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CBO: U.S. RISKS FISCAL CRISIS IF DC DOESN'T GET DEBT UNDER CONTROL
GARY KALTBAUM: Well, they say that a crisis is coming, but I say it is here. When you have $17.6 trillion in debt, $55,000 for every citizen, and $155,000 for every taxpayer, we're talking some serious bucks here and it affects flexibility. If we have another '07 or '08, where do we get the money to use? We can't fix roads and bridges, it is a big problem and it is going to be worse with the legacy costs coming down the pipe.
SANDRA SMITH: When you look at Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid costs right now they account for 7 percent of the GDP, and the CBO is projecting that it is going to double to 14 percent.
CHARLIE GASPARINO: I am against the fact that we are borrowing for having fun so that our kids pay in the future, because that is a travesty. At some point it will be a problem, but for everyone here saying that we are in a crisis, they are wrong. People are buying the debt for a reason, they like the United States of America. With we are not a crisis; we are for many other reasons including a lousy president. For you to say that we are in a crisis is absurd and it violates economic rationale.
ADAM LASHINSKY: I agree with Charlie, and here is the good news, we are not in a crisis and we know what needs to be done. Sandra touched on it; we need entitlement reform, which is the only thing that has to be done.
TREASURY SECY LEW CALLS FOR "ECONOMIC PATRIOTISM" TO KEEP COMPANIES IN U.S.
GARY KALTBAUM: People, business and capital will flow to where they are treated best. That is why they left California to go to Texas. I have a message for Jack Lew, instead of whining and complaining about what the businesses are doing, and rightfully so doing, how about setting the conditions so that we can be competitive with countries like Ireland with a 12.5 percent tax rate while we are at 35 percent.
SANDRA SMITH: This is not just a problem with Jack Lew and the federal level, this is a problem with the state level as well. The combined corporate and state income tax rate right now is more like 40 percent. We often hear about the big oil companies demonized for all of the zillions of dollars they make, but the more you make, the more you are punished. Exxon mobile paid $31 billion in corporate income taxes last year. These are companies that could be arguably be hiring more and spreading out more right here in this country, but we do everything that we can to chase the companies out of the United States.
ADAM LASHINSKY: Not outrage at all. I in fact would say that you are not listening to Jack Lew, but changing the subject, Charles. "Fortune" magazine has an article out about inversion, which is what these companies are doing and they are basically tax cheats, Charles. They are here and enjoying the benefits of being in the United States, but they are trying to declare themselves foreign entities.
CHARLIE GASPARINO: What is sad about the statements of you and Jack Lew is that you don't have any understanding of the fiduciary responsibility. If you are a company you have a fiduciary responsibility, you would think that Jack Lew would know this because he is Secretary of the Treasury, you have a responsibility to the lower the cost of capital to your shareholders and it is part of the law. That is why the people are going overseas, because our tax rate is higher than anywhere else.
USDA LOOKING TO REWARD HEALTHY CHOICES BY FOOD-STAMP SHOPPERS WITH MOVIE TICKETS
SANDRA SMITH: We want everybody to get back to work in this country, but think about that number...47 million food stamp recipients. We have over 6 percent unemployment in this country and real unemployment is above that. Youth unemployment is over 20 percent. We're going to incentivize people to continue to stay home and collect these foods stamps?
GARY KALTBAUM: There are over 80 programs now giving out almost a trillion dollars every year to people and we are giving advertisements to get on to food stamps instead of off food stamps. Until somebody comes in and turns the tide it's going to grow bigger and larger and hurt the economy going forward. You have got to turn the track.
CHARLIE GASPARINO: What kills me about conservatives is you bemoan the crumby Obama economy and then you say people shouldn't go on food stamps. What is it?
ADAM LASHINSKY: The government has been giving guidance on what healthy eating means for a very long time. If we're going to pay for hungry people to have food, which is the right thing, we should do everything we can to encourage them to eat healthy foods.
GARY KALTBAUM: 3M Company (MMM)
ADAM LASHINSKY: Mairs & Power Balanced Inv (MAPOX)