Bulls & Bears

Is the budget deal bad news for spending and debt?

Reaction to bipartisan agreement headed for President Obama's desk



New Questions Raised Over Bipartisan Budget, Debt Deal

Lisa Boothe: It continues to kick the can down the road in the sense that it does nothing to address our national debt and growing deficit. The big problem here is it blows through the spend be caps that were put in place by the budget control act not too long ago that has been able to get a firmer hand on our increasing deficits and has been able to cut spending. That's a big problem. And also pushes our national debt closer to $20 trillion. Which is also a problem. Look, the biggest problem with this too, is that the deal was done behind closed doors, which is why so many Americans across the country hate congress, because of these kinds of tactics. It uses budgetary gimmicks to give the idea that there is an offset in spending that's happening here. This is a big problem. The higher the national debt grows, it means slower economic growth for so many Americans across the country who are already struggling in the economy.

Jonas Max Ferris: It's the greatest budget deal we've had in several years. Unfortunately that's not saying much, but it is actually the most secure from like defaulting on debt point of view, general craziness. Sure, it's great. The problem is, to Lisa’s point, which is half right, the long-term problem doesn't go away. It's a good solid can-cake. A few weeks. Not until the next president. The problem is it doesn't address the issues. It does a lot with gimmicks. Stupid gimmicks. Talking about raiding the oil reserves to come up with a few billion dollars as if we were in some sort of war and needed to tap that. We're selling at low oil prices. We're not selling the gold off, which we don't use for anything, and that's worth more. That would offend the crazy gold people. So it has a lot of totally ridiculous tricks to make this happen. But again, it's one of our best ones, to let it rip.

John Layfield: Jonas is trying to find the tallest leprechaun: You're right. The other ones are terrible. This is just bad. We have a problem going forward. These are not scare tactics. Every budget that you have out there right now shows us running about $8 trillion of deficit -- debt for the next ten years. If you add that onto $18 trillion you're around $26 trillion. Put the long-term average, say the last 20 years of an interest rate at 5.7%, We're going to be spending -- these are real numbers. We'll be spending $1.5 trillion on interest alone in ten years. Now, think about the lost opportunity. When you have a company that runs into funding problems. First thing they cut is R&D. They quit investing in themselves. That's what America is doing right now. Look at our infrastructure. What would that do if we didn't have this to spend on education. You need to get rid of every one of these guys.

Nomi Konst: The number one way to cut back on things republicans like to spend money on is to create jobs. When you create jobs, which this fiscal plan suggests there will be 340,000 plans created. That prevents people from taking on welfare and the extra costs that we complain about. Yes, we should cut part of the budget. We should cut defense spending. A lot of the deals that have been made increases defense spending which frustrates liberals. To go back to what Lisa said. This is the first time in a long time congress has gotten anything done. When you have the CEO for the Club for Growth saying that it's because two lame ducks, John Boehner and the president, got together and worked a deal, that's because he owns Congress. A lot of these special interests are preventing congress from getting things done. When they have the closed-door meetings with two lame ducks no longer owned by special interests, guess what happens. You get a deal. It's great. We're kicking the bucket down the road for two years but at least something is happening.

Gary B. Smith: No, we're never going to cut. John, back to john's point. Since he made a lot of the same points. He is playing the Suzy this week. Stealing all my points. The interest payments that john talked about are -- they're going to be 1.7 Trillion if we go back to normal interest rates. That's about a third of the tax revenues that we take in. We won't have a lot of money for other things. So not only is it, you know, just money that could have been spent elsewhere. It's going to absorb a lot of the revenues that we take in. Per Nomi's point. Implied there is that government is a great job creator. Where in the history has ramping up the federal budget created a lot of jobs? In that case we should give every dollar we make in income to the government because they're just so great at creating jobs. Instead it's the opposite. Every dollar we spend, we get back about 90 cents in jobs created. We would be better off keeping the money ourselves. I can go to Starbucks and spend the money there and create new jobs rather than give it to the government and rely on them to create the next world. That thinking is just silly. It's why we have greater and greater budgets, thinking the government can do all when it can hardly do anything.

New Concerns ISIS Might Try to Sneak Into U.S. With Syrian Refugees

Gary B Smith: Absolutely, Brenda. The conventional wisdom has always been we are a strong, resilient country and shrug these off and go about our business. To a large extent that's true. But look in the northeast when there is a the threat of a snow storm. People rush to the supermarket and buy 200 rolls of toilet paper. People panic. I tell you what. If we continue to have increased threats of terrorism and one of them results in something like someone puts a bomb in the Holland tunnel, guess what, New York City is shut down. That means the better part of the country is shut down. Economic activity comes to a halt. People won't want to go outside. That's what we are dealing with the economy.

Nomi Koonst: Every time we as the media report on these true stories it sends fear through Americans. But if we report on it every day, will we get numb to it? Jeh Johnson was being reasonable, Secretary Johnson, in saying, yes, the 10,000 refugees coming over, we should be cautious. There have been tighter restrictions over the past few years since we brought in Iraqi refugees. That being said, this is a multi-front war here. This is a modern-day situation where we should be getting -- we should be partnering with tech companies, twitter. We can wire-tap people. Why aren't we shutting down these twitter accounts, shutting down these YouTube accounts where ISIS is spreading the message to Americans who are being recruited? Why are we not being more firm on that?

John Layfield: We'll survive this as well. This is a European problem. It should not be an American problem. We're the largest donor to the U.N. Refugee location problem. It cost us $1.1 Billion, $16,000 per person last year. Think about what we are doing. The Lebanon and turkey has a million refugee us because they can walk there. What we're doing is actually going out, finding the refugees and we're flying them here, at our expense. To me, we're already giving a billion dollars a year, that money could be spent on things here in America to help Americans. This is a terrible crisis. I think Europe should settle their problems themselves. The root of the problem is Syria. That's what we've screwed up so good.

Jonas Max Ferris: America got to where it was by being smarter than most countries. Although having a terrorist attack here would hurt the economy, cutting off visitors hurts the economy. New York City, if we had no visitors allowed, we'd have a recession in a week because those people spend money. Not the refugees but people in general. You don't want to go overboard in an effort to stop an attack, which is also bad for the economy. You have to track people properly. This is where being smart is more important, so you can minimize the attacks and have the benefit -- not giving people citizenship. I'm not talking about letting people overstay their visas. I have apps on my phone that know where i am right now and where i was this morning. We can do better if we allow people to come here. Not just as citizens but spending and working.

Lisa Boothe: That's certainly a fear. John is absolutely right. The problem is Syria here. It will only get worse because we have a president who admittedly has no plan to tackle ISIS. We have a president who believes that climate change is a bigger problem than ISIS. We have a president exercising poor judgment with the deal with Iran. After we struck the deal Russia went into Syria to exert its dominance. The big problem is that they are targeting the very non-ISIS rebels that the U.S. Is trying to prop up. Guess what also happened since that deal? Iran has captured or arrested two different Americans, and they've also tested a nuclear ballistic weapon that flies in the face of sanctions.

REI Giving Employees Paid Day Off On Black Friday

John Layfield: I think it's terrible for business. I don't know why you would stay closed on one of your busiest days of the year. I really think this is more of a marketing ploy. Brenda, thanks to you and Gary B., We get incredible ratings on this show. Think about how much free publicity we're giving them. I think it's a marketing ploy with R.E.I. I think it's bad business to stay shut.

Jonas Max Ferris: In general it's great that there is more business everywhere. America is the best example of this. There is a thing called economics and escalation. Companies start to compete with each other and start doing more and more ridiculous things and they have to do it. Eventually the stores will be open 24/7. Will that help the economy versus them closing at a normal hour. If one closes early she'll go out of business because the others are open later. It's like everyone getting a bigger and bigger billboard. You don't get more sales. You just make the landscape uglier. At some point you have to say enough is enough. They have the planes flying on the beach here. I'm sure it's good for the economy that is says don't shoot machine guns on the weekend. Is it making the world a happier place? I don't think so.

Nomi Koonst: It's great for the economy and growth. Over the past few years black Friday has become less popular because of the Internet. Last year 55% of Americans shopped on black Friday. 44% Of the number was from the Internet.

Gary B. Smith: Listen, I applaud R.E.I. I agree with john. I think it's a complete marketing ploy. Good for the employees. Yeah, right. I'm sure out of the goodness of their hearts they're doing this. You know, what someone else will step in. Urban outfitters will be open. Sports authority. People fill the gap. It's not just, Jonas, by opening up for longer hours. Retailers come up with innovative ways to fill the holes. I hope it works for R.E.I.

Lisa Boothe: I think Gary needs to stop being so cynical. If R.E.I. Can shoulder the burden of any losses it's their prerogative to shut the store on black Friday. I hate black Friday. I would rather be home spending time with my family and enjoying the day off of work.


John Layfield: (SKX) 20% in a year  

Jonas Max Ferris: (MLHR) 20% in a year

Gary B. Smith: (PRTY) 30% profit in a year