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Bulls & Bears
This past week's Bulls & Bears: Gary B. Smith, TheChartman.com; Pat Dorsey, Morningstar.com; Eric Bolling, Fox Business Network; Tobin Smith, ChangeWave Research, and Mary Ann Marsh, Democratic strategist.
Pelosi Pushes for Health Care Vote; Last Thing Job Market Needs?
Eric Bolling: 70-75 percent of all jobs in the country come from small business employers. In this 1,990-page bill, we have the public option, the insurance mandate, and there is even a provision that appoints an insurance czar to dictate what amount of coverage employers will have to give their workers. This bill is going to affect 75 percent of small businesses and will ultimately hurt many of them.
Mary Ann Marsh: This is exactly what businesses need to create jobs, because they are going to receive tax credits that will allow them to hire more workers. The expansion of businesses is a great thing for the economy. Now we are going to have competition in the health care system, reducing costs for employees, meaning they will have more money to spend, save, or invest.
Tobin Smith: I don't know how anyone can call this a health care plan—it is a tax plan. One of the things they snuck in was that they are not going to index the new surtax to inflation, which means that more and more people are going to meet the surtax threshold over time. This is going to cost $900 billion and kill over 5 million jobs.
Gary B. Smith: I don't see a lot of tax cuts in this bill. I only see the marginal tax rate going to 45 percent for those businesses and individuals who make over $1 million a year. If a business is facing that heavy of a tax burden, I find it hard to believe that it is going to be hiring more workers. In addition to the surtax, there is an 8 percent surcharge on those who do not provide insurance to their employees. We all know this is really a 'Pay or Pay' situation. Higher taxes inevitably kill the economy.
Pat Dorsey: The economy is recovering, jobs are always a lagging indicator. The jobless rate always peaks way after recovery starts. Best thing to do with health care reform would be to actually reform it, rather than extending a broken system.
Are New Government Handouts Turning USA Into "U.S. of Deadbeats"?
Tobin Smith: Yes we are creating a nation of deadbeats who have learned from the federal government how to get free income, free housing, free health care and not pay a dime in taxes. What's not to like? Government is GREAT. We are creating a nation of hand out addicts where the top 5 percent of earners pay the way for the 60 percent of American households who pay little or no federal taxes but consume 95 percent of government hand outs!
Eric Bolling: Can't afford a house? Don't worry buy it and you'll get $8,000. Can't afford a car? Don't worry buy it and you'll get $4,500. You out of work? Don't worry. Take your time, relax...you'll get 99 weeks to figure it out...Who pays, you ask? Well we do! Everyone who gets up early for WORK, leaves their kids at home and earns a living. Deadbeats...uhhh yeah.
Mary Ann Marsh: The biggest deadbeats are on Wall Street. Wall Street was the first one in line with their hands out for a bailout and they took taxpayers money and ran. And what have taxpayers gotten for bailing out Wall Street? Nothing. Wall Streeter's are paying themselves big salaries and big bonuses. They aren't loaning money to businesses. They aren't renegotiating loans for homeowners. They are jacking up credit card interest rates to 30 percent. They hoarding swine flu vaccinations when there are kids and moms in lines around the country trying to get it. And Goldman Sachs made more than $100M profit per day 36 out of the 65 trading days in 3Q alone. Tax payers helped Wall Street get back on its feet. It's time to help home owners get back on their feet since Wall Street and the banks aren't. It is only fair to help folks keep their homes after they helped Wall Street keep their jobs.
Gary B. Smith: This is a stimulus to stay unemployed. When unemployment stops, people miraculously find jobs about three weeks later. This homebuyer tax credit is a $10 billion boondoggle. Why is the government getting involved in this in the first place? It is preventing home prices from settling to the right level. We have tried price controlling before and it doesn't work, but the Obama Administration is choosing to ignore history.
Pat Dorsey: Extending unemployment benefits makes sense. Homebuyer tax credit and Fannie Mae foreclosure/lease thing make less sense, because they delay the market clearing.
New Government Plan to Raise Taxes: Call It a "Tax Loan"?
Gary B. Smith: The idea that people are going to get this 'tax loan' back is as likely as there being a short line at the DMV. If you go back through history, times of prosperity were when taxes were decreased. Again, the Obama Administration is choosing to ignore history.
Mary Ann Marsh: California is in a desperate situation seeking desperate solutions. We are not going to see this happen in the rest of the country. In order to get rid of the deficit, we have to do what we did in the Clinton Administration and raise the tax rates.
Eric Bolling: This is a tax that takes money out of everyone's paycheck, and it is a regressive tax. Congress needs to cut spending instead of taxing or 'borrowing' more from people.
Tobin Smith: What happens in California spreads to the rest of the United States. If California can pull this off, every state will capitalize on the ability to take free money from its citizens.
Pat Dorsey: We have to remember that California is the poster child for fiscal mismanagement, so I am a little more optimistic that this will not spread elsewhere. It certainly won't spread to the federal level, because the federal government has a much easier time borrowing money than states do.
Tobin Smith: Tea parties win, big spenders lose! "UL" brews up 40 percent profit by 7/4/10
Gary B Smith: Droid dominates! "VZ" dials up 50 percent gains in 1 year
Pat Dorsey: Schering boosts Merck! "MRK" produces 40 percent in 2 years
Eric Bolling: Election wounded Dems and health care! "HUM" claims 50 percent profit in 1 year
Cavuto on Business
Charles Payne was in for Neil Cavuto joined by Dagen McDowell, Fox Business Network host; Adam Lashinsky, Fortune magazine; Gary Kaltbaum of Kaltbaum & Associates; and Matt McCall of Penn Financial Group.
Dems Continue to Rush Health Care Amid Growing Concern
Matt McCall: They continue to push for health care for two reasons. One, it is clear the Democrats want big government, and to achieve this they must have their hands in the health care sector which involves trillions of dollars. Two, the Democrats cannot give up now; this is Obama's legacy – and Pelosi's legacy.
Gary Kaltbaum: Politicians in power are egomaniacs. We have seen in the past both parties, after gaining power, believe they are omnipotent and nothing can go wrong. Most have never been in business...so don't know things can go wrong. Look how quickly the Republicans went from the penthouse to the outhouse. Now the Democrats get a warning shot...and all you hear is things like WE WON from Pelosi. Nothing changes in politics...and this is how we got to $12 trillion in deficits.
Adam Lashinsky: Losing twice should remind Dem leadership they better deliver on their promises. If they quit now, they'll lose midterms for sure.
Obama Administration Pumping Up "Saved or Created Jobs": Living in a Fantasy World?
Gary Kaltbaum: The Sacramento Bee reported that nearly one quarter of the 110,000 jobs "saved" by the stimulus were never in danger of being lost in the first place. And I was thinking to myself...what if George W. Bush came out with these numbers...The mainstream media would be doing a one hour special on the fraudulent and laughable accounting. In my opinion, this is more of politician's insulting of American's intelligence. Say anything... put anything out there... no matter how ludicrous it is.
Matt McCall: From day one the "saved jobs" number has been debated - and for good reason. There is no true way to measure a saved job and for our government to pull numbers out of a hat is downright dishonest. The only number that should be looked at is how many jobs we are actually losing — there is no hiding this fact.
Adam Lashinsky: Finding an example of how something was done wrong doesn't mean it can't be done right.
Ford's Bailout-Free Turnaround: Lessons to Be Learned?
Matt McCall: It is a lesson not only for all companies, but for our government to stay out of the bailout business. Bankruptcies and tough times are a normal part of the capitalistic business cycle. The one US auto company that did not get a bailout was the one that will be the strongest in the end. I put the blame on the government and not the companies because if I was offered free cash from the bailouts I would have taken it also.
Adam Lashinsky: The "lessons" are that Ford wisely borrowed a ton of money to restructure pre-bust. Lucky or smart, that's what they did and they're benefiting from it. CIT's collapse happened a year after the crisis. That's timing. We don't need to bail out too big to fail companies currently.
Gary Kaltbaum: It is a great lesson... let free markets work! Unfortunately, we were snow-jobbed by Bush/Paulson and Obama/Geithner with over-the-top scare tactics saying the world will end unless we save everyone. We would have been fine without TARP; we would have been fine without the stimulus. But of course, we will never know as again, politicians pulled another fast one on the American taxpayer and castrated their wallets once again.
Squeaky Clean Stocks
Matt McCall: Steris Corp (STE)
Adam Lashinsky: Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.B)
Gary Kaltbaum: Newmont Mining (NEM)
Forbes on Fox
On Saturday, November 7th, David Asman was joined by Neil Weinberg, Mike Ozanian, Quentin Hardy, Victoria Barret, Mike Maiello, Evelyn Rusli, and Elizabeth MacDonald.
Flipside: Good News! Health Care's Price Tag Is Growing!
David Asman: House lawmakers wrangling over the health care bill this weekend. What are the biggest sticking points? Is it priced right? Health care reform started in the $800 billion range and it kept climbing, and climbing, and climbing. Now, it's pegged at $1.2 trillion over ten years. Someone here says that price is right for our economy!
Mike Maiello: Let it grow, David! Let it grow. I mean, when you put real money in people's pockets, it is real stimulus for real people.
David Asman: You sound like an ad man!
Mike Maiello: Hey, when you save people from losing their health insurance if they lose their jobs. When you save people from medical related bankruptcies, you give people the freedom to go out and spend and be entrepreneurs and really drive the economy.
Elizabeth MacDonald: I feel like I need a Dramamine to follow that line of reasoning. Look, we're adding the equivalent GDP of Canada. If it was so great for the middle class, then why didn't we see more headlines about how the public option insurance premiums are going to cost more than these insurance exchanges they're setting up? Markets, not ministers, help fix the economy. If this was a true health reform, we would have a true free market insurance. We don't have it yet.
Quentin Hardy: This is good for the economy because it allows people to leave big business, which controls your health care in this country, and go be entrepreneurs and go try something new. It helps because if you look at all of our competitors, all of our industrial competitors, they don't have our pernicious health care system… and they pay less. Who is to say we can't end up saving money in this?
Victoria Barret: This is bad. What happens is the private sector insurance ends up subsidizing the public sector to a greater degree. We see doctors charge "x amount" for Medicare and pad to private insurers. What people do is flock to the public option. This will take time, but it will happen. And that will mean more government spending and that means higher taxes. If you are an entrepreneur, you factor that into your decision-making. You think, "Are my taxes going to go up? Do I really want to strike out on my own?" So, I think long-term, this is a negative for entrepreneurs who create jobs.
Evelyn Rusli: I don't see the problem with people flocking to the public option. Whether we get $1 trillion for $800 billion, the net-net will be people will have more insurance. Industrialized nations who moved to expand insurance had to pay a major upfront cost, but eventually, their health care systems are now more affordable than the United States.
Neil Weinberg: In this system, I don't want to be a patient. This is like digging holes and filling them in. Nothing to say that this is going to get its arms around our real problem. This is not going to reduce cost, this is not going to make us a more competitive society, and there's nothing to say this is really going to improve our health.
In Focus: GOP Wins in New Jersey and Virginia; Unions Lose in America?
David Asman: A big election loss for big labor, a big win for jobs? Unions tried just about everything to help Democrats keep the governorships in New Jersey and Virginia, even a "knock and drag" strategy. It didn't work. With the unemployment rate now at 10.2 percent, Mike says labor's loss is a good thing for the U.S. job market?
Mike Ozanian: David, look. The unions own the Democratic Party and the unions are economic terrorists. Take Philadelphia, where the transit workers are on strike. They want a 4 percent raise and bigger pension contributions while the taxpayers are getting killed. It's great for the country when Republicans can finally put a hold on the crazy union workers that are accountable to no one.
Neil Weinberg: That's nonsense. If we all worked for $2 an hour and all worked for no benefits… Listen. The fact of the matter is most unions overreach and are greedy and drive companies like the Detroit automakers to the ground. BUT, there's nothing wrong with collective bargaining for a living wage and decent benefits.
Victoria Barret: This is good for jobs because it shows Americans are voting for an anti-union stance. But there's a real disconnect here. For example, if you look at the proposed health care bill, there's a little provision tucked in that says, "Well, if hospitals want federal funding for nurse training, they can get it so long as these hospitals are, in part, union-managed." So, the administration and Congress are doing a lot of things to sort of tuck union power into the current bill going through. I'm concerned that unions are getting more power, even though it doesn't seem like the American people would want that to happen.
Mike Maiello: David, I'm on four segments of your program. We are working. And not even getting paid! This is what we're dealing with… through incredibly high productivity and falling wages and rising unemployment. The American worker is getting squeezed and that's what happens when you have weak labor.
Elizabeth MacDonald: The thing is, unions tend not to be logical, reasonable, or rational. If you show me one, I will show you Bing Crosby riding by on a unicorn. We do want a rational union work force. We just haven't had that yet.
Quentin Hardy: The unions lost in New Jersey, perhaps. But for sure, the really rich guy from Goldman Sachs lost in New Jersey. He was the one spending money. It didn't work. I'm kind of glad to see the other guy got elected because big money shouldn't push you around. What's wrong with people organizing and trying for their self-interests?
Colleges Charging $50,000 or More a Year in Tuition; Is It Time for a Tuition Czar?
David Asman: A new report out this week shows 58 universities now charge more than $50,000 a year. And that's why Mike Maiello says America needs a tuition czar!
Mike Maiello: Don't succumb to czar-anoia. A higher education is absolutely essential to competing in the global marketplace. If we have someone looking into green energy, we should have someone looking into making sure that American high school students can afford a college education.
Evelyn Rusli: Fifty-eight colleges might require $50,000 or more a year. But, the vast majority charges less than that. If you don't want to pay more than $50,000, don't. Go to a different college. The Declaration of Independence doesn't say "Life, liberty, and the pursuit of Harvard."
Quentin Hardy: A couple hundred-thousand kids may enjoy themselves at the "spas," but the broader economy is much bigger than that and it's about community colleges. I don't think the costs are that high there. We have got to expand education to those places more than worry about "spa" schools.
Mike Ozanian: If your complaint is about high tuition at some elite schools, the way to handle that is to stop taxpayer subsidies for students. An increase in demand for school causes them to raise the rates. Why should taxpayers, middle class families, be subsidizing the education of other students? Most of that money doesn't go towards better education. It goes toward these fat cat professors that stay there and do crazy studies.
Neil Weinberg: I'm not going to start picking on the nattering nay-bobs of the campuses and you that, you know, the real problem here is like the housing bubble. When the Federal Reserve was pumping money into it, what we have is all the government-subsidized loans. President Obama has made that a far-worse problem. He's letting people pay back loans based on income, not how much they borrowed, and letting people go into the public sector, i.e. bureaucrats, and not paying the loans back at all.
Informer: Stocks and Funds to Pay for or Pay Off College!
David Asman: One-hundred-thousand dollars. That's about what an undergraduate college education will cost you these days. Our Informers have the stocks and fund that will foot the bill or pay off your college loans!
Victoria Barret: Vanguard Emerging Markets Stock Index Fund Investor Shares (VEIEX)
* Vickie owns shares of this fund
Mike Maiello: WisdomTree Small Cap Dividend ETF (DES)
Mike Ozanian: Caterpillar (CAT)
Evelyn Rusli: Emerson Electric (EMR)
Senate Health Care Bill Forces Uninsured to Wait Six Months Before Getting Treatment; Isn't What We Have Now Better?
Tracy Byrnes, Fox Business Network: I don't know because one, they're not setting enough money aside to cover these people. They said about 5 billion dollars aside for this. What it is, you first have to get turned down by an insurance agency and then have to wait six months if you're high risk, six months, unfortunately, that could be a matter of life or death so we're asking these people are we purposely trying to get rid of them. I'm not really sure, but we're asking them to put their lives on the line for a system that's totally messed up to begin with, this new proposal and wait to get in so-called wonderful coverage. And 2013, they'll get coverage without anything, but this whole notion that one, there's not enough money to cover them and two, they have to wait for anything is ludicrous.
Taylor West, Democratic communications consultant, New West Partners: Well, first of all, let me be clear here. There's nothing here that is preventing anyone from getting treatment for six months. Now shall the Senate bill does include a waiting period for the beginning of a high risk pool that people can get into. When frankly, they've been screwed by their insurance companies. So we're talking about a program that's designed to help people who a lot of whom thought they had insurance until they got sick and then turned out that the insurance companies decided it wasn't good for their bottom line to cover them.
Jonathan Hoenig, CapitalistPig Asset Management: Well, now what, the uninsured have no right to health care now or in six months, whether they've got cancer or a hang nail. You know, we live in a free society and that freedom does not come with a right to healthcare. These plans, the House bill and the Pelosi bill, all built on force, forcing people to have health care and other people to pay for it and I'm sorry, the audacity of the lawmakers and President and Nancy Pelosi is that they've got it figured out and know the right way to administer health care in this country. Ultimately it puts more choices about who gets care what, type of care they get, who pays for it in lawmakers hands not in the hands of free individuals. The House and Nancy Pelosi they're debating this weekend, but at the same time on the Senate side they've come up with this ludicrous idea six months, you had to be uninsured for six months.
Jonas Max Ferris, MaxFunds.com: I'm trying to follow you what's ludicrous about this. I don't understand were everybody is against the parts that limit the spending. I was on the G.O.P. side with their health plan and they were saying how the Pelosi plan cuts Medicare 500 billion. We don't cut it at all. Why is that good, not to cut? Do we want everybody going on the programs the governments make. There have a ton of restrictions and I've always said government programs for people are uninsurable. Great. Limit the quality and et cetera, so they're encouraging them to get private insurance and limit the government benefits.
Wayne Rogers, Wayne Rogers & Co: Well, oddly enough, you know, in Canada you have a six month waiting period whether you like it or not. In other words, they have universal health care in Canada and the average wait in Canada is six months. Ontario beats that a little because you only have to wait four months and we have, you rightfully pointed out earlier, emergency rooms here. In Massachusetts, where they have tried this plan, you go into — they thought that the emergency rooms would — the visits to the emergency rooms would decline substantially as a result of this. They haven't. People still go to the emergency room and use it. So, this isn't going to work. There is a fundamental bad thing in all of these, by the way. The New York Times in an editorial a couple of days ago said it's one thing, one of the true things the New York Times is capable of saying, all of these plans are bad and they are bad because you've got a doctor on one hand, a provider, you've got a recipient on the other hand and a third party paying the bills. It makes no sense. You can't do that. And a free market where there's a bargain between people, in the ole days the doctor, if you couldn't pay, you paid in time. Bring him a sack of potatoes, the doctor took care of the community shall the community took care of the doctor. That's the way it should work.
John Layfield, www.nutritionmarket.com: Yeah, there's no doubt about it and the government's the one that is not being transparent. Look, make no mistake about this, Nancy Pelosi on September 24th said that she would make this bill made public just like the President said, 72 hours on the internet. She absolutely, 100 percent lied about that. And the reason is, there's so many things that's — it's on the Internet right now. 2,032 page bill. You can find certain things, 72 hours, said 72 hours, you want to find this on the internet. Section 222, page 17, line 110 you also have a government mandate to pay for abortions of choice. This is the reason they're keeping this bill hidden. Section 213, the average taxpayer pays for those abortions. When you have abortions that are split on morality level straight across the country, sneaking in through and the rest of this 2,032 page bill which will not be read, absolutely a disaster to the American people.
As Spain Pushes for More Green Jobs, Its Unemployment Rate Skyrockets Over 19 Percent: Proof Green Agenda Will Kill Jobs in the U.S.?
Jonathan Hoenig: Well, you know, the goal shouldn't be simply to create jobs. It's supposed to create wealth and you need jobs which actually have an economic benefit. We've seen it time and time again when the green agenda gets in charge you have massive waste. I mean, in Spain, you've got double the employment that you have here. A heartland institute study showed that a net result of the waste of billions on green jobs. This is in redistribution of wealth, a job isn't a job unless it actually has an economic benefit. None of this accomplishes that.
Taylor West: What this is doing is fostering innovation and I think that this is something that you guys would support. If you talk to folks, venture capitalists and folks out in Silicon Valley they'll tell you the cutting edge innovative stuff is happening in that clean renewable green energy market. And seeing that as the direction of the future.
Jonas Max Ferris: Jonathan you're looking at— you're picking, Spain's economy is backward - double digit unemployment. South Korea has a third of the unemployment. Like 3.6 percent, They just launched a green job initiative for 85 billion dollars, adjusting for our economy, that's like a 280 or so billion dollar stimulus program. They're raising their standards for autos higher than ours, so they can make cars for our market that will outsell American cars once again. So, it depends how dumb your government played it. Unfortunately the green issues are in the government's hands and our government unfortunately is running a little more like Spain and a little less than South Korea, but you can spend money and make jobs and your government can be strong with planning here.
Tracy Byrnes: We don't have smart government planning right now. Let's shove things down people's throat. Tax things and get as much through as we can so we can have that monumental moment in the rose garden when we sign all the big bills during our Presidency. That's what we have, unfortunately. I think that Jonas is right. I think you can create positive jobs if, but of course people have to understand that we will lose jobs in the process, they will be replaced by greener jobs, but it's got to be done properly and unfortunately that's not what's happening right now.
John Layfield: Yeah, but this isn't green energy's fault. Every watt creates 20 long-term jobs. Here in Dallas, Texas 30 percent of electricity comes from West Texas renewable energy. This isn't about renewable energy it's about government intervention. The cap and trade that the government is trying to pass kills innovation, you have every environmental scientist, every single one, Bill Schlessinger to the CEO of Exxon Mobile that says cap and trade will do zero, zero for the environment, cost hundreds of billions of dollars, the only thing to do if you're going to do something as a carbon tax. I do not know why they're insisting on cap and trade, it's an absolute disaster waiting. It happens when everyone says it's the wrong thing to do.
Ohio Voter Say Yes to Legalizing Gambling and Colorado Voters Give Thumbs Up to Legalized Marijuana: Are Taxing These "Sins" the Solution to our Money Problems?
Wayne Rogers: Well, because I think taxing sin is a stupid way, they're trying to do something popular. Oh, we'll make a moral statement by doing this. Listen, first of all, it's personal, your personal life is your personal life. If you want to smoke funny cigarettes in a closet that's your own business…you can do whatever the heck you want. They keep taxing cigarettes and alcohol, those kinds of things at a certain level, it drives it underground and we should have learned this from you what happened with booze when we passed the laws against it in the '30s. Creates crime is all it does.
Jonas Max Ferris: You've got to figure out a way to bring a lot of money to pay off the deficit. The best way to do it, not taxing the sins like cigarettes. The taxing currently illegal things money going right into crime like marijuana. The government either needs to legalize it and run or highly tax it so they're skimming the profits that are going to organized crime and it will cut down all the people in jail which costs taxpayer money there for drug crimes so I know it's going to happen soon. The states are so broke you're going to see states get into not just the medical marijuana business, the all-around marijuana business and it's a matter of time and I don't think it's a bad idea because it doesn't hurt the economy. You're not taxing ordinary businesses that are already being overtaxed anyway. You're taxing something that isn't a tax at all, it's a completely crooked business.
John Layfield: Bad jokes and brownies are going to come back in fashion if everybody's smoking pot again. And this is like giving a guy with a brain tumor, an aspirin. You can tax pot, you can tax prostitution, you can make it legal. Spitzer would still be Governor if it was, but the problem is the government spends too much money. It's not about revenue. It's about what's going out the back door and somewhere we've got to have fiscal responsibility. You can tax us to the world, the problem is the government is spending too much money.
Jonathan Hoenig: Well, I don't think that gambling is sinful. I don't think that marijuana is sinful. I think that people have a choice to make those types of choices in their life in a free country. They have every right to get high or eat fatty foods or do what they want to with their life and I think that to leafy a punitive tax to this behavior is not acceptable as the nanny state incarnate.
What Do I Need To Know?
Wayne Rogers: Jon Corzine just got defeated in New Jersey because he raised taxes. He is going to join the Goldman Sachs mafia and tax you, be careful.
Tracy Byrnes: I told you that airline charges were going up when you travel around the holidays. They are now going up 20 bucks on some carriers and more. Be aware if you get on an airplane.
John Layfield: The Yankees did win and they won the 27th championship. Money does buy happiness.
Jonas Max Ferris: Republican senator from Georgia, Isaacson, wanted to make sure that everyone gets a home credit, even if you're making a quarter million dollars a year. That is paid for by every taxpayer, including renters. That will be Lumber Liquidators because you will want an exotic wood floor.
Jonathan Hoenig: The GOP is losing the issue of health care because like President Bush, they are not standing on principle. The Democrats proposed a provision which will allow kids to stay on their parents insurance till they're 27. The GOP says 25. That's the nanny state reincarnated once again.