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.
GAS PRICES RISING AMID IRANIAN THREATS TO DISRUPT OIL SUPPLY
Dagen McDowell: I'm perplexed about how the President can turn his back on a pipeline project that even the teamsters have gotten behind. 20,000 jobs would be created immediately and another 118,000 spinoff jobs would be created. The environmental argument doesn't wash because you're going to ship the oil to China where it's going to be burned in polluting factories when it would be better used here in the United States.
Adam Lashinsky: [Charles] I applaud you for trying to link this to whatever the latest wacky comment from a politician in Iran said last week, even though none of our friends here who agree with the thesis wanted to talk about Iran with you. So, I'll try to discuss Iran with you. I'm glad that the President isn't going to make our national energy policy based on what Iranian politicians are saying. You're question is should he approve Keystone because Iranians might shut down the Strait of Hormuz and the answer to that is no.
Ben Stein: The President has to look at the realistic situation. The environment is incredibly important. We love it. We want to live on Earth as long as mankind possibly can. But, right now we need oil and natural gas. His people, his environmental people are fighting Shale Gas. They're fighting the pipeline wherever they can. They're fighting refineries wherever they can. Mr. Obama has to say to the environmentalists, ‘I love you like mad, but the country runs on energy. It doesn't run on the hot air spewed by the environmentalists.' It runs on energy and we've got to get that energy up if people are going to be employed and if we're going to keep from being a third world nation. Let's be realistic, Mr. Obama.
Matt McCall: Energy security basically equal national security. If you look at what's going on in Iran now, going into 2012, that's one of the big things that could blow up in this economy. If that Strait of Hormuz gets closed, $100 oil will look very cheap. We are now paying $4 or $5 dollars for gasoline and that slows down the economy. Look at where we're getting our oil. Of the top seven countries where we import our oil from, four of them are very unfriendly to us, to put it nicely. So, we're now relying on those countries to basically run our economy. We have pipelines. Have you ever looked at these pipelines that run across our country? They're running everywhere. What's one more going to do?
NEW 'RESEARCH' FEE FROM HEALTHCARE LAW KICKS IN AT MIDNIGHT
Dagen McDowell: This is one of those things that was buried in that health care law. Secondly, as Medicare and Medicaid get bigger and bigger, there is going to be pressure put on the government any which way to limit what you are covered for-procedures, drugs, you name it. The only upside to this quasi-government agency is that they haven't commissioned one comparative study yet and you know how slow these bureaucracies move so let's hope it takes them years and years to get it done.
Adam Lashinsky: I agree to research what the best treatments are would be a poor use of our money. Of course that would be a good use of our money. Secondly, it is completely irresponsible to bring up this word ‘rationing.' All insurance is rationing. That's what private companies' health care plan do, as well. They say you can only go to this doctor. This treatment is approved. That treatment is not approved. That's the way insurance works and you're just scaring people by using the word rationing.
Ben Stein: The problem is they're going to start charging us money for the procedure of doing the test before they start doing the test. The fees are going to kick in almost immediately so we're going to start to be charged for getting absolutely nothing. The medical care in this country is such an incredible mess. I don't know how anyone can cleanse this Augean stables. Just how we're going to be able to do this ever, I have no idea. It's just a total mess.
Matt McCall: The money part is obvious. They're charging health insurance companies more so that's going to be passed on to you and I. I think it's also going to affect the way we get treated when we're sick or not sick because what they're doing is rationing right now. They're going to ration who is able to go to which doctor, what hospitals for each condition, and it may not hit us right away next year, but down the road if you want to get a certain procedure done, they're going to push you to a certain type of doctor and if not, it's more out of your pocket. Again, this just ends up being more money out of our pockets to get good health care.
FIRE HAZARD FEARS ERUPT AFTER 'GREEN' CFL BULBS CATCH FIRE
Dagen McDowell: Ultimately if they are that energy efficient and if they make that much sense, the American people would have moved to them anyway without the government mandating.
Adam Lashinsky: I think you all are anti-progress. This is progress. This is the way things are going and there are going to be problems. I'm comfortable with the government setting safety guidelines. They've been doing it for years and doing it pretty well with aircrafts, drugs and so on.
Ben Stein: This was a Bush plan, not an Obama plan and it was not a very good idea. I don't know which lasts longer. I do know that these new light bulbs are extremely toxic. It's very hard to bury them without causing severe environmental damage. I don't know why Mr. Obama doesn't do his environmentalist friends a favor and say 'I'm going to ban these horrible anti-environment light bulbs.' Also, the light that comes from them is horrible and we just don't want government telling us how to micromanage our lives. That's the bottom line.
Matt McCall: This is the government looking the other way when it comes to something that's ‘green.' They're not going to regulate the green.
BEST STOCKS FOR 2012
Adam Lashinsky: Vanguard Total Stock (VTSMX)
Ben Stein: S&P SPDRS (SPY)
Matt McCall: EGShares Emerging Market (HILO)