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.
LOOMING FISCAL CLIFF SPARKING NEW WORRIES FROM TAXPAYERS
GERRI WILLIS: This is a disaster just waiting to happen! People have to get on the program and figure this out. 90 percent of American households are going to find some sort of new tax. That means $500 billion are going to be raised and 120 million households are going to be impacted. And it's not just the exploration of the Bush tax cuts. There are now Obama Care taxes going into place. This is going to kill investment. Taxes on dividends go up 20 percent-long term capital gains taxes go up 7 percent. I'm telling you, if they don't work on this whole economy is going to come skinning to a halt.
BEN STEIN: This is probably as bad as any idea that has come out of congress and the white house. The idea, to me in particular, of cutting the defense budget-which is 5 percent of the budget-is equally to domestic spending is just insanity. It's suicide! If Mr. Osama Bin Laden were still alive, he would like us to be doing this. It makes no sense at all.
ADAM LASHINSKY: The most I can say about the fact that neither candidate is discussing the Fiscal Cliff is that there isn't much difference between them. This is a bipartisan mistake and a bipartisan problem. I don't disagree with what Gerri and Ben said. The Fiscal Cliff is a disaster in the waiting. I just think there's a relatively low probability that the disaster will come to fruition and the politicians are content to wait after the election to deal with it.
CHARLIE GASPARINO: We should break up and make two points here. This is bad for the economy. A lot of people talk about great markets. I mean listen, if you have automatic cuts, automatic taxes, and you have the deficit being dealt with in an insane way-but at least being dealt with. I'm not so sure the markets are going to implode.
FINAL FUNDRAISING PUSH KICKS INTO GEAR AFTER FIRST DEBATE
CHARLIE GASPARINO: Well I can tell you that the Romney campaign denied what I'm going to tell you right now-but I know its true. I got it from inside the campaign not the spokesman. It's that after those poll numbers, big money was committed to Mitt Romney was starting to move elsewhere. Starting-it's a beginning of a trend. He was moving towards congressional races. There's not doubt that was happening. The people inside the campaign and the people who are raising money in major states are hoping this performance is going to turn things around. I can tell you, they were jazzed up after the debate. I can't tell you whether it worked yet. We'll know by Monday.
GERRI WILLIS: They are saying that they were getting two donations every second after the debate. So they're saying that they are doing well but here's the thing; there are limits on how much money they can take in. A lot of their donors have already given money. Romney takes money from large people. Not from tiny people who give two, four, six dollars.
BEN STEIN: If I may paraphrase myself-America won the debate. I thought it was a great, informative and wonderful debate even with the omission of the Fiscal Cliff. I wish we could have three more debates like that. But I'm not concerned about how much money Mr. Romney raises. I want him to show his guts and I want him to show what's in his heart. If he doesn't have 100 million more, he can still win as long as he shows what's in his heart.
ADAM LASHINSKY: Well there's no question that there's plenty of people who want to give money to defeat President Obama. And seeing the debate the other night and believing again perhaps that Mitt Romney has the chance to do it-I would agree that it would help his fundraising. And I sorry to say Ben-the money does matter.
CHARLIE GASPARINO: Well I will tell you Adam, some of Romney's big fundraisers, particularly in New York; have complained that he's been fundraising way too much. But I think one of the scariest things about this debate is that it exposed a man likely to be reelected. I'm scared about the next four years because when you don't have basic command of facts and you're the President of the United Sates-that's a big problem.
USDA TO PARENTS: MODEL MEALS AT HOME AFTER SCHOOL LUNCHES
GERRI WILLIS: At the end of the day, this is just nutty! There's a school Alexandria Virginia where they are banning PB&J's. They won't sell them. How is this not healthy? It's not peanut butter allergies. They think that it doesn't fit the guidelines.
CHARLIE GASPARINO: School food is so bad. Can you imagine they want you to eat that garbage they serve in the school cafeterias at home?
ADAM LASHINSKY: I don't wake up in the morning and say, "How can we bash the federal government today because they're such stupid people." I think that citizens can use advice in all sorts of instances including-they can be told what types of categories of food are healthy for them because we clearly have an obesity epidemic in the United States.
BEN STEIN: This is going way over the line. The very scary words are-it's different this time. After years of the government serving people garbage for lunch long after I was in school. The government is saying that everything is going to be great. Look, I speak at schools and I see what those kids are eating-it's terrifying.
VANGUARD REIT INDEX (VNQ)
ADAM LASHINSKY: Real estate is actually something that is doing pretty well for an investment perspective. It pays a three plus percent dividend and it's probably always going to do that.
BEN STEIN: I like it a lot. I love Reits and I love them even when they're mean to me.
iSHARES MSCI CANADA (EWC)
BEN STEIN: They have just been wonderful. Canada is richly mineralized, the banking system is solid, and it's an incredibly well run economy.