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D.C. STILL IN STALEMATE WITH FISCAL CRISIS APPROACHING
CHARLES PAYNE: No one knows where it's going except that we feel that it's going nowhere. The irony of it all, of course, is that this whole thing was setup. The ultimate - we're going to force you guys after the debt ceiling debate to make the ultimate choice, and it will include a combination of taxes and spending cuts. The spending cuts have not been in the conversation at all and it's absurd because that's the crux of the problem.
DAGEN MCDOWELL: Even if they did agree to some cuts and changes to entitlements you will see tax increases immediately. Then we'll see agreements to cut spending down the road then changes to the entitlement program. There isn't a sense of urgency even among Republicans because you have long term interest rates so low. You have a federal reserve willing to buy the nation's debt. There isn't that urgency, but we will have taxes and spending go up.
CHARLIE GASPARINO: When you talk to Wall street CEO's or people close to the CEO's they are saying we are not going to get a deal increasingly. They say the dates to look forward to, if there is a chance to get a deal, is right before Christmas. Boehner is trying to give. He's offered revenues and tax increases. The President is not giving in and he has nothing to take to his people. Particularly, if you're an investor they're saying to be wary because this thing could take a big hit, and it could take a big hit even if they kick the can down the road. Businesses hate the notion of uncertainty. If they do something where they delay it for a year, look for the markets to go down significantly.
BEN STEIN: This is the ultimate exercise of irresponsibility by Congress. I'm really disappointed in the Black Caucus. I'm really disappointed in the Democrats who say that they're not going to even consider cutting entitlements. This is a war between the haves and the have not's. We talk in this country about class warfare. The have not's are saying that they don't want to pay any taxes and that they want to have all of their entitlements and to take it from the other side. Maybe they're right but it's an incredible example of social disharmony. It's very disappointing to see that one group is saying that it's all for the other guy to do and that it's none of our responsibility.
ADAM LASHINSKY: We cited this figure of eighty democrats and I'm sure that's right, but there's a number of Republicans as well. The people who've signed Grover Norquist's tax pledge are fundamentally opposed to raising taxes in any shape or form. Nancy Pelosi is fundamentally opposed to giving entitlements. The good news here is that John Boehner and President Obama are not two of those people. They are negotiating.
NEW WAVE OF AGGRESSIVE UNION PROTESTS FUEL CONTROVERSY
DAGEN MCDOWELL: Desperate times call for desperate measures, and the unions are desperate. The percentage of the private workforce that is unionized is below seven percent at this point, and the tax rate which you saw in Michigan is you create a spectacle, you get the news cameras there, you get a microphone in front of your face and then you say things that aren't true. Things like the right-to-work law in Michigan are going to get rid of collective bargaining rights. What they pulled in Michigan will backfire.
BEN STEIN: The fallout is this. We had a civil rights movement with Martin Luther King saying to use non-violent protests. That won the day and changed the mind of the whole country. These oppressed African American people were approaching situations of prayer and non-violence. Here we have these thugs and goons for the unions going after the perfectly law abiding processes of the state of Michigan. It's a sorry spectacle and as a union man I am sorry for the union movement.
CHARLES PAYNE: This is a sign of desperation and it's the kind of violent intimidation that you figure they would impose on their own members. Who wants to work in that sort of an environment? They're doing the biggest disservice to themselves this week. With some of these unions, it's all about physical intimidation and it used to work.
CHARLIE GASPARINO: My father was an iron worker and I'm proud of it. I've been to strikes and I could tell you that when I was a kid they would save violence for the scabs. They would not have tried to beat up reporters. This is a new low. My father is probably turning in his grave seeing this. It's a minority I believe, and I believe a lot of this stuff is because the unions are desperate and are shipping people in. I know a lot of union people and the last person that they're going to take their ire out is on a Fox News correspondent.
ADAM LASHINSKY: The violent actions are either in the minority or they're not, but basically you all said that they are, so it is the exception. When somebody loses a political fight they protest. That's the great thing about democracy.
AMERICAN AIRLINES LAUNCHES NEW PRICING SYSTEM WITH ADDED FEES
CHARLES PAYNE: These guys are raking in billions already. It reminds me of when the gangs in Chinatown would say, "If you pay us now we won't shake you down for more later." They should be sprucing up the planes. The last American flight I was on had an ashtray in the bathroom door. I'm a little nervous when I see that because they stopped making those planes twenty years ago.
DAGEN MCDOWELL: If they could charge whatever they want then they don't need to spruce up the planes. You know why - because they are full.
ADAM LASHINSKY: The difference between the Chinese mafia and American Airlines is that they made money at their extortion games. The news alert here is that American Airlines and the other airlines are not particularly good at making money. They're trying to stay in business with these fees.
CHARLIE GASPARINO: You said they were making billions. Didn't they just come out of bankruptcy?
BEN STEIN: The airlines don't make any money. Its pure free market capitalism and aviation has never been a good business model since it's been deregulated. It should never have been deregulated. That was a colossal failure of deregulation. I feel sorry for the airlines. I love American Airlines. They treat me like gold.
CHARLES PAYNE: (CAT)
ADAM LASHINSKY: (VNQ)
BEN STEIN: (VTI)