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DEMOCRATIC LAWMAKER CALLING FOR AMERICANS TO PAY A 'WAR TAX'
STEVE FORBES: There was once a restaurant that had a slogan: "Too much is never enough." These political piggies in Washington are always finding an excuse to put more taxes on the American people. Defense spending is a proportion of our economy not out of line given our number since WWII, and in terms of the spending now, most of it is domestic spending. They just want another excuse to pick the pockets of the American people, which will hurt the economy, which will hurt our standard of living and weaken our ability to fight these necessary conflicts and wars overseas.
RICK UNGAR: First of all, David, I'm pleased you made the point you just made. It's all too easy to forget that we're talking about real people in these situations, so I'm glad you did it. Look, this is a tricky situation. Wars cost money. If the nation agrees that this is a war that has to be fought, it's got to be paid for. I don't want to make the same mistake we made back in the early 2000s when we went to war and spent money we didn't have. So there are two choices: you can cut the budget, and use that money to spend on war; you can issue a war tax, which is what the Congressman offered. My suggestion would be a little of both so that every American, not just one-half or the other, picks up and sacrifices for this effort.
ELIZABETH MACDONALD: I'm against that [war bonds] and I'm against the war tax. Here's why: we need to get our allies to pony up. The U.S. has been going it alone for way too long. U.S. taxpayers have been footing the bill. Europe is historically spending less on their defense because they're spending more on public spending for pensions and national health care, and that's not fair to the U.S. We did it in the Gulf War, one and two, David, where Germany, Japan, Saudi Arabia and the gulf states paid more into those wars. The allies need to step up. It is unfair that the U.S. taxpayer gets hit time and again for this.
JOHN TAMNY: It's a compelling idea at first Glance, because you want to make it difficult as possible to go to war and you want everyone to think hard about it, but it would be a terrible idea because the last thing you want to do when you're committing troops to battle is to weaken your economy. It's something that would embolden the enemy, and at the same time reduce the amount of resources we could commit to the battle. So it's an interesting idea, but it's a terrible path to go at this point; really, at any point.
MIKE OZANIAN: I think that Congressman Rangel should look at what JFK did. JFK actually cut taxes during the early stages of the Vietnam War and did not raise them. The economy after the war came out in very good shape. So I don't think we need to raise taxes. I think the detriment to the economy, as others have pointed out, would be great, and in terms it of the actual cost of fighting ISIS, it's likely to be much closer to something like the Vietnam War than, say, WWII where there were massive tax increases. The other thing to quickly point out is since WWII, when we had that big tax increase, this country is much more heavily taxed and savings are already much lower.
RICH KARLGAARD: Well, he did, David, and the asset value of the United States under Reagan's leadership, even though he added to the federal debt, went up far, far, far more than the addition of the federal debt. So it was a net win all around, and the Soviet Union collapsed. National defense is the only mandatory thing that the federal government should do as described by the Constitution in article 4, section 4. Now, the key word is "invasion." That's supposed to be the trigger, and as ISIS invaded us, they've certainly made their intentions clear. I don't think we should wait around. If you're going to put national government functions up for a separate tax, it should be the non-mandatory things like entitlements, not the one mandatory thing, national defense.
NEW FEARS JOBS COULD TAKE A HIT AS GLOBAL WARMING ACTIVISTS WIN LEGAL FIGHT
JOHN TAMNY: It's a terribly dangerous precedent. We are talking about a theory here. Because you believe in a theory does not give you the right to go on someone's private property and interrupt their business, interpret their ability to operate, and that's exactly what's happening. This business is going to be shut down. These people should be jailed and we should laugh at them in jail for believing in something that's so far is non-existent. Even if it's existent it's something we can easily adjust to.
RICK UNGAR: You can only get off a criminal offense if you believe in global warms in that one jurisdiction, apparently.
SABRINA SCHAEFFER: [This will cause problems] for people like ourselves who are going to see a spike in energy bills as a result of something like this. Look, this is vigilantism. We can't allow it to continue. We have a Constitution and a system of laws in this country. There are all sorts of things I disagree with this government: the EPA, the public school system, ObamaCare, but I simply can't go burn down the White House and protest. We have to follow the rule of law or we're seriously undermining our democracy.
STEVE FORBES: That is a dangerous thing. That's how terrorists justify their activity, saying they have a higher purpose. So you make up the laws as it goes along. Sadly our own President makes up the law as he goes along and chooses which ones to enforce and not enforce. We have to stop this thing. If you don't like a law, you change it. If you break it, you must suffer the consequences for it.
ELIZABETH MACDONALD: David, I'm going to protest global warming by not paying my gas bill. How about that? I agree this is vigilantism. This is astonishing that this prosecutor made this move. How about blocking the lobster guys, the fishermen there that did this, blocking their driveways so they can't drive their gas polluting SUVs? I mean, you're right, David. This is really harmful and I don't want this precedent. I don't yet see another prosecutor, though, taking this case on, as Rick Unger suggests. We need to stop this behavior in its tracks.
BILL BALDWIN: I think these coal protesters are continuing a long tradition of civil disobedience that goes back to people like Gandhi. They don't quite have the stature that Gandhi had, though. I think they would prove their standing in the public eye if they would continue their protest by unplugging their air conditioners and promising not to use electric cars.
JOHN TAMNY: I think what we have to say is that capitalism provides. If we really believe in global warming, let's consume all the gas and coal as possible. Speed up the global warming so that entrepreneurs figure out a way around it. I don't think they'll need to. This is massive hoax we'll laugh about in future generations.
GROWING LIST OF SPONSORS CRITICIZING NFL OVER ITS HANDLING OF LATEST SCANDALS
MIKE OZANIAN: David, if the NFL doesn't clean up its act and this behavior continues by its players it will suffer a bad financial hit, just like the NBA did in the mid-70s before David Stern cleaned it up.
SABRINA SCAEFFER: Look, we have to teach our sons it's not okay to be violent against women, and tell our daughters we don't condone this behavior and turn a blind eye to it. People need to turn off the TV and say they're not going to continue supporting what is not a bad apple-this is a pervasive problem in the NFL and other sports.
RICH KARLGAARD: Nothing aggregates a viewership in a moment in time like NFL football. Look, the NFL-- I hate to be the outsider here-- but does not have a domestic abuse problem. Ross Pomeroy, a of Real Clear Science showed that the NFL players are half as likely to commit that as is the same age group in the general population.
BILL BALDWIN: Listen; let me ask you this question: do sports fans care as much about scandals as journalists think they ought to care? Did people stop watching baseball when they heard about steroids? I don't think so.
JOHN TAMNY: All big businesses eventually stumble. The NFL eventually will, but I don't think this is what's going to take them down. Quick counts on ESPN.com show fans care more about fantasy football, right or wrong, than about this.
STEVE FORBES: Short term, no hit. Long term, it's reputational, both in terms of future players, dealing with the concussion thing, and also in terms of domestic violence. Saying everyone does it is not good enough. They've got to clean it up like the NBA did, as Mike said, otherwise they will take a reputational hit and advertising will go down.
STOCKS TO HELP YOU PAY YOUR BILLS
ELIZABETH MACDONALD: Targa Resources Partners LP (NGLS)
BILL BALDWIN: Toro (TTC)