DISCLAIMER: THE FOLLOWING "Cost of Freedom Recap" CONTAINS STRONG OPINIONS WHICH ARE NOT A REFLECTION OF THE OPINIONS OF FOX NEWS AND SHOULD NOT BE RELIED UPON AS INVESTMENT ADVICE WHEN MAKING PERSONAL INVESTMENT DECISIONS. IT IS FOX NEWS' POLICY THAT CONTRIBUTORS DISCLOSE POSITIONS THEY HOLD IN STOCKS THEY DISCUSS, THOUGH POSITIONS MAY CHANGE. READERS OF "Cost of Freedom Recap" MUST TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR THEIR OWN INVESTMENT DECISIONS.
PAYROLL TAX HIKE LOOMING AS FUNDING FIGHT ERUPTS IN D.C.
Charles Payne: These guys in Washington got religion, all right. We're going to get the payroll tax extension. I'm 99 percent sure and I'm 100 percent sure it's going to involve fuzzy math and it's going to be added to the counting debt that we have and it's not going to be paid for. But, I think both sides feel there's too much to lose. So, forget religion. It's all about votes.
Charlie Gasparino: I always thought this deficit commission was a farce to begin with. I think you (Neil) thought they were going to cut some sort of big deal. You're never going to get any meaningful cuts in the budget with this divided government. The reason for the deficit commission, for cutting stuff, is ridiculous. It's not going to happen. It never was.
Ben Stein: This is their religion. Their religion is to get reelected. Of course, the can will get kicked farther down the road. They'll do some kind of trick to say it's paid for, but of course it won't be paid for. It's an endless cycle of buying votes by indenturing future generations.
Dagen McDowell: It's the people who cast those votes who are to blame. People who love that extra money in their pay check-that's supposed to fund your social security benefits. And then, at the same time, people complain about fixing entitlements, but don't want that extra money to go away. I worry that bomb is going to blow up right in our face sooner rather than later and we're just going to wait until it happens.
Susan Ochs: I think there may be some fuzzy math. I think the challenge now is that everyone is looking at Europe and they're seeing the ghost of Christmas future. They're seeing massive deficits of governments and they're starting to realize that it's actually a problem. So, we need to continue to have a conversation about the deficit, but our priority in the short term still has to be economic stimulus, because you cannot cut your way to economic growth.
SENATE DEMOCRATS PUSHING $1 TRILLION SPENDING BILL
Charles Payne: If you think about this summer when everyone started talking about a double dip recession and the stock market crashed, a lot of it came after it was obvious that Washington was at the worst it's ever been. If you make a deal and you dismantle it just months later, your credibility is thin right now.
Charlie Gasparino: I'm a little more optimistic. I think the tea party movement has moved both parties to the right. Again, divided government is never going to handle this. I think we're going to deal with this in the election. I think it's a legitimate thing to talk about. There are benefits from being the tallest midget in the room. The U.S. will unfortunately have a lot more ability to borrow for a long time.
Ben Stein: We're lending it to ourselves. The Federal Reserve is creating it, giving it to the banks and then the bank re-lend it to the federal government. It's a vicious cycle. It could go on for a very long time.
Dagen McDowell: They cannot help themselves and the cuts will never come. If you're a Democrat, you'll never come to Medicare. If you're a republican, you'll never come to defense. The problem for us as a nation is, we can still borrow money hand over fist at rock bottom rates and until somebody decides to not extend our credit limit, until somebody decides to extract a lot more in interest from us as a nation, nothing will change. Not even an election. Not even a tea party movement will change it. We've seen that over the last year.
Susan Ochs: When you think about these triggers, and it's terrible to think that Congress is going to go back on their word so soon after they just had this deal done, but the idea of the triggers was that they were designed to be bad so they would compel the super committee to actually cut a deal. It's no surprise that everybody hates them and wants to revoke them because they were designed to be really bad.
POSSIBLE EURO BAILOUT SPARKING BIGGEST DOW RALLY SINCE 2009
Charles Payne: Wall Street is very selfish. This is like going out to a party at 7:00 at night and you know you're going to get plastered-you know you're going to get as drunk as you can and you don't care. Here's the thing, you know that 4 AM is coming and 5 AM is coming. Wall Street doesn't care because right now it's 7 PM and they're going to party and they're going to take this as far as it can go even though this medicine is ultimately going to give us one heck of a hangover.
Charlie Gasparino: Inflation is generally decent for stocks so it's not an absurd bit. I just want to point out that they didn't quite bailout the Euro. It was a marginal step on the road to a bailout. Wall Street likes bailouts.
Ben Stein: Everyone assumes the bailout is a bad thing. If we bailed out Lehman Brothers, this recession wouldn't have been anywhere near as bad. We needed a bailout of Lehman. We need a bailout of Greece.
Dagen McDowell: What happened this past week is just a band aid on a very hairy problem. I want to be the one to just rip it off.
Susan Ochs: I worked on TARP at the Treasury Department. Nobody likes a bailout, and I can tell you that from my personal experience. The people who do the bailouts don't like doing the bailouts. When you get to that point where you're making that decision, it's already too late. You have to act. You can't just let Greece go down. It's going to affect every bank in this country. It's going to affect every bank in this entire global economy. We've really been able to stabilize our financial system in the U.S. by backstopping the banks. We've gotten most of the money back. We're making a profit on most of the bank bailout we did in this country.
BEN STEIN'S MONEY PICK
Ishares MSCI Canada Index (EWC)