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Businesses brace for Supreme Court verdict on ObamaCare
DENNIS KNEALE: They really do. Let's remember from the Obama administration- they way they have demonized wealth creation, demonized capitalism, been suspicious of big business, we cannot trust sometimes elected politicians to protect the basic constitutional right of pursuit of property. We have to trust the courts. The courts are really important to step it, to stop a bureaucracy from running amuck the way the EPA has done, the way the FCC has done and going after businesses and ignoring court precedent. Thank goodness the court is there, it has to be a strong court. Sometimes politicians don't want to protect business.
STEVE FORBES: The Supreme Court should not be a Chamber of Commerce. The law should be constitutional period. Some laws will be enlightened some laws will be stupid. If there are high taxes and high regulations throw the bums out who put them in and change the laws but the Supreme Court should just adhere to the constitution and not be a special advocate.
ELIZABETH MACDONALD: I agree with Steve and in fact the court does not have term limits and they are unaccountable the founding fathers did say they wanted a judicial review. Alexander Hamilton and James Madison said that in the federalist papers. The Supreme Court has weighed in on decisions from the EPA for example that effect businesses or decisions that affect generic drug makers. But then the congress has stepped in reverse and done its own legislation and back out of what the Supreme Court has already done. It's done that in 1991 and 1998. I see this as all part of checks and balances.
RICK UNGAR: I actually like what Steve Forbes had to say. What a great line. The Supreme Court is not the Chamber of Commerce. Look, when you look strong is that another word for activist? For years conservatives have railed against an activist court. This isn't the time for it to start. The Supreme Court is there to interpret laws to make sure they exist in accordance with the constitution. If big business has a problem take it up with your super PAC, take it up with your congressman. It is not the job of the Supreme Court to look after your interest.
MORGAN BRENNAN: I completely and whole heartedly agree with that. It is not the job of the Supreme Court to protect or not protect businesses. The job of the Supreme Court is to protect businesses. Marbury vs. Madison is a 209 year ruling and it's there for a reason. If businesses want to be protected, they need to go to congress. That is the job of congress, if those laws that congress put in place, economic regulations are unconstitutional then it goes to the Supreme Court. A strong supreme court is one that protects the constitution not businesses.
BILL BALDWIN: Thank God there is a Supreme Court. It protected Wal-Mart from being looted by trialers who had no case at all. Thank god it decided citizens united. That was the case that said corporations do have first amendment rights and thank god it did it because otherwise we would have congress enacting laws saying that the Wall Street Journal can't publish editorials criticizing congress. Why? Because the Wall Street Journal is published by a corporation and corporations are bad. Thank god there is a Supreme Court.
FORGET THIS WEEK'S BIG VOTE IN WISCONSIN; TAXPAYERS EVERYWHERE SHOULD BE FOCUSING ON RECALL VOTE COMING UP IN WI?
STEVE FORBES: Absolutely. It's not the cuts themselves; other states have done it without this hoo-ha. It's about whether tax payers are there to be served by public servants or that tax payers have to pony up for public service unions. What they really objected to with Scott Walker was he wanted it to be voluntary whether or not you wanted to join a union, instead of being forced to do it. He wanted each year for you to decide whether you want your dues used for political purposes or keep the money yourself. What's wrong with that kind of choice? And that's been portrayed as anti-union? No it isn't. It's giving workers a choice. It is what America is about.
RICK UNGAR: If that was the case then the federal court would not have stricken that part of the law that Steve is referring to this week, returning the dues collecting ability back to the unions. Look lets lose the spin, here's what the agenda is really about. If Scott Walker was really worrying about the tax payers he would have said yes when the public unions came to him to accept the deal he offered them but before Walker pushed through his anti collective bargaining legislation. He wasn't interested in saving money there. If he was interested in saving money he wouldn't have exempted certain public unions from the anti collective bargaining bill. If he was interested in saving tax payer money he would not have given a huge tax break to big business in Wisconsin as his first act as governor. That's not what his agendas all about.
ELIZABETH MACDONALD: Well if he gave that tax break to attract businesses to the state of Wisconsin. Look I need Dramamine to the spin that Rick is saying here. Look what happen was that the governor came in, saw that municipal and government compensation costs were exploding and drowning Wisconsin in red ink. It was so bad Stuart that the prior government raided transportation funds illegally to pay for these costs. Wisconsin workers got cushy retirement, cushy health coverage, to the point where some districts didn't have to pay for their health coverage. They also had to in some districts use a union run plan that was actually costing the state. So what you're saying a land of make believe accounting in the state of Wisconsin, the governor was trying to fix all that.
BILL BALDWIN: I think that Scott Walker's vicious personal attack on the unions is backfiring. He should have let the unions have their crumby dues. He should have made the battle ground just this; we are going to replace those lavish pensions with just a 401k style pension which is what your tax payers have to put up with in their lives. He should have made that the battleground, and then the public would have been behind him.
MIKE OZANIAN: I think Scott Walker is going to end up being a hero. He took a 2.8 billion dollar deficit and turned it into surplus and all he did was have the public employees pay a small fraction towards their pensions and a small co-pay for health insurance, things that most people don't even have. Scott Walker stood up for the working families in his state and you know what? If he gets replaced the contrast will be sharp and negative towards his replacement.
JOHN TAMNY: Well it could potentially be broad if this vote predicts something else, something bigger across the country. Let's remember public employee unions work for the tax payers. The idea that they can vote themselves higher benefits turns democracy into tyranny. So if the Wisconsin voters vote the wrong way and goes national, it will be a scenario whereby Americans work for the government rather than the government working for the people. It's a very dangerous signal.
SHOULD GOVERNMENT CUT COLLEGE SUBSIDIES?
MIKE OZANIAN: The student here knows more than the vice president. We have had a vicious cycle over the past 20 years of increasing government subsidies which increase the cost of tuition, which then increase debt, which then increase taxes to pay down the debt. The students' right, the vice president is wrong.
RICK UNGAR: It's a complex question and I think I understand what the vice president was going for here. Look you certainly can. If you take more kids out of the pool going to college you would in fact reduce tuition, there would be more competition among colleges for students. Here's the part we are not talking about; go to any major campus in this country and you will see an ever increasing amount of foreign students who want to come in and get their education here and they pay more. I think the vice president's concern is, by removing Americans from that system, the schools will continue fill up with foreign students who will get a great education go back to their countries and compete with us. Is this really the best thing for us in the long run?
STEVE FORBES: You cut the cost of college, you would have a new paradigm of education, which would make college available to more students at a more affordable cost, not have students leave college after 4 or 6 years with a mortgage like debt. You would see things like a 3 year undergraduate course instead of 4 years. Why take the whole summer off if you can do it in 3 years? This would be good for students. What would be the loser is bloat of administrative costs to colleges, higher tuitions which is twice the rate inflation of healthcare. It's just administrative bloat not more education for the kids.
MORGAN BRENNAN: I think this is a two part problem with a two part answer. I do think that federal government should be cut out, especially where the lending business is concerned, so we don't see another housing-like bubble inflate and collapse. For tuition to go down, we need to make sure that states still fund and subsidize state colleges and community colleges because we have seen major cuts there over the last couple of years and that too, has increased tuition. That needs to stay.
DENNIS KNEALE: Three key numbers build the case for getting government out of the college aid business. $140 billion a year, that's what our government spends every year on college aid. It's up 55 percent in 10 years. State college tuition -- up 40 percent in 10 years. We have decided it's worth taxing every member from our society to make sure kids go to school starting from kindergarten through age 12. That was a worthy cause. Are we now deciding that government should get involved taxing every member of our society to make everyone go to college? It is not a government responsibility. It is your job to put yourself through college.
STOCK OR FUND YOU BOUGHT RECENTLY
ELIZABETH MACDONALD: Anheuser-Busch InBev (BUD)
DENNIS KNEALE: Fidelity Growth Company (FDGRX)
BILL BALDWIN: Vanguard Target Retirement 2050 Fund (VFIFX)