year

Pat Dorsey: Charge this! "COF" charges up 50 percent in 2 years

Eric Bolling: Catch Eric's new show "Money Rocks" on Fox Business Network at 8 p.m. ET!

Cavuto on Business

This week Neil Cavuto was joined by Ben Stein, Charles Payne, Adam Lashinsky and Leigh Gallagher.

Latest White House Move on BP Sparks 'Power-Grab' Debate

Ben Stein, Author of "Little Book of Bulletproof Investing": I believe that the president is going overboard. He does not have the constitutional authority to make laws. Under the constitution, the president has certain enumerated powers; he does not have the unlimited power to do anything that he wants. He is there to enforce the laws made by Congress and Congress has made no law allowing him to shakedown oil companies or take money from BP for an accident. All presidents do "jawboning", However, to take specific legal enactments without authority is the act of a big city boss and it is very, very bad stuff. I know firsthand that many business groups don't think Washington recognizes any limit whatsoever on their power. They don't know what kind of a mandate is going to hit them next. What was just done with BP is an example that would scare any business with no legal precedent or legal authority. They extort $20 billion. What is next? What is next?

Charles Payne, WStreet.com: We have seen presidents do this before, using an emergency to gain unconstitutional power. The playbook is clear and it's used over and over. It was used with Wall Street and the financial crisis. I have to tell you, I think the White House has a serious issue with business in general. Not just big businesses per se but just the notion of it. That's why they don't care; in fact maybe they want the shareholders to get hurt. They don't care if the independent owners of the BP gas stations are put out of business, because you shouldn't be this involved in business. You shouldn't want the idea of individualism or ownership. The administration doesn't want that kind of society. Businesses across the board are intimidated and businesses across the board are afraid. They're trembling. That's why they're not hiring people.

Leigh Gallagher, Fortune Magazine: I'm sure some people disagrees with this, but BP agreed to establish this escrow fund on its own accord. This is jawboning and every president is allowed to jawbone. This is a national emergency. This is a disaster, and this isn't price-fixing. Other presidents have done it before—Harry Truman seized whole industries. Remember a couple years ago Hank Paulson asked AIG's CEO to resign. I think these things are analogous. I think the administration is carrying a big stick. President Obama still has the right to award lots of drilling licenses in the future.

Adam Lashinsky, Fox Business Contributor: The question is: what has the President done? President Obama suggested, he strongly suggested BP establish this escrow fund. I love the constitution as much as anybody. In the case of General Motors, the President was authorized to take the measures he did because he was authorized by Congress. By means of the Treasury Department, the administration could make that investment in General Motors. In fact, a President can drag people through the mud. You and I can criticize him for it and say that's not behavior of a politician that we want, and then we can vote them out of office.

President Obama to G20: Cutting Stimulus Could Hurt Economic Recovery

Charles Payne: This is crazy. The President is essentially telling countries with quasi-socialist economies that socialism works. But these countries are running out of a building on fire and he is running into it like "where are you guys going?" It's not just Romania, it's Hungary, Panama, and Belgium. I'm surprised this isn't getting more media attention. In Belgium, you have part of the country that is working and the other part that is getting welfare. People are so fed up they're saying they would rather have their own country. The Belgian separatists won in this election, and they want their own nation because the current one doesn't work. Something like this is going to happen in the U.S. at some point. People who work and keep getting taxed to death are not going to watch their hard-earned money go to pay for big unions, lavish pensions and things like that.

Adam Lashinsky: Europe is far further along in its debt crisis than we are. Part of this is because Europe and other countries in trouble don't have a currency that's the world's reserve currency, i.e. the dollar. The U.S. has and is making its fair share of mistakes, but people continue to want our currency. President Obama said it could be a mistake if other nations too abruptly end their stimulus programs. The president is not saying keep spending recklessly. He is saying think about how you slow down the stimulus spending and when you decide to do it. Sucking this money out of the financial system too soon could have damaging effects for the global economy.

Ben Stein: I question whether President Obama has the requisite credentials to be advising anybody about the economy. But unfortunately, I think he may be right here. The recovery in Europe is extremely anemic, if it's recovery at all. Withdrawing stimulus and shocking the European economy could have very damaging effects that could even reach the U.S. We are the only country in the world that can keep printing money and have it be the world's reserve currency. None of the other countries in the world can do that, so we have endless stock of money to play with. We're in a very different situation from Europe. You can question the president involving himself with European financial decisions, but the advice isn't that bad.

Leigh Gallagher: What got Europe into trouble was not socialism. It was loading up on toxic debt—which is exactly what got us into trouble. Obama's point is that every developed economy enacted stimulus programs to counteract the global recession. There are many opinions about whether the spending worked, but we are coming out of the recession. I'm talking about the fundamentals of the economic recovery. We are not staring at the abyss anymore. Look at the GDP numbers, recovering growth; we're in much better straights. But pulling the stimulus rug out from under us too early could have very negative consequences.

DOJ Argues in Court Health Care Mandate Is a Tax

Charles Payne: The administration declaring the health care reform mandate is a tax will be a campaign tax pledge broken. Unfortunately, I think the White House thinks voters are stupid and have short-term memories. And they're hoping nobody notices that health care reform looks increasingly like it'll cost trillions more than advertised. Almost every single new government program ends up having complications and almost always costing more than projected. But, certainly, health care reform should in part be considered a tax increase. A lot of people knew it from there. He was even trying to get George to go along with it. But the fact is, it was a great question then and now we really know the answer.

Leigh Gallagher: Well, this is a legal gobbledygook. The reason the Department of Justice is trying to avoid legal claims against the plan is because there is a law that says you can't get in the way of collecting taxes. So, this is a definition of convenience. But you're exempt from the mandate if purchasing health insurance costs more than 8 percent of your income. There are no penalties like there are with the IRS and income taxes. So, it's not really a tax, you could not pay any penalties for years and years.

Ben Stein: The lawsuit against the federal government says that under the constitution, you are not allowed under to mandate that people buy something. That has never been allowed under the constitution of the United States. The government of course is ignoring the constitution, and wants to claim it's a mandate, and some version of a tax so they can't get it struck down in state courts. But the administration promised over and over that there would not be new taxes on anyone besides the rich. They just lied their heads off.

Adam Lashinsky: My understanding is this is a penalty—you buy it or you'll be penalized. For purposes of the court case, it's being described as a tax. I don't think it's dishonest to say one thing in a group of lawyers and another thing when you try to communicate to somebody in the electorate. We all understand a tax is when I make money, and I have to give a certain portion of it to the government or when I buy something at the store. That's a tax.

Stocks for $10

Charles Payne: MetroPCS (PCS)

Adam Lashinsky: Huntsman (HUN)

Ben Stein: Cohen & Steers Realty (RQI)

Forbes on Fox

On Saturday, June 19, 2010, David Asman was joined by Steve Forbes, Rich Karlgaard, Neil Weinberg, Stephane Fitch, Mike Ozanian, Quentin Hardy, Elizabeth MacDonald, and Dan Gerstein.

In Focus: Gulf Leaders Say Offshore Drilling Ban Boosts Foreign Oil Dependency. Are They Right?

David Asman: President Obama refusing Gulf leaders' requests to end his offshore drilling ban as he pushes his "green" agenda. The president says his green plans will end America's dependence on foreign oil. But some at Forbes fear the president's drilling moratorium is making us more dependent on foreign oil. Are they right? Steve – what do you say?

Steve Forbes: More dependent. One, it reduces our production and two, it will drive assets down and send workers to countries like Brazil and Africa and elsewhere. It devastates the region, and eight experts with the Environmental Protection Agency said it was all right to continue drilling, one of whom was the head of the EPA. The Czar, Carol Browner, ignored and misrepresented that in a public report.

Stephane Fitch: We are definitely addicted to foreign oil, but this moratorium is nothing. You have to know the numbers. We consume the 21 million barrels a day in this country. Only five come from the US. Only one comes from offshore oil. This moratorium only stops about 33 rigs. It's a drop in the bucket. You want to get us off the foreign oil? There are a lot more important matters at stake than a six-month moratorium.

Mike Ozanian: The fact of the matter is look, we make up the one-third of the world's GDP, yet we use a quarter of the world's oil. So somehow there's is a dependence on foreign oil and it's a problem? I don't get it. We get electronics and autos from Asia, Japan, and Taiwan. Why are we so concerned? Steve hit the nail on the head. It's about job creation, where the jobs are going to go. We'll lose jobs, that's what this moratorium will do.

Neil Weinberg: Of course it will make us a little bit more dependent, but if we really want to wean ourselves from the foreign oil and oil in general, there are a lot of alternatives. I'm not talking about all the touchy-feely things like solar panels and things like that. I am talking about some pretty down-to-earth things. We could have natural gas cars. We could even put in a carbon tax and make sure that it's revenue neutral. If you put in a carbon tax, you have to cut the income taxes, but it would reduce our dependence on oil.

Elizabeth MacDonald: I think according to the numbers 8 to 10 percent of the U.S. energy consumption is based on the supplies in the Gulf of Mexico. But the idea that we could be energy independent has always been proven false since Nixon declared that idea after the Arab oil embargo in 1973. He wanted to equate it to putting a man on the moon. It's really more about the energy security. We have to think about the supplies that we are talking about. Our biggest suppliers are Canada, Mexico, and Venezuela. A fifth comes from the Middle East. That's what we have to be concerned about when it comes to our dependence on foreign oil.

Quentin Hardy: I'll be more dependent on food from Safeway if my tomato plant dies. That's kind of your argument here. We don't get enough oil from our domestic sources. We never will. Live with it. We want to consume oil. We consume foreign oil. That's okay. The real problem to me is this is America's biggest environmental disaster ever! Let's take BP at their word. Maybe it was Halliburton, maybe it was Transocean, maybe it was BP. If we get those other players involved, and they were having these practices elsewhere, I'd want to know about it and know those rigs are safe. This is a good move.

BP Creating $20 Billion Fund as Oil Spill Claims Grow; Who Will Benefit the Most?

Asman: It's the one group benefiting the most from the oil spill and BP's $20 billion fund to pay for the disaster. No, it's not the environmentalists we're talking about, and it's not the White House's green agenda. It's the trial lawyers. Emac, you say BP should get ready to write lawyers a big fat check?

MacDonald: Yes, because this escrow fund doesn't cover things like legal fines and lawsuits, of course it's a big sweetheart kiss. They saw that the Exxon Valdez fine came to down to the tenth of the original $5 billion. This is similar to the tobacco settlement fund. When we saw this happen with the tobacco fund, 5-10 percent went to tobacco-related issues and the rest went to higher education for states like Virginia or energy issues. It wasn't used for what it was intended for. We have to watch out. There is a rank smell of pork spending behind these.

Gerstein: Our last concern should be a side issue of whether the trial lawyers are going to get rich off of this. First and foremost there has to be some accountability here.

Karlgaard: With this administration, there's always the political consideration. Here's the problem with the tort law: It's not about justice; it's about the search for deep pockets. If you were to assign blame and apportion it, who is really responsible for this Gulf crisis? It would be, of course, BP; it would be Transocean; it would be the government both for its corrupt MMS division and for the administration's slow response. But the one with the deep pockets is BP. So it's all going to be laid off on BP. I don't see that as justice. Credit Suisse says that the damages, when you throw it all in with the lawsuits, will be over $40 billion.

Weinberg: Let me get this right. We throw out the trial lawyers and let the shrimpers go up against BP themselves? It makes no sense. To blame the lawyers for this is like blaming oncologists for cancer. It's just absurd. The fact we have here is that we have a legal system as Dan says and this is how you do it. You get representation by a lawyer who's competent and he's going to try to get you as much money as possible. That's the system we have.

Forbes: First of all, Rich is right. The courts do justice and we need tort reform to make sure these things are adjudicated quickly and 20, 30, 40 and 50 percent of the proceeds don't end up in the pockets of lawyers which has happened in so many suits in the past. The other thing again is they want it both ways, they want a $20 billion slush fund that they can control politically and throw BP to the trial lawyers. BP must pay up, but let's do it in a way where the victims are compensated and not the trial lawyers.

Fitch: I was thinking it would be a great time to be a lawyer right now. There will be a lot of legal fees. You know who's really going to make out? It's the defense lawyers. BP just hired Jamie Gorelick, a former Clinton administration attorney. They just hired Florida's largest law firm to defend them against the suits there. These guys are going to drag this thing out for ten or 12 years, which by the way that's their right. That's how the system works. They'll eventually give over some money, the lawyers will make a ton of dough along the way, and some of them will retire rich on this.

Flipside: Reports Indicate Cost of Bailing Out Fannie and Freddie Could Reach $1 Trillion; Time to Nationalize Mortgage Giants to Save Taxpayer Money?

Asman: The biggest bailout in U.S. history. New estimates putting the cost of keeping Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac afloat as high as $1 trillion… with a "t"! That money's coming straight from you, the taxpayer. So Stephane, what do we do?

Fitch: You know what? Nationalize them. Why were Fannie and Freddie private anyway? Well, they were private because it was a big sop to the free market ideologues who say, "Hey, let's create a private company. It will create more efficiency; it will give us more creativity in making home loans." We got more creativity than we ever bargained for. Why? Well because the government didn't really let it go. Democrats and Republicans were always forcing Fannie and Freddie to try to do all these feel-good goals like making sure every American has a home. The question is does Obama have the guts to do something kind of socialist and nationalize these? And do Republicans actually have the guts to support him on it? It would be a smart move.

Forbes: Stephane doesn't realize they're nationalized already. When you're getting hundreds of billions of dollars of bailouts, the shareholders are wiped out, and you own 80 percent of the company, that is nationalization. Let's not put lipstick on a pig. The fact of the matter is what they should do is the opposite; that is recapitalize them, break them up, and send them out in the marketplace so that people who buy homes can actually afford them and keep them up.

Gerstein: There is a huge political cost to doing it. One thing we have learned is that this Frankenstein monster that we've created with these two is that quasi- public/quasi-private didn't work. I agree with both Steve and Stephane. We need a choice. Take it over and have accountability for taxpayer dollars, or sell it and be done with it. One thing that I think is even more outrageous is that Frank Raines (former Fannie Mae CEO) walked away with huge bonuses and pretty much looted the company. No accountability. We should be clawing back that money.

Karlgaard: Well, we should have a national discussion. If we think that homeownership makes better citizenship, then there is a place for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, but at the very least they should be broken up and turned into 10 to 12 regional entities so that the centralization doesn't bring the whole house down. Real estate usually, not particularly in this recession, is a regional phenomenon. It's up here, down there. That is what we need. If we decide we want to have these (Fannie and Freddie), they have to be broken into regional entities.

Hardy: I'll give them a 20-second obituary: Founded in the 1930s for American homeownership. It went public in the '70s and became a darling stock for Wall Street legend Peter Lynch. As America fell on its knees before Wall Street, it became Wall Street's washroom for a bunch of bad mortgages. It's now a horribly broken thing, and broken things get sold for parts. Declare bankruptcy, sell the pieces, and get out of there.

Informer: Sugar Daddy Stocks

Asman: We're back with our Informers and the "sugar daddy" stocks they say will make the perfect gift for dad this Father's Day:

Weinberg: Tiffany & Co. (TIF)

Fitch: Moody's (MCO)

Ozanian: Sanderson Farms (SAFM)

Cashin' In

BP Going Under; Will Gas Prices Go Higher?

Tracy Byrnes, Fox Business Network: Man, do they go up? We have to be careful about this. After the Exxon Valdez spill, gas prices jumped 14 percent a year later. Exxon was in business. Didn't go out of business, still around. The gas prices up. BP, don't forget, has 18 billion barrels with reserves and they are in 30 countries. If they go down it affects different places and people. Don't forget, we have the moratoriums coming. We have political pressure on BP. All of this is in addition to what Exxon ever felt.

Wayne Rogers, Wayne Rogers & Co: No, no, not at all. BP reported $5.5 billion. That's 1,000 million. They had $7.7 billion in cash flow in the first quarter. In the '90s we allowed eight oil companies to become four. This is not free market. Free market capitalism is what we're for. This is not a free market when you allow monopolies like this to develop. We have to stop that.

John Layfield, www.nutritionmarket.com CEO/Owner: The one difference between common Valdez and what is going on in the — the Exxon Valdez and what is going on in the Gulf is not recovery. Austerity measures have been put in place but the economy is not going to accelerate. If the economy was growing at a fast clip, we need increase in oil production. That would be a major problem. We are not going to have an economy going at gangbuster measures and because of that, oil prices are not going up, thank goodness, because the economy will drag it down.

Julian Epstein, Democratic strategist: There is a negligible impact as a result of the BP clean-up. The gas prices are determined by three things. One is supply, and we have abundance of supply. We have excess inventory. Second issue is demand, because of the economy. There is less demand now than usual. And the third thing is the manipulation of prices by the oil cartel. None of the three things will be affected by the BP clean-up. $20 Billion estimate is a conservative estimate. It's what the law requires BP to do. The issue is moot. Not even the Republicans argue that BP shouldn't have to follow the law here. So, I think the overall impact on gas prices will be close to negligible.

Jonathan Hoenig: That is what we saw this week. Indictment of BP and it was an indictment and we heard all month long of the oil companies and the industry and, you know, of oil! We still need it to be productive. This is a safe industry despite the tragedy and goal of the green agenda is put a crimp on fossil fuels.

New Calls to Keep Capital Gains Tax Cuts: Will Keeping Cap Gains Taxes Low Help Fix Double-Digit Unemployment?

Jonathan Hoenig: Cutting taxes creates wealth. True, you tax something and you get less of it. Government plan, Washington's plan to spend more money to take money from people who earn it and redistribute it to those who don't un-incentivize the need, it doesn't incentivize production. That's what cutting taxes would do.

Julian Epstein: The Democrats already pushed through $300 billion tax cut as part of the recovery plan. It would be true, if you had a recession created by inventory problems or productivity problems, more tax cuts are in order. Here we have the recession that's related to the consumer spending in a credit crunch. I'm probably the only person on the panel that believes in the Keynesian approach. The proof is in the pudding. We had as a result of the recovery plan, Obama recovery plan, ten-point positive swing in GDP growth and 800 positive swing in job creation.

Tracy Byrnes: This is the beauty of the economics. You can spew the number out and make them look as pretty or ugly as you like. If I am a small business owner, you tax me and take my money I can't hire anybody else.

Wayne Rogers: Not just the capital gains that will raise the dividend tax and raise the income tax. All taxes are negative as far as creating jobs in the economy; particularly, during a recession. Why in the world would they allow the tax cuts to expire is beyond me. This is idiotic economics. This is not — when you say most economies, in all due respect, you're wrong. You don't even recognize Chicago school of economics, Julian. You think every guy following Keynses was a genius and most were morons.

John Layfield: You can say, though, the Keynesian approach got us in a recession in 1937 and is doing the same thing now. We are 90 percent debt to GDP and it is going to increase to 100 percent within a couple of years. That's unsustainable. The junior high student council mindset of free pizza for everybody and we'll get the rich kids to pay for it doesn't work in the small world. Small businesses lost $2.5 Trillion of credit because of the excessive regulation. More government is not the answer and it's not working.

Pelosi's New San Francisco Office Costing Taxpayers $225,000/Year

Tracy Byrnes: You have no idea. Almost $19,000 to make her office green? Are you kidding me? The disconnect between Washington and main street is growing bigger and bigger. We're probably paying for her botox, too at this point. We don't know because they just put things through and they take advantage of the fact that many of us can't pay our own bills.

Jonathan Hoenig: This is a rounding error. She should have an office that taxpayers should pay for. I laugh when it is $18,000 a month because it's green? This is peanuts. I mean even a quarter million for office space compared to the multi-trillion in entitlement liability that the speakers helped enact, that's what I worry about. This is peanuts.

John Layfield: I disagree completely with my good friend, Jonathan. This is a rounding error in the big scheme of things but the problem is you have to look at the problem that these people have. You call them earmarks that is theft in corporate America. These people spending excess money and they get fired for something like this. They are making policy? Maybe we can tax Nancy Pelosi's botox to pay for this. I don't think it should come can out of the American taxpayer's pocket.

Julian Epstein: I think these are cheap shots by a lot of Pelosi critics. She is the speaker of the house, third in line for the presidency. Her office is one of the most expensive districts in the country, in San Francisco. A lot of the decisions are made not because of the green consideration, but because of serious security issues.

Wayne Rogers: What I don't understand is that it is a federal office building, so if she doesn't pay for it that means the building is empty, which would mean the taxpayers pay for it. That means, she is writing a check, taxpayer money to go in an account for the taxpayers who own the office building. So if it stood empty we are losing $18,000 a year.

What Do I Need to Know?

Tracy Byrnes: France raising retirement age from 60 to 62, and our national debt will prepare for the same thing. Prepare now. Golden years on the golf course are no more.

John Layfield: Credit is deteriorating rapidly from the economy still. Add to that the oil crisis and the negativity against fossil fuels, company like G.T. Solar (GTS) with zero debt, tons of cash — great investment.

Wayne Rogers: Interest rates do not reflect what the economy is doing. It reflects the present policy at the present time so try RSO for a better deal. Resource Capital. It pays 12 percent. With stop loss.

Jonathan Hoenig: Greens will push the gas price higher. A fund to consider is UGA, an ETF that owns the gasoline futures. Think of it as a hedge. You can literally buy that much in this fund and hedge yourself against the rising problems. UGA is one to put on the list.