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.
Poll: 75 percent Say Gov. Romney's Wealth Won't Impact Vote
Charles Payne: Listen, I am not really surprised by this poll. Although it is 4 out of 5 and it used to be 5 out of 5. Listen, most people out there want to be rich or they want their kids to be rich. In America we know that success is a byproduct. It is a byproduct of hard work, sacrifice, and smarts. We respect that-we really do respect that-despite this massive PR campaign against it and I do hope it backfires.
Ben Stein: The hypocrisy here on the part of the democrats is almost beyond belief. The great hero of the Democratic Party in the 20th century was FDR-one of the richest men in America. The family ate off gold plates during the Great Depression. Other big heroes were John F. Kennedy-family was incredibly rich largely off bootlegging and lived lives of unbelievable decadent luxury. What is going on here? I mean LBJ was one of the richest men to ever serve in congress-big Democratic hero. Kerry is a big democratic hero and one of the richest men in the United States, What are they talking about here? I mean the hypocrisy here just blows the top of my brain right off. I am with you Neil, who are the 1 in 4 to whom it does make a difference? Why would it make any difference at all?
Dagen McDowell: One thing the Wall Street Journal has actually written about in the editorial page a great deal is President Obama's message is that economic growth comes out of the middle class and that prosperity comes out of the middle class-which is so upside down. Middle class has developed from economic growth and prosperity and it kind of illustrates the class warfare that the democrats are trying to set up. Focus on growing the economy! People want to work hard-make it easy for them to start businesses and work hard and then keep what they sow-keep what they create.
Charlie Gasparino: Look, the underlying message here is not necessarily wealth-it is fairness. If you look at some of those Bain ads-and some of them are really effective-when they say that Mitt Romney takes over a company and fires everybody and walks out with $10 billion-there is a very effective ad out there. I think it resonates with the American people. It's not necessarily-I mean they go over the top when they just start attacking wealth and anybody that makes more than $250,000 a year is a greedy fat-cat. Where they hit home runs I think is on the fairness issue because I think that strikes people that even lean to the right. They have problems with people on Wall Street making money and getting bonuses when they are getting screwed.
Adam Lashinsky: I will take it a step further. Americans have always admired wealthy people-especially people who have earned their wealth. People like Bill Gates or Steve Jobs-they created something and they got wealthy-that is great. The issue is-and Charlie started to get at it-is fairness and inequality. This is not by the way a partisan issue-we are in a weird time in our countries history where there is more income inequality than there ever has been before. The Democrats are talking about that and the Republicans are not. I think not only is it an important political message but it's an important message as well.
GM Offering 60 Day Money Back Guarantee on Chevys
Charles Payne: It is actually remarkable but I have to tell you something that no one is talking about. They keep heralding how good the automobile industry is doing-but the average car is 11 years old-it should be doing pretty well. And these loans they are giving up forget about it. They are losing market share big time. If you strip out fleet sales-particularly government-their retail sales are only 8 percent higher. Volkswagen was up 34 percent, Honda up 48 percent, Toyota up 60 percent, the bottom line is they are staring to lose market share again and we are on the hook. Over $30 billion, the largest pension liability of any company in this country.
Dagen McDowell: We are on the hook because we own a chunk of this puppy still. I would love this 60 day money back guarantee if they can get these models off the lot.
Ben Stein: We didn't go into this bailout in order to speculate on the price of GM stock. We went in to save the domestic auto industry-save it as a big part of American history. That worked out extremely well. We can all just hope that the money back guarantee works and that fuels the stock price.
Adam Lashinsky: Furthermore, it doesn't matter what we think if the 60 day money back guarantee works or not but my point is that the government shouldn't have an opinion on whether or not. Let GM run its business. We should hope they do a good job of running their business, but it's not our business.
Charlie Gasparino: The one thing he said is the fact that we have to let them run their businesses at some point. I know the government owns them and the taxpayers are in it, but at some point it has got to be hands off. I will say this; anybody who says this auto bailout is working now is crazy. It is a little too soon to say this thing worked. The stock is at $20 a share. Generally bailed out businesses are bailed out because they were failures. If GM is going to survive over the next ten years, I think that is a big if.
New Farm Bill Would Cut $16.1 Billion From Food Stamps
Ben Stein: I remember vividly long ago I had a girlfriend when I was a hippie in Santa Cruz, she was an heiress and the first thing she did as soon as she moved to Santa Cruz was apply for and get food stamps even though she was a multi-million dollar heiress. She lived off them very well-she would get ice cream, she would get cake and that is what people do even now. Obviously, we don't want one single person in this country involuntarily going hungry but the abuse and fraud in food stamps is overwhelming and it has to be-so to speak-stamped out.
Charles Payne: First of all, it is being promoted. Listen when I drive into the city and I listen to like WBLS every other commercial is like "Gotta get those food stamps." To Ben's point, it is so abused, it really is. The bottom line is that this is being promoted to people and here is the thing I dislike. When I was growing up, there was a little bit of shame to having food stamps. If I was in the store with food stamps and my next door neighbor was we wouldn't let each other see that we used food stamps and that kind of propelled some people to get off of it! Now the government is saying "have it" because to someone's point earlier-Wall Street stalled your future anyway.
Dagen McDowell: To that point, the amount spent since 2007 has gone up 70 percent in the food stamp program. Yes, you can blame the rough economy but eligibility has also been broadened too. So, the point is, if you are going to let it grow that fast, at what point do you dial it back or is it ever going to happen.
Charlie Gasparino: I agree that we should wipe out fraud and abuse in food stamps but it just bothers me a little bit that we are cutting a program like this when we are probably going back into a recession. I mean that I think is pretty callous to do it now. Why not do it when the economy gets going again?
Adam Lashinsky: Another thing is that this bill is approved every five years. 80 percent of the Farm Bill is food stamps, so it should be the food stamp bill and maybe in five years we can have an intelligent debate about it instead of just the Republicans saying "Cut it" and the Democrats saying "don't cut it."