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.
THREATS FROM EBOLA AND ISIS SPARKING CALLS FOR MORE FUNDING
GARY KALTBAUM: Look, the number one function of government is to protect the folks, and we're getting illnesses and diseases like this coming to the shores, and we have lone wolf terrorists starting to grow. we have to do something about it. There is it not enough money to even spend to get something like this done and watched over. I think spend all you can to make sure nothing bad happens.
EMILY TISCH SUSSMAN: I think we need to be spending money smartly. You don't want to give a blank check, but particularly on the healthcare front, it's not like there's nothing we can do about this. We can be putting that money in a smarter way into preparedness. Preparedness, particularly in a health context, is something that got decimated under the Budget Control Act last year. There's a way you can be spending it in a serious way. That way we don't need to be deploying Department of Defense emergency SWAT teams into cities. They're already themselves.
GARY B. SMITH: Kind of like the guy who climbed the fence of the White House. Why don't we just have a 20-foot fence and make it a little bit harder for him to climb? You're right, Melissa. I think you hit the nail on the head when you said we should fear when we give the government a blank check, because then they end up exceeding it. I think we do need to spend it smarter. You know, when you think of the budgets of the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Defense-- between the two of them they should be fighting all this stuff. In fact, I know Department of Homeland Security has Ebola-fighting teams out there for just this case, in case somebody made a chemical attack on us. Between those two, we have a bigger protection budget, if you will, than the next 10 countries combined. The money is there. We don't need more money. We need to spend it better and be a little bit more focused on what is causing us harm right now.
JONAS MAX FERRIS: It could be too much money. They have $40 million a year homeland -- look, you give me $100 million I can't build a better search engine than Google just because I have more money. I don't have a plan. I don't have the resources or the brain power to do it. The government has the money allocated for these things. The fact that homeland security all these years is really no further along in this-- what was their plan to track somebody with Ebola? How did they know the guy that went to Dallas wasn't a terrorist? They don't follow people, they don't restrict them, they don't put them in quarantine federally. Why is that a state problem?
JOHN LAYFIELD: They're very reactive. When you talk about stopping the stupidity, you'd have to quarantine congress and most of Washington, D.C. and then never let them come back.
VOTERS IN SEVERAL STATES DECIDING IF MINIMUM WAGE SHOULD BE HIKED
GARY B. SMITH: I'm just looking at history. Let's take the most current one. President Obama himself voted to -- or authorized the delay in minimum wage increase in American Samoa. Why? Because it was found to hurt the economy. It wasn't just the right saying it. It wasn't business. It was the government's accountability office saying it hurt the economy. That's why it was delayed. They did a study in 2012 of the hike in the New York state minimum wage. They found they lost 500,000 part-time jobs. Raising the minimum wage is bad for the economy.
EMILY TISCH SUSSMAN: Look, people are ready for this. People are ready to raise the minimum wage. And this is something that we should be doing at a state and local level if we're not going to be doing it at a federal level. We've not seen a raise since 2006 at the federal level.
JOHN LAYFIELD: How could you not know what's going to happen. This is economics 101. You go to a small business-they're not prepared for this. They don't know what they're going to have to pay. One day you're going to say, "by the way, now what you pay your employees is going to be 20 percent to 30 percent higher." You're telling me you don't know if that will hurt businesses? Of course it will. What do you do five or ten years from now when you say "let's raise it to $12.50 or $15." We can fix this. No one is offering to fix this because they love it being a political football.
JONAS MAX FERRIS: I'm a little more worried when they actually start doing something. On one hand I can see the state argument that they should be in charge of this, but I also see some states taking this too far. What if a state does $20. There's a point where the federal government has to deal with these issues before it becomes an inter-state commerce problem. I think the federal government needs to have an inflation adjusted rate, maybe a little higher than it is now, and let states go a little up and down around their cost of living, but not just go to any level they want.
GARY KALTBAUM: The problem is whether it's state or federal, when you dictate and mandate to the job creators, the business owners that they have to spend more money, they are going to react. They're going to react two ways; either hiking prices to the consumer or, most likely, get rid of a few people; when you times that by all the business owners around the country-- that is going to affect employment in a big, big way. The other part of the equation is if you go too high, you crowd out people that would otherwise get a job at the lower level. I think it's bad all the way around. I think it's a state issue and I think it will be raised on a state-by-state basis. We'll see who wins.
$25B IN GOVERNMENT WASTE REVEALED; MASSAGES FOR BUNNIES, STUDY ON GAMBLING MONKEYS
JOHN LAYFIELD: This is pathetic. This is why people don't trust the government, and they shouldn't trust the government. You have an example in this book of a $500 helicopter part, being paid $8,000 for that part. They say "oh, it's just a rounding error." No, it's not. It's either incompetence or it's criminal. We need to throw every one of these guys out.
JONAS MAX FERRIS: One thing that's good about this report is it does show that in the name of "security" and "defense" is where a lot of waste happens. It's not the pursuit of science. Let me tell you about these bunny rabbits: they've been mistreated by the cosmetic industry for decades. They deserve a massage once in a while on the taxpayer dollar.
GARY B. SMITH: Did you see they're building an Ironman costume? I love that. I would put all the money into the Ironman thing. I think that's cool. Melissa, this is what happens when you get any kind of agency government that is basically unchecked. They're whole point in Washington is to build their power base. How do you build your power base? You grow your budget so you come and say, we need to study rabbit massages and this and that and they get more and more money. I think we need to eventually go the other way, cut out entire departments. Department of education does not need to exist. Department of Agriculture does not need to exist. The $25B that Coburn identified is the tip of the iceberg.
EMILY TISCH SUSSMAN: I don't think anybody likes this kind of spending. The problem is when you cut across the board of discretionary spending, across the board, which is what they have done in the last year, and then you end up getting rid of all these regulators that could actually be rooting this out. We put out a study in the last month that showed there was $21B lost of increased budget deficit because we didn't have those regulators.
GARY B SMITH: FIX UP YOUR FINANCIAL HOUSE! (HD) BUILDS UP 30 percent IN 1 YEAR
JOHN LAYFIELD: STEP UP YOUR PROFITS WITH SKECHERS! (SKX) RUNS UP 10 percent IN 3 MOS
JONAS MAX FERRIS: FLU SHOTS ON THE GO! (BDX) GETS A 15 percent BOOST IN 1 YEAR
GARY K. KALTBAUM: MICROSOFT CO-FOUNDER PAUL ALLEN PROVING FREE MARKETS WILL HELP BEAT EBOLA