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.
STATES CONSIDERING MILEAGE TAXES
JOHN LAYFIELD: This has nothing to do with economic recovery. It's not going to hurt it. It's just plain stupid. Look, you have the lottery being sold in so many different states and if you give us the lottery this money is going to go to schools. It never went to schools. It went to the general fund. That's exactly what's going to happen here. You're going to have all this mileage tax and how are you going to enforce this? What if you have a person that's going to work every day? You're going to have some politician give them an exemption. What if you have some other crew; say the post office? They're going to give them an exemption. There are so many different layers. What if you're pulling a tractor? What if you drive a school bus? There are going to be so many layers and exemptions just having a flat gas tax if it were to actually go to roads, which it doesn't by the way, is the best way to do it.
TRACY BYRNES: But that's why, to John's point, if they just did things properly some things actually could make sense. You know what get rid of all the other taxes, to your point Cheryl the hybrids. So get rid of the gas tax. Put a mileage tax on the roads. I'm using bridges, I'm using tunnels, I should be paying for this stuff I'm using but the money is going to end up in somebody's pocket in some hot tub on some trip somewhere that I won't pay another dime for.
CHRIS KOFINIS: This is one of those ideas where consultants like me would say do you really want to be in politics. I mean this is political suicide. Mileage taxes aren't going to work. I mean listen; in 20, 30, 40 years down the road if we have cities literally in a grid-lock that's one thing, but that's not where we are right now and I think the flipside of this, I would say from a Democrat's perspective in particular, this is really regressive. There are working poor and if you have to drive to work or commute to work this is going to be a major hit. It doesn't make a lot of sense to recommending this right now. There have to be better ways I imagine than a mileage tax.
WAYNE ROGERS: Well Cheryl you said something else too, an invasion of privacy. I mean we have this threat that, for example they're going to use domestic drones to track us you know and you're going to have some device in your car they tells them where you go every mile. It's a nutty idea. It doesn't work. The fact of the matter is that politicians originally when they put a tax on gasoline, they should have said okay we have a depreciation rate. It takes so much to maintain these roads over so many years of time. We have to match that with the tax. They don't do that. They just take the money and they spend it. It's a nutty idea. The other thing that could be done is you could privatize roads. That's another thing, just pay a toll tax. I mean pay a toll at the road and you use the road and that road is the road that gets that money. It goes directly to maintaining that road.
JONATHAN HOENIG: I actually don't want to interrupt Wayne because I think for the first time in months he's talking sense about privatizing the roads. It might sound ludicrous, but it's not because from 1850 to the early 1900s there were hundreds of private toll-ways in this country and as you said the user pays. This is just about more control from big brother putting an attachment on your car. What's next Cheryl? Are they going to tax you for looking at the sunrise; for breathing? This is about bigger government and less freedom in individuals' lives.
"CUTTING CLASS" TO SAVE MONEY
JOHN LAYFIELD: This is disgusting and embarrassing for our country. Look, we have Silicon Valley in California. Bill Gates just has come out and begged the administration and congress to increase the H1B visas, but more importantly he says we need 15 million jobs that Americans won't be qualified for in tech-engineering in 2020. We can tell these kids; if you go to college and you get a science and a math degree, not only will you help the future of America, you will get a job and instead of trying to push this on our young people for the future of the country, because the only thing we can really export is tech and pharma, this is half of it, we're instead cutting education budgets and telling kids to skip science class. This makes zero sense.
JONATHAN HOENIG: Actually I don't even think spending more on education John will make a difference. In the last 40 years we've spent, adjusted for inflation, 100 percent more on education in this country and you know what? SAT scores have gone down and California has a 30 percent drop-out rate. I think the point is bigger than just spending on this program or cutting this other program. The problem really is that education is a commodity. We treat it like a right. The more that the government has gotten involved, the worse it's become.
TRACY BYRNES: You know I see it just on a small level. Special you know math classes being cut here and there all because of budget issues, but what's the money being spent on? Fancy dinners and I come back again to the hot tub because that's where my kid's money is going. We rank 31st out of 65 countries in math. That's disgusting. Come on.
CHRIS KOFINIS: Well I can't imagine that this is the way you're going to save or I should say solve a 16 trillion dollar deficit. I just can't imagine that this is the right strategy especially when you're looking at just the reality of where we are in terms of science compared to the Chinese, compared to the Indians. You're producing mathematicians and scientists at an unbelievable rate compared to us, but I will tell you this is much bigger than class sizes. I think that's one of the mistakes we make sometimes when we're talking about education. There's a cultural problem within the country right now in terms of how we value science and math and that has been going on for decades and it's been getting worse for decades and until I think we've solved this, I don't know what the answer is, but until we solve that we're going to have a big problem.
WAYNE ROGERS: It doesn't make any sense at all. Of course if you're spending more money and getting less for it, that's the dumbest thing in the world. Let me explain something else too. California, for example, there are certain requirements. One of them is the two years of science. They want to drop one of those years. You also have a qualification that says you have to take two years of physical education. Why not drop one of those? I mean what would you rather have, a fat smart guy or a thin moron? I mean it just makes no sense.
FINES AND PRISON TIME FOR NOT PUTTING A SEAT BELT ON YOUR PETS
JONATHAN HOENIG: A seat belt on a dog Cheryl? I don't really get it to be honest. I mean the government's responsibility is to protect individual rights and not dogs. In fact, a dog is a piece of property. It's like a couch or a pair of jeans. Honestly and the problem here is that we need to move back to a society of privacy and what I want to do with my dog and my life isn't taxed at every opportunity by the government.
WAYNE ROGERS: Well I like that idea that Jonathan treats things differently for some reason. If you tether a child, most people treat their dogs like their children, why not tether the dog? What difference does it make? It's for the betterment of the dog and the betterment of the people. I mean you're crazy. You want to kill children? Okay kill children than too. Take the seat belts off of everything. Let everybody die. I mean what's the matter with you?
JOHN LAYFIELD: Guys, we are talking on a world-wide TV show about belt-buckling dogs. What if you own a snake? What if that's your pet? What if you've got a pet rock? What if you have a hamster? This is absolutely insane. We've got 16 trillion dollars in debt. I don't care if you seat-buckle Fido. I don't care if you own a snake and it bites you while you try to put it in your car.
TRACY BYRNES: Well I think what Jonathan just said is animal cruelty so let's just be clear about that. There are a lot of people that really, really, really love their pets and I think Wayne makes a great point; the way you treat your children you treat your pets. If you can't treat them that way, maybe you shouldn't be a pet owner. So maybe though, it should be up to the owner of the pet to take care of his or her animal, snake or whatever.
CHRIS KOFINIS: Well let me tell you. I'm married to a dog lover who, if the choice was to save me or our dogs, she would choose our dogs. So I'm going to say that the fine is perfectly appropriate for the sake of my marriage.
WHAT DO I NEED TO KNOW?
TRACY BYRNES: U.S. Government hoarding $70 billion; give it back to the taxpayers.
WAYNE ROGERS: Get healthy returns with medical equipment companies and (CYBX).
JONATHAN HOENIG: Prepare for higher interest rates with (DLBS).
JOHN LAYFIELD: Invest in our kids at sevensummitsforkids.com