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Bulls & Bears
On Saturday, March 13, Brenda Buttner was joined by Gary B. Smith, Tobin Smith, Pat Dorsey, Joe Battipaglia and Steve Murphy.
Who's Right on Health Care Tax Hikes: Democrats or 78 Percent of Americans?
Joe Battipaglia, Stifel Nicolaus: The American people are absolutely right. Unlike Congress, they've actually looked at the language of this legislation. The Medicare tax rate is going up along with additional taxes. They're going to get more revenue by taxing dividends and capital gains, which play a big part of income for middle class families. The middle class will absolutely be stuck with the bill on this thing.
Steve Murphy, Democratic strategist: The middle class is not going to pay most of the cost of health care reform. Yes, they will pay a little bit, through new Medicare taxes. But we have to fix Medicare anyway. There is trillions of dollars of unfunded liabilities in Medicare that will affect everyone in the country. Primarily though, health care reform will be paid for by the wealthy through various surtaxes. And that's the way it should be.
Tobin Smith, NBT Media: There are a lot of bad assumptions in all this. The worst one is that there are enough rich people to go around and pay for this thing. The fact of the matter is that tax revenues from the rich peaked in 2007. Since then, they're down about 25 percent or so. And they won't come back to 2007 levels for some time. The major sin of this whole crazy idea is that we can have just a small amount of people pay to overhaul health care, and it just can't work.
Gary B. Smith TheChartman.com: The CBO sees that 25 percent of people making under $200,000 are going to see tax increases. This rests on the assumption that health care reform will actually come in at budget. But like every other major government program, from Social Security to Medicaid, to the Big Dig, all these things run way over budget. The government just can't efficiently run anything this massive. We can't expect current cost projections for reform to hold firm over the long-term.
Pat Dorsey, Morningstar.com: If you make the mistake of expanding coverage without fundamentally reforming the health care system, it will cost tremendous amounts of money which has to come from somewhere. Our current system is utterly broken. We have to scrap fee for service, and start paying and incentivizing outcomes. That would be true health care reform. And unfortunately we've wasted a tremendous opportunity to fix a system that's fundamentally broken.
Government Dependency Explodes As Number of Taxpayers Shrinks
Gary B. Smith: Something has got to crack soon. I think we're already faced with the same financial problems Greece has been dealing with. We have a $1.6 trillion deficit. Our debt is almost equal to our GDP, nearly $14 trillion. The Tax Foundation released a report saying we'd have to raise taxes on the rich by 242 percent this year just to pay off this year's deficit! And we'd have to keep those rates in place in perpetuity to pay off the debt. In terms of Greece, the sad part is that most of the people you see rioting are government workers. In our country, the sector with the lowest unemployment rate is the government.
Steve Murphy: Right now, we're paying for the dramatic expansion in government under George Bush. If we're like Greece, we're like Greece under Alexander the Great. What we've ended up with is too many military obligations. The biggest problem we have right now with the budget is the Iraq war and properly paying for it. Not to mention, cutting taxes at a time we were fighting two wars. Do you actually believe we didn't need the stimulus to prevent the economy from going into a depression?
Tobin Smith: The average person getting government assistance gets $26,000 a year. Today, there are only about 20 to 30 million people in the country who pay any significant level of taxes. In Greece, only about 5 percent of people pay the vast majority of the taxes. The U.S. is all too much like Greece when it comes to people getting government benefits or paying little to no taxes.
Joe Battipaglia: Unfortunately, states in the U.S. have about a $170 billion hole they have to cover, and even worse, they're grabbing for a tax fix. Their biggest problem is that they can't find a good source of revenues. Why? Because tax rates are already too high, and they're pushing out the wealthy who are moving somewhere else. We're dumbing down our tax base. We keep driving up our deficit, and the administration is going to borrow $3 trillion over the next three years. We keep digging a bigger deficit hole. This sort of stuff just pushes us more and more in the direction of the Greeks.
Pat Dorsey: The U.S. and Greece aren't remotely comparable. Right now 20 percent of income in Greece goes unreported. It's about 7 percent in the U.S. When we talk about the number of people in the U.S. who don't pay taxes, it's largely because of benefits and credits, not due to underreporting or misreporting income. In Greece, people literally brag about avoiding taxes. Our culture doesn't work that way. But in Greece, the ability of the government to collect taxes from those who owe them is much weaker compared to here. Greece has a major shadow economy that just doesn't exist in the U.S., and it poses a major fiscal problem for the country.
Don't Tax Americans to Lose Weight, Just Pay Us?
Tobin Smith: Give people cash! Why? It's a behavioral incentive. And one incentive we know that works is cash. We've seen a number of private sector companies try this with success. We know obese people already pay significantly more for health care. If we pay people to get healthy and take care of themselves, many of those added costs can be earned back. It works. Paying someone $1,500 to lose weight now, rather than paying $75,000 later when they begin suffering from major health problems will help.
Gary B. Smith: This isn't Uncle Sam, it's Nanny Sam. I can't believe we're talking about this. Although I do agree that when private companies have done programs like this, it has worked. But should the government be doing it? Absolutely not! The money is going to come from people who are healthy and go to people who are obese and can't lose weight. People who are healthy are already paid because they pay far less for health care, work more days on the job, etc.
Pat Dorsey: What's really interesting is the little known fact that farm subsidies have paid people to make the fattiest foods available. It's the "Nanny State" that caused high fructose corn syrup to become so prevalent. It's cheaper to get calories via junk food over fruits and vegetables. Honestly the best way to fight obesity is to get rid of farm subsidies. If you want to subsidize something, have it be fresh fruits and vegetables. Or help make eat cheaper to buy an apple over junk food.
Steve Murphy: I like this idea. We have $40 trillion in unfunded Medicare liabilities and a third of this cost will come from diabetes. We could save trillions with an idea like this over the long term.
Joe Battipaglia: I want Uncle Sam out of my way and out of the private sector. The government constantly gums up the works by picking winners and losers in almost every category. They want healthy Americans but subsidize sugar. They want to reduce cancer rates from cigarette smoking, but let people smoke and tax it heavily. Ideas like this are just not a sensible way to advocate policy.
Gary B. Smith: Toyota recalls overblown! "TM" drives up 50 percent in 1 year
Joe Battipaglia: "EBAY" a bargain; shares bid up 40 percent in 1 year
Pat Dorsey: "TMO" keeps building with stimulus cash; up 50 percent in 2 years
Tobin Smith: 3D TV is for real! "PC" pops up 25 percent by Sept.
Cavuto on Business
On Saturday March 13, Neil Cavuto was joined by Ben Stein, Charles Payne, Dagen McDowell and Adam Lashinsky.
Start Cutting Pork With $149 Billion 'Emergency' Jobs Bill?
Charles Payne, WStreet.com: With pork and spending, Congress just keeps on digging. We heard about the federal deficit in February reaching a record $221 billion for the month! That's up 15 percent year over year. Interest payments on this debt were up 65 percent, and that's the number we need to be paying attention to. We can't stop, or at least Congress can't stop. Everyone's addicted to this level of spending, and Congress keeps saying it'll cut back, but when? I just don't think they're getting the message.
Ben Stein, Author, "How to Ruin the USA": The administration just can't control itself, and neither can Congress. Though we shouldn't pretend this is just a Democratic thing. This could easily happen if the Republicans were in charge right now. But what's happening here isn't mysterious. In economic history, there's never been a recovery created by a jobs bill. It's never once happened. These sorts of jobs bill really just end up being major political payoffs for vested interests.
Dagen McDowell, Fox Business Network: It's still troubling that part of this jobs bill includes keeping people on unemployment benefits. Some people have access to 99 weeks of unemployment benefits. This will extend them to the end of the year. Unfortunately this kind of extension doesn’t encourage people to go out and look for work.
Adam Lashinsky, Editor-at-Large, Fortune Magazine: The pork in this jobs bill is practically under the couch money—it's about $1.7 billion out of $150 billion. It's actually a good topic to talk about because it's a perfect example of the hypocrisy on Capitol Hill. President Obama has a major political problem, and he's trying to find a political solution to it. We need to figure out how to either stop spending or raise taxes or both to get the deficit under control. And I think it's fair to say neither party is really serious about doing that right now.
Union Chief Compares Health Care Execs to Criminals; Hypocrisy?
Ben Stein: Greed is a common human condition, and we're seeing that along with hypocrisy on the part of Richard Trumka. I'm sure he's a fine man. Unions are after all they can get. They just want more. If Trumka can get more for the AFL-CIO by vilifying the insurance industry that has done a good job throughout the economic crisis, then he'll do it. He has every reason and interest to do so.
Charles Payne: I find it interesting that unions have been involved in some of the biggest disasters in American industry. The auto companies, airlines, etc. I agree that there was a time we needed unions and even rooted for them. When I was young I'd look for companies that were unionized. But now they're the biggest driver of upward costs in the sectors they're involved in. This isn't about being fair. And what's shocking to me is how obviously the President and Congress seem to be pushing their agenda.
Dagen McDowell: Here's what's really hypocritical. Unions have some of the best health care benefits in the country. But they want more! The unions know they have control of the Democrats and the Democrats know the unions will continue to funnel them money. Through executive order, the Obama administration wants companies to raise pay and benefits if they want continued access to federal contracts. This goes directly to giving unions more power.
Adam Lashinsky: My feeling is a pox on both their houses. Both sides have their sins and the health insurance industry certainly has them too. But special interests lobbying on behalf of their members aren’t new, and it's not necessarily bad. And this is what the unions are doing.
6.3 Billion New Reasons Why Government Bailouts Don't Work?
Dagen McDowell: Taxpayers are going to lose at least $6.3 billion on the money that went to GMAC, and could see losses up to $10 billion. This just shows that lawmakers don't know what they're doing. GMAC was not forced into bankruptcy. It looks like some of the original shareholders could get money back from this thing, but not taxpayers. If you worry about auto financing, deal with that, and bail that out. In the end though, taxpayers are stuck with this bill.
Charles Payne: We keep trying to throw water on this GMAC fire, but it's just out of control. Anytime there's been a hint of a problem, they get more money. And the worst part is that they've never had to explain how they're going to pay it back. The idea was to help auto loans, but in the end this money has gone to paying off bad prime mortgages. Now GMAC is paying a serious price for it.
Ben Stein: GMAC needed to be saved. Unfortunately, in order to save our financial system from collapse, we had to inject huge sums of money into it in order to save it. Unfortunately, there was a significant amount of waste. It's very sad, but it happens. We just couldn't afford for our country to plunge into a Depression.
Adam Lashinsky: There are too many people to point fingers at in this situation. I think bankruptcy could have been a better option because more owners, including debt holders, would have been wiped out. But honestly, I don't think $6 billion is too big a price to pay for what we accomplished. Was GMAC a mistake? Absolutely. But the money for it came from TARP, and TARP was absolutely a success overall.
Retirement Stock Riches
Charles Payne: Micron Technology (MU)
Ben Stein: MSCI Canada Index (EWC)
Adam Lashinsky: Vanguard 500 Index (VFINX)
Forbes on Fox
On Saturday, March 13, 2010, Eric Bolling, in for David Asman, was joined by Steve Forbes, Rich Karlgaard, Bill Baldwin, Neil Weinberg, Mike Ozanian, Quentin Hardy, Victoria Barret, Elizabeth MacDonald, and Kai Falkenberg.
In Focus: Could President Obama's Mandate to Give Kids Option to Stay on Their Parents' Health Insurance Plan Be Bad for Our Economy?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: If you are a young adult, which many of you are, you'll be able to stay on your parents' insurance policy until you are 26 years old.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ERIC BOLLING: The president saying grown kids should be able to mooch off Mom and Dad for health insurance benefits. But some at Forbes say these "slacker mandates" are driving up health care costs and creating a nation of deadbeats. Are they right? Hi everybody. I'm Eric Bolling in for David Asman. Welcome to Forbes on Fox. Let's go In Focus with Steve Forbes, Elizabeth MacDonald, Rich Karlgaard, Neil Weinberg, Victoria Barret, and Quentin Hardy. Neil, you say—get rid of these so called "slacker mandates"?
NEIL WEINBERG: Yes, that's all this is—a slacker mandate. It's terrible. There's no legislation here. There's no reconciliation. It's just President Obama by fiat saying, we're going to take these people who are at the beginning of their careers and we're going to tell them to feed off of Mom and Dad for a couple more years. I think this is a horrible precedent.
ELIZABETH MacDONALD: I have no problem with this. What we're talking about are kids who graduated from college with six-figure tuition loans that they have to pay back. And by the way, a study in New Jersey found that 6 percent of the kids on their parents' insurance coverage went to the emergency room, and that was over a 2 year span. These kids have a lot of money that they have to pay back. And this is not a mandate—there is a choice factor in here. [Otherwise] they have to buy catastrophic coverage for these kids, which is insurance in name only. It's possible it wouldn't even cover an emergency room visit.
RICH KARLGAARD: This is once again the case of bad economics being driven by opportunistic politics. Obama by a margin of 2 to 1 took the votes of 19 to 29 year-olds, who are what we call the millennial generation. And if he had to really lay the true cost of the health care bill on them, they would be paying $300 a month and still have high deductibles. So of course he's going to pass the cost on to someone else, and of course you get this uproar of cheers from young people who think they are on the dole and would be for another few years.
VICTORIA BARRET: I don't think this is a dole situation. These are kids, and when you look at how companies are hiring, they are increasingly hiring young workers as contractors so they don't get benefits, in which case, why not let them ride on their parents' plan? Parents are still going to have to pay that cost. It's not free—it's not really a government dole. And parents can decide if they don't want their kids on their health care, just like they can kick them out of the house. There's real choice here, it's not a mandate.
STEVE FORBES: This is why health care costs have gone up on the state level. They pile on these mandates. That's why health insurance policies in New Jersey cost twice as much as they do in Pennsylvania. I'm surprised he didn't offer free tickets to a Lady Gaga concert to try to get this thing through. He's simply putting lipstick on a pig called ObamaCare. It is going to drive up costs. What we really need are free markets so you can get affordable health insurance, like allowing companies to sell nationwide, which Obama opposes.
QUENTIN HARDY: It's up to the parents to decide whether or not to keep the kids on the plan. It's a good idea to teach these kids about the insurance business and how they have to plan for this. And by the way, they could pay their parents for some of the added premium cost. That's a good idea. The health insurers are so full of it. They say this is 1/6 of the American economy. Private insurance is about 1/20 of the health system over all, and it really isn't supported on its own. It's supported by laying-off risk on old people, sweetheart earmarks, tax breaks to businesses, and this is just one more instance — selling them high-cost policies that make no sense.
California Study Shows Green Plan Doesn't Create Jobs; Will President Obama's Green Agenda Cost America More Jobs?
ERIC BOLLING: A possible blow to the president's green jobs plan. A new study out of California shows climate change plans in the Golden State won't help workers at all. In fact, they'll lose jobs in the short term and see no real gains in the long run. Steve, is that what the rest of the country has to look forward to?
STEVE FORBES: If we do what California did, or something like this cap-and-trade nonsense, it would be bad for stocks, bad for the economy, and bad for the standard of living in this country, so investors beware. Where it has been tried, it's cost 2.2 jobs for every job created, and only 1 in 10 of those green jobs is permanent. So if we're serious about energy, modernize our grid, allow people to do real work with nuclear power instead of talking about it. Those are positive things that can be done.
MIKE OZANIAN: We've created a lot of government jobs in New Jersey with our green program. We've used taxpayer money to hire all these people in the government to go around collecting old refrigerators and hand out $50 checks. It's killed jobs in the private sector, but it's created a lot of government jobs.
ELIZABETH MacDONALD: I feel like I just fell through the "Alice in Wonderland" looking glass. I thought Mike was a Libertarian! Steve is right. The California study has already shown that it will cost jobs in utilities, it's already hurting some jobs in the auto-making field and the oil field as well. We have been down this road before with the solar industry, which still has to exist on the government taxpayer dialysis machine or I.V. drip, and we tried it with the Jimmy Carter shale projects. Eventually they have tossed off jobs, but at a lot of taxpayer costs.
QUENTIN HARDY: I don't think Mike has lost his bearings, but I think he's being a little cynical about the use of government jobs during times of unemployment to get rid of energy inefficient equipment, which I think is a good idea and a net benefit. I just wish we had this show during the 50s and 60s, so that the government's help to the nascent semi-conductor industry and the networking industry and the telecom industry could have been pointed out as something that was destroying additional American manufacturing and holding back America. Lots of industries in the early days get government help and out here in California, it might be a few jobs to start, but now we have a huge electronics business thanks to that.
RICH KARLGAARD: Quentin half knows his history. The semi-conductor industry was supported through the Defense Department because we faced an existential threat from the Soviet Union. Had Obama been in charge, we would have created more jobs in the transistor industry, or possibly even the vacuum tube industry. That's the problem.
BILL BALDWIN: How many environmental sustainability officers does it take to screw in a light bulb? If green energy costs more than the other kind, I can guarantee you it's going to use up a whole lot more labor. If you think that's a good thing, and a reason to like green energy, then you'll love my great program to instantly create 160 million jobs overnight. It's called the great leap forward act of 2010: out-law farm machinery!
Flipside: GM Should Use Taxpayer Money to Steal Customers From Toyota
ERIC BOLLING: Toyota dealers ticked off at GM because of this. They're accusing the bailed-out automaker of using tax payer dollars to lure away Toyota customers. Neil says, that's OK!
NEIL WEINBERG: The Toyota dealers are saying this is predatory, reckless and unfair, and I say, you wouldn't expect anything less of car dealers, would you?! This is what we want them to do. We are taxpayers. We are shareholders in GM. We want them to scrounge for every last sale. This is great.
KAI FALKENBERG: We have had the government helping out GM in so many ways. We had the Transportation Secretary saying people shouldn't drive Toyota's recalled vehicles anymore. We put them through the ringer with these Congressional hearings. You have to remember, there are 35,000 American employees working for Toyota. If we lose those jobs, it's not going to be good for taxpayers.
BILL BALDWIN: I don't like socializing risks. I don't like nationalizing car companies. And I really don't like this country's march towards national Socialism. But, once we own GM, why should they fight with one hand tied behind their back. We're going to have aggressive advertising, and why not.
VICTORIA BARRET: These are taxpayer dollars going to subsidize GM auto sales. It's like cash for clunkers all over again, and that's what's wrong about it. I bet that GM is going to lose money on half the cars that qualify for this program, and that means my dollars and your dollars are going to fund someone's purchase of a car. That's my problem with it. GM should be making money on its auto sales right now.
STEVE FORBES: This is about shareholders. Toyota is using shareholders' money to make deals to get people back in the showroom after the hit they took with the so-called acceleration problem. General Motors is using taxpayer money. We have a bankruptcy code to deal with a company like GM that over-incentivized in the past and got themselves in this mess. They should reorganize. Every airline except for American Airlines has gone through it—why shouldn't GM?
Informer: Billionaire Stocks
ERIC BOLLING: There it is—the Forbes billionaire list. Pick up a copy now to see the surprising names on it. But first, see the names our Informers say will help you make the list:
MIKE OZANIAN: Dolby Laboratories (DLB)
BILL BALDWIN: Loews (L)
NEIL WEINBERG: Marriott International (MAR)
Scrap The Health Care Bill Now; Go After Waste and Fraud First?
John Layfield, www.nutritionmarket.com, CEO/Owner: This is a tremendous idea. One that Americans can get behind. The bounty hunters don't get paid unless they find the fraud. They only eat what they kill. You have $60 to $80 billion in Medicare fraud out of $454 billion spent annually on Medicare. State budget, 28 percent of it goes — 22 percent of it goes to Medicaid. If you don't adjust fraud and add more people to rolls, the states that are hugely underfunded now. You think Greece is bad, add this burden to the state and you have California, and states that have to become insolvent, which they basically already are because of the Medicaid spending.
Erica Payne, Founder, Agenda Project: First of all, the plan is a great plan. The fraud that is Medicare has got to be taken care of. The issue it's patient coming in with a brain tumor and broken arm and you say let's fix the broken arm and let it set and heal before we work on the brain tumor. The estimate from the congressional budget office shown by 2019 we will increase spending 1 percent by cover 30 million additional Americans and reduce the deficit.
Wayne Rogers, Wayne Rogers & Co: I'm not sure that one — why are we not addressing fraud and waste all the time? In other words, I don't think it's just in the healthcare. It's everywhere in government. The federal government is out of control. They spend like crazy people. Look at any federal job and see — do we have a picture of that somewhere? Showed a federal worker job where you see one guy working. One guy is in the ditch shoveling and 10 people standing around watching him. This goes on all the time and it's crazy. We should attack fraud and waste all the time and lock them up. In the private sector when the guys stole money they put them in jail.
Jonathan Hoenig, www.capitalistpig.com: The government was eager to expand the reach in health care and has done a miserable job to this point. Democrats love to point to entitlement programs like Medicare as great examples of sound government planning. Forget the $60 billion a year in fraud. Medicare and Medicaid are $100 trillion unfunded liability on this country's balance sheet. You know, at one hand you say the system are broken and we have to fix the systems. But at the same time, Erica, the President wants to expand the bankrupt entitlement that the country cannot afford.
Tracy Byrnes, Fox Business Network: Jonathan is dead on here. The problem is to make the problem bigger is just stupid. We have to fix what we have right now. So health care should be put aside. Cap and trade, done. Jobs bill, done. Give the bounty hunters to wipe out DC before we add more to it. Look, you have the mafia in Medicare and Medicaid right now because it's that easy, it's that simple for them to get money out of them. That's a problem. So you want a new bill, a new way for mafia to skirt money off the government? It makes no sense.
Jonas Max Ferris, www.MaxFunds.com: Dog the Medicare bounty hunter is not going to provide health insurance to the uninsured or tax the Cadillac health insurance. Wayne is right. Go after the fraud, great. But we had fraud in defense department last year when the people were doing bribes in Afghanistan. Not do a defensive appropriation bill until fraud is rooted out. They're separate. Go after the fraud and do the bill some people think you need. They're separate.
4-Day School Week: Dumb Idea for American Families and Economy?
Tracy Byrnes; Fox Business Network: I hate this on so many levels. I hate my little one going to school for longer day. She's exhausted as it is. We hurting or kids and our place in the global world. The education system is lacking to begin with. No one is thinking of what the cost for child care will be for family that works. What do you do with them on the fifth day? Teenage pregnancy will be on the rise because they have all the freedom in the world on day five when their parents are at work. The last we're talking about is slashing these pensions. They have to get paid their pension but kids are sacrificed in the process.
Erica Payne; The Agenda Project: People can get pregnant on the sixth and seventh day, Saturday and Sunday. That's number one. The second point is we have spent a lot of time in the country bashing the role of government and what it does in your lives. This is a clear example of most of the kids in this country are educated in public schools. We don't have the money to pay for them. Someone needs to raise the money or the kids won't be educated.
Jonathan Hoenig; Capitalistpig Asset Management: We spent an immense amount in the last 15 years on public education in the country. It has doubled. It hasn't been correlated with increase in test scores. Like the post office, surprise, surprise, public schools are cutting back. Four-day week? The comparison is very acute. Both instances you have government having monopoly on primary education. Save the education system, privatize it.
Wayne Rogers; Wayne Rogers & Company: The reason they are cutting back is because they have to. I mean California is going through, if you will forgive the expression, a mini-Greece right now. California is in a meltdown because they committed so much. I have tell you, the government workers,— I'm not talking about people employed in the educational system; meaning, teachers and that sort of thing. The whole thing is out of control. They have to find a way to deal with this besides cutting. They have to cut somewhere else and not education.
John Layfield; Nutritionmarket.com: It will affect low-income people where both people work. Tracy is saying they're home on the weekends, not on Friday. If you let kids stay home, gang membership goes up. I went to school every day in Sweetwater, Texas and I never had a teacher hit on me. I want the tax dollars back.
Jonas Max Ferris: everyone is figuring out the alternative is raising taxes. That is the alternative. The states raising taxes more to keep the schools open. Everyone hates big government but no one wants to touch the schools. Don't touch that, or defense or cut the Medicare. Talk about creating jobs, if you take care of the kids another day, you have to hire daycare workers.
Government Public Retirement Funds Are Adding Risks to Raise Returns: Great News for Taxpayers!
Jonathan Hoenig: I'm against public pension plans and I think people should make their own choices when it comes to retirement funds but there is nothing wrong with risky investments. Over the year, etch on the show, we made money on risky invest fire department investment from gold. You want to take it in the right way. In hands of prudent manager, something esoteric and risky can be profitable in the long run.
Wayne Rogers: Jonathan used the right word. "Prudent investments." Yes, they're fine. But you can't let a guy go crazy and gamble away stuff like that. I mean, do not promise what you can't deliver. These are trust funds. The problem with this is that they have set the level so high that the managers said I've got to make 8.5 percent on these funds. They can't hit that. Then they are unfunded. Then that unfunded carries forward, so they just can't deliver. They've set their own bar too high. You know, this is not a contest in which you get a prize for winning. This is taking care of other people's money. It's a trust. It's a reverent trust and something you should pay attention to and do not promise what you can't deliver.
Jonas Max Ferris: They are going to have to take higher risk to make the ridiculous returns they think they will make. However, what I'm scared of is they are moving to yesterday got good ideas. They should go to the U.S. Stock market and instead they're thinking of commodities in emerging markets. They're a little late in the game and that's why they'll have lousy returns ultimately.
John Layfield: Look at Lehman and Bear Stearns, there is risk out there people thought they could mitigate and they can't. You need preservation of capital. I don't want the government involved whatsoever. I don't care who they are, they can't manage checkbook and none saw the sub prime coming. If individuals take their money and put it on their own, I'm with that but not with the government intervention.
Tracy Byrnes: They have been for years now. Wayne is right. They set the 7.5 - 8 percent per year goals. They haven't hit the numbers in ten years. We have unfunded pensions across the country. And taking risks is not the answer.
Erica Payne: It's a more nuanced answer. The distribution of ages in your pension fund should determine how much risk you're willing to take. If everything you have to pay out is 25 years old, it's appropriate to take a higher risk. It's a daily calculation.
What Do I Need to Know for This Week
Jonathan Hoenig: we've seen the unbelievably tragic and horrible riots in Greece because they weren't getting their entitlements. Here in the U.S., we're growing at a rapid rate, 36 percent of taxpayers in 2008 paid no taxes whatsoever. The president's policy in my opinion are going to further that trend of more and more people getting entitlements from the government, but not paying one cent.
Wayne Rogers: You know in Ireland we have St. Patty's Day coming up. In Ireland they have a 12.5 percent corporate tax rate and that's what we should have in the United States. My recommendation is to help all of this is that it's a defensive stock, called Deageo (DEO) and they make this booze right here called Bushmills and I suggest that everybody go out and have a shot of this and help right now.
Tracy Byrnes: All right, so million people don't file tax runs, $1.3 billion in refunds on the table. That's the craziest thing I've heard. Each refund is averaging around $604. Go get your money!
John Layfield: Manny Pacquiao fighting Josh Cottey this weekend… setting up the biggest Pay-Per-View watched fight in history. Buy Comcast (CMCSA).
Jonas Max Ferris: Toyota, launching a new incentives programs which is going to hurt sales profitability, but not the auto parts maker and Johnson Controls (JCI) makes controls and they'll do all right.