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.
AMERICA 'NUTS' OVER HANDOUTS AND 'GOING CRAZY' TO STAY ON THE GOVERNMENT DOLE
Matt McCall: Yeah, I think you have to put a lot of blame on the government because we've created this entitlement nation as I just mentioned Cheryl. People, out there Americans... if the government is going to hand something out they are going to take it. I mean that's just how human beings are, I mean so, I see the government as just handing out this money disability and not really doing their dues diligence finding out if this people are disabled, at the same time I think there are a lot of Americans out there that are gaming the system that are taking advantage of this because you know, unemployment can end. Disability checks do not end. You could be on that the rest of your life and unfortunately you and I taxpayers are paying for this.
Wayne Rogers: Well, not only that... it exaggerates it because if you have a shrinking labor force obviously and the unemployment rate. The rate itself is going to show a drop because you're shrinking the labor force if though you would have steady employment. So if they go over to the disability side that means there is less there that means the unemployment rate is dropping, so the statistics align to you, so you've got to be careful what you do... the government is going to say that and then they're going to say "oh well, look the unemployment rate is dropping" well yea, because you've got some people who are systemically unemployed and that's the problem in this society right now. Systemic unemployment!
David Mercer: I think that's why we have to raise revenues to ensure that those that need the safety net, that's been a promise of America, are actually on that safety net. I mean tax increases; we are only receiving fourteen percent of GDP and revenues which traditionally is at eighteen percent. So, we need some catch up there. But that said, it's kind of ironic that we have this whole debate about entitlements ironically with conservative politicians from red states who are most on the dull and here we are debating whether or not there should be entitlements it's a promise of America, that people have safety net and we need to provide for those that have disability.
Jonathan Hoenig: Well, that's actually not the promise of America, this whole notion of a dull even to beyond is not a product of our founding fathers, it's a product of the 1930s, it's a product of the 1960s and David, forget about the politics for a minute, let's not focus on the red or the blue let's focus as Neil Cavuto says on the green. Well, let's talk about the actual economy... its bankrupt. The entitlement states, that you cherish, whether it's the disability fund as Cheryl mentioned, are going to be bankrupt in 6 years... That's kind of a problem. Add to that social security, Medicare and Medicaid and this whole notion that need is a standard of value, that someone has lost their job or has any type of terrible no malady which are terrible, but why does government have any role in that at all. That's the philosophy that has to change.
Lori Rothman: People, I think Cheryl, are acting out of desperation. The economy has shown that unemployment is slightly improving but still overwhelming challenges out there and I really support this idea for doing this means testing out there, where if you actually need this stuff if you're not married to someone who makes a significant income. You've never heard of means testing? I might only have $5 dollars in my bank account but if my husband is a millionaire then I certainly do not qualify for these entitlements.
GET RID OF 'PAINFUL GAS' BY REDUCING THE FEDERAL GAS TAX?
Lori Rothman: Yes, absolutely. If gas prices are so volatile why does this tax have to stay fixed? It too should go up and down as the price of a gallon goes up and down. If you have higher gas prices, a lower gas tax and vice versa. Makes sense to me.
Jonathan Hoenig: Well it wasn't even supposed to go to infrastructure when the gas tax originally passed, Cheryl. It was supposed to balance the budget. It started as one cent a gallon and now what is it at nineteen cents a gallon? When you add state taxes we're talking about 46 cents per gallon of gas for the consumer at the pump. Now you can't blame the evil oil companies for that. I don't think the answer is to change the tax, but however, to get rid of it. If you privatize the roads and bridges as have already been done in many places in Asia and Europe, all the expense of maintaining them goes to the private sector where it belongs.
David Mercer: It's the wrong thing to do and the congressman who proposed it had his chance to provide a tax cut to 160 million people with the payroll tax cut but he voted against it, so if he was really interested in that he would have voted for it. With regard to your question Cheryl, on point the tax cut, taking that revenue away when you just mentioned that it's likely to go solvent with regard to the highway transportation fund is to say that we need that money going in there so it doesn't become insolvent and that money can be put to dilapidated bridges and repairing the roads and other highway infrastructure that is in desperate need of repair.
Wayne Rogers: Well, there's that ugly word need again. Oh we need it, we need it. They don't need it; they've wasted it. The fact of the matter is you're right. Even the congressional budget office says 50 percent of that does not go to the repair of roads and bridges it goes to administration and a lot of other stuff that has nothing to do with what you said, repairing roads and bridges. So it's just dumb. Once again the congress is duping the American people by claiming that and once again they've overspent. They've spent $52.7 billion on something that requires $36.9 billion. So they've massively overspent. All they've got to do is cut it and then we'll be fine, but they won't do that because everybody's being bribed. The congressmen; they're bribing the voters.
Matt McCall: Oh gas prices; you think they're high now? Wait until the middle of the year or possibly the end of the year. Depending on what happens overseas, we could possibly see 4.50 or five dollar gas national and then what happens? I mean 18 cents; does it really matter if it's 18 cents or three cents if you're paying 4.50 per gallon? No it doesn't. I think the real issue is here; the reason gas prices are going higher, the reason we're in trouble is we have a terrible energy policy. How about you drill here and stop relying on the Middle East for your darn oil and then we could get gas prices to go down.
CARL's JR "SEXY" BURGER AD AND TACO BELL'S "DORITOS TACO": PROOF GOVERNMENT WASTING TIME PUSHING HEALTHY FOODS?
Jonathan Hoenig: Well, I don't think a burger is unhealthy at all Cheryl. I mean, it's obviously worked for Kate Upton so listen, what you put in your mouth is your business not the government's; whether it's burgers, tofu, wheat germ, or weed it should have no impact or influence from the government or on the government at all.
Wayne Rogers: Well, my friend Jonathan is absolutely right. Do you want some functionary in the government telling you how to live your life, what to eat, how to exercise, where to walk? And they're going to get in to this because of the health care bill and Jonathan would make a better ad than that girl, I think, the way he's eating it. I think you're entitled to do what you want to do.
Lori Rothman: She would be chomping on carrots if that's what our society really wanted to eat. Listen, everything in moderation. I have two small children and I don't have a problem if they eat fast food once a week. I have to eat a burger or steak myself a couple times. I need the iron fix.
David Mercer: I say to Jonathan; eat your heart out, but at the same time I would like to know from the government if my burger has e-coli or if there are rats running around in the kitchen as taco bell is trying to come back from, so you know there's a balance here and I think a public-private partnership with business and government to know that what you are eating is actually what you think you are eating.
Matt McCall: Listen, I don't think this government should be telling you what to eat. I think it should be educating you. You can put billboards of carrots everywhere you want, but it doesn't matter. You're still going to go get a taco wrapped in Doritos and whatever Jonathan's eating because that's what I want.
WHAT DO I NEED TO KNOW?
Matt McCall: Housing market is at bottom, buy (TOL) to build up profits.
Wayne Rogers: Jefferies up big and headed even higher, buy (JEF).
Lori Rothman: Until gas prices go in reverse, consumer confidence will stall.
Jonathan Hoenig: Stick to shipping and (SSW) to keep profits afloat.