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.
CHAOS IN IRAQ FUELING NEW DEBATE OVER AMERICA'S LEADERSHIP ROLE IN THE WORLD
CHARLES PAYNE: I think almost anyone who watched this Iraq thing from the beginning to end sort of knew it was going to implode. It doesn't get more media coverage, but you can see it. I don't think anyone thought it would be this sort of crazy this soon. No bad actor that takes President Obama seriously. If you don't take the President seriously, then you're going to go with grand ambitions, and we're seeing that around the world.
DAGEN MCDOWELL: The Prime Minister is a questionable dance partner to put it mildly. It's basically jettison Sunni leadership. It's why the military fell so quickly. What the Prime Minister in that country has been doing is in serious question. However, when President came out Friday and said we have known this has been going on 14 months, well, why didn't you do something in the last 14 months? It begs the question why it is in a crisis stage now? What have we been doing as a nation? What has the White House been doing the last year?
BEN STEIN: At this point the cancer of terrorism that metastasized to the near east and Middle East is a disaster. If one of the biggest oil producers in America is going to fall to some of the most vicious terrorists in the whole world, they are probably going to soon take over Afghanistan. It will be extremely violent, extremely anti-American. I think it is virtually criminal the way Mr. Obama allowed this to happen on his watch. Bush bears plenty of responsibility too, but for this to be allowed to happen, and even now, as the terrorists are on the outskirts of Baghdad, his team is studying. They're studying.
ADAM LASHINSKY: I'll make my point. The shareholders and the investors were extremely clear. The American people were extremely clear they wanted to be done with the war in Iraq, and president Obama ended our involvement in the war in Iraq. That was the involvement on the ground. Now he is dealing with the reality on the ground there. Again, it is not pretty. It is not good. But I don't think it's so easy to criticize the CEO when he got a clear message from his shareholders.
HOUSE, SENATE SET TO WORK OUT DIFFERENCES IN VA BILLS
CHARLES PAYNE: It's one of the flaws in giant government. Bottom line with this particular thing, the solution is right there, its private hospitals, give them a voucher. Take the vets to the hospital. Get them off the waiting list and take them to a hospital.
DAGEN MCDOWELL: People who control the vast government bureaucracies, the people in control don't want to relinquish control. That's why big government stays big government and continues to get bigger. Again, if you increase funding, the funding in the V.A. in the last decade has doubled. The number of patients has only gone up 30 percent. So the funding has gone up a lot faster and a lot more and the patients have increased. In terms of democracy, you have this vast bureaucracy.
ADAM LASHINSKY: It is flexibility. In other words, if it takes a private voucher, get it in the hands of the veterans waiting right now.
BEN STEIN: We have to resign ourselves to the fact any large government program there's going to be a lot of fraud. Even with a lot of fraud, give them a voucher. Let them go to a private doctor and get his appointment that day. If we do waste money on it, well then we're wasting it on a good cause.
IRS SENT 1.1M PAGES OF TAXPAYER DATA TO THE FBI WEEKS BEFORE 2010 ELECTION
BEN STEIN: The IRS is a blunt instrument of revenge and torture of availability of the President. I think they'll keep on using it, even the guy I loved, Mr. Nixon, used it inappropriately. The only presidents that didn't were the Bush father and son, but generally speaking the IRS will be misused and we have to be used to it. There's going to be a lot of corruption like there's going to be a lot of fraud.
DAGEN MCDOWELL: It's very scary how much power the IRS has. They can come to your house and peek in your garage windows to see what kind of car you're driving to gauge if you're lying about how much income you have.
CHARLES PAYNE: They're becoming more powerful. We know with the health care law and it really is a frightening thing. Again it gets back to again, it's never accountability. Whenever something does go wrong, we don't know who did it, why, oh, it was a slip up. Oh, yeah, we're watching these people. Oh, yeah, we did this to those people but we never know why and we never know who did it.
ADAM LASHINSKY: I don't disagree with you but there's no reason to give up. We should hold them accountable, but we need to collect our taxes as well.
CHARLES PAYNE: LinkedIn Corporation (LNKD)
ADAM LASHINSKY: Vanguard Total Stock Market ETF (VTI)
BEN STEIN: iShares MSCI Mexico Capped (EWW)