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NO SWIFT PASSAGE OF VA IN CONGRESS AS VETERANS WAIT FOR CARE
CHARLES PAYNE: I just think for the administration the stakes are too high. Even with the pledge and "no boots on the ground" and all that stuff, the stakes are too high with this VA thing to let it be morphed into something where ultimately the savior is the private sector. Let it linger on. Forget about getting regular doctors and hospitals involved. If you somehow get the public to believe that there's no solution for a government-run system, this blow everything out of the water.
DAGEN MCDOWELL: They have to worry about it. The entire nations should worry about it. I worry in particular about rushing through a fix for the VA, and here's why: let's think about how Congress often acts with urgency to treat "the sky is falling" problems, like TARP, for example. The bank bailout. It turns out to be a very costly morass. This has been pointed out in the Wall Street Journal, that this fix that's now going to go in front of Congress-it could add an additional $50B every year to the VA's budget. That would almost double what we spend right now. You have to be careful about what we push for, just for political cover.
CHARLES GASPARINO: Most Americans wouldn't mind spending good money on this to get is fixed because we cherish the people who go overseas and it's just such a crime that they have to go over, put themselves in harm's way and then come back and get crummy care. I will say this, though, I kind of disagree with the premise. We didn't really rush over there. This is part of the same problem. The administration that let this place blow up in Iraq-and by the way, it's not just Iraq-- this ISIS wants to go from Syria to Iraq. The same administration that allowed that to happen right under their nose in the middle of a very sensitive part of the world-you can't trust them to fix the VA. These are the Keystone cops. There's almost no way to describe it other than they're really stupid when it comes to this stuff.
ADAM LASHINSKY: I don't think they're being stupid. First of all, it's totally prudent to send a small force over there to protect the embassy workers. We have howled that that didn't happen in Benghazi the way it should have, so that's prudent. I agree that you don't want to fix the VA quickly. This is a decades-long problem. It will require a serious, substantial fix that I don't think should mean closing down the VA and turning it over to private care. I do think, and I think you and I will agree, we should utilize the market. We should send some of these people...
NEW WORRIES GOVERNMENT REGULATIONS WILL SEND ENERGY BILLS SOARING
DAGEN MCDOWELL: If the White House or the administration were being honest with people about it, or upfront, hey would come out and say "we're pushing through these regulations. 40 percent of our electricity comes from coal-powered plants. We're going to shut down many of these plants. Your energy costs are going to go up." They've already been going up double digit increases in recent years in some states, even adjusting for inflation. That is an incredibly regressive tax that hits lower-income Americans, people who can't afford these increases, the hardest. That is the honest truth. If they were being upfront with the American people that is what you would hear.
CHARLES GASPARINO: This is part of the pattern of this administration. They don't know what's going on in Iraq...
CHARLES PAYNE: Candidate Obama said electricity bills would necessarily have to go higher. You're giving him too much credit.
ADAM LASHINSKY: First of all, Neil you caught him in a moment of honestly. You asked if the President would be doing this even if he liked you, and he started to say, he would, because the President isn't doing this as a tit-for-tat.
HOUSE VOTES TO BAN GITMO TRANSFERS AMID CONTROVERSIAL PRISON SWAP
CHARLES PAYNE: It couldn't come soon enough. This is a very deplorable thing that happened. It gets back to the theme of the day: the administration putting ideology ahead of common sense, and in this case it's just a smack in the face of all the people who have died over there. It's ridiculous. I hope this can blunt future executive orders like this, but it's just amazing that it happened in the first place.
DAGEN MCDOWELL: It's symbolic, it's too late, and it won't stop future mistakes made by the administration, period. It's unfortunate.
CHARLES GASPARINO: I think the President should have the power to do what he did. I don't agree with what he did.
ADAM LASHINSKY: I agree completely. I think this is an appropriate policy discussion, but at the end of the day I don't think Congress should go this micro on how the money is spent. They need to authorize the money and let the Commander-In-Chief spend it. I don't see how this was ideological. This was an effort by the President to get a soldier back. this was not ideological.
MORE FOR YOUR MONEY
CHARLES PAYNE: (GTLS)
ADAM LASHINSKY: (VTWG)